Friday, June 30, 2006

Faith and Works

“Vocation always involves faith(hope)” -- N.T. Wright

Why is it that we, as humans, are so capable of adapting to detrimental circumstances (short or long-term) and yet be incapable or even reluctant to adapt back to health?

One of the consequences of the Fall: work becomes toil. Now, we no longer want to work (generically). “Heaven” is usually a place of non-work, in our common depictions. Perhaps because we can no longer adapt back from toil to work.

But without work (vocation), we loose a consistent, on-going, base-level need for faith (should N.T. Wright be accurate). The wage of sin, in the sphere of work, is the handicapping of our ability to Live in the common (mundane) parts of life - the daily laborings. God is amiss in all but the extreme.

[Back to my Heaven thread, perhaps this is why myself and many of my other friends from my local church grew up wondering what we would do forever in heaven - won’t it get pretty boring; partying with God can only last for so long]

Heaven . . .

Saturday, June 17, 2006

More-on Heaven

Previously, I have written about “heaven” seeming to always be a bunch of what someone does NOT like about life now.

So I began thinking, was this trend in place during the writing of the Scriptures? Is that why “kingdom” is used?

[Way off subject here, but there is a GREAT blog tool called “bloglines” that automatically tracks new blogs from a list of blogs you create. Well worth your time if you frequent more than 2 blogs!!]

Heaven . . .

Friday, June 02, 2006

Conditional Surrender = oxymoron

Jason West, high school pastor at Shiloh, put forth a most wonderful observation last Sunday.

We have replaced the idea/word Surrender with the word Commitment (or even Submission). The primary point of this is that anything other than Surrender is conditional and lets me stay, to some degree, in control.

When I think of the word "surrender" I think of a war-time situation in which one surrenders, is taken captive, and therein is under the Full Control of "the enemy." Surrender means I am no longer in control of what I do, why I am alive, what I get to live for, what I speak, what I eat, when I live or act, when I die.

So when I voluntarily surrender to the King God/Jesus, it is not conditional. Unless I am a (oxy)moron. Alas, it is not surrender at all but a diminution that keeps me from surrender at all.

on Heaven

On reading writers from Augustine to the present (not all, of course!), I have come to the following conclusion:

For most of us, "heaven" is the end of things we don't like here on earth.

For Augustine, it was the end of incomplete communication. For most of us in the U.S. it is the end of work. Every accounting I have read is based, first, on the end of something. Further, whatever a given writer proposes as ending, another writer (or reader or culture or ...) would never put on list!

So I am on a quest, a small one. I am going to try to erase this observation from my mind and try to come up with my "view of heaven" - I'm going to try to let it be a list of endings, as I would have done before this observation.

Then I am going to try to find out why I have not let God redeem what is on the list.

Heaven . . .