Posted by: rogermitchell | December 17, 2009

how I got here

My simple standpoint is that the Jesus of the gospels is both the Jesus of history and the God of eternity. It is has developed from my initial exposure to the ecclesia and the scriptures as a child followed by a personal encounter with the divine presence as a teenager. It has continued to develop through the significant relationships and seasons of my life in the transition of western modernity into postmodernity during forty-five years, and is currently undergirded intellectually by a personalised version of Graham Ward’s standpoint theology.  Although simple, this standpoint has profound theological and practical implications, not least for our understanding of the nature of God’s being and power. This I suggest is really the heart of the matter. If humankind is created in the image of God, and this is incarnated in the Jesus of the gospels then the gospel stories contain the person we are created to immitate. The question of what is he like becomes the greatest question of all. The answer is that the highest power is summed up in the little phrase “life laid down loving” or the Greek word kenosis. Many Christians have seen the love of Jesus in these terms, but have not seen them in ultimate final terms as applied to the totality of God’s being. They see Jesus’ love as appeasing an absolutely sovereign, totalitarian power in God. They see the incarnation as a season of love and mercy but expect Jesus to return as judge in this other kind of power. However a fully incarnational standpoint sees Jesus’ life laid down kenotic love as the ultimate nature of God’s power and the image in which we are made. This is, as I say, the heart of the matter.

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