Posted by: rogermitchell | November 8, 2010

on authority

In the previous post I distinguish between two expressions of power, exousia as authority, capacity or ability to use power and dunamis as application, outworking or manifestation of power. As I understand it the dunamis of God is embodied in creation, which is of course why, if we really love God, we love his creation. It is not him, any more or less than an artefact is the person who made it, but it proceeds from him. While we can draw all kinds of conclusions about God from his work in creation, and supremely from human beings made in his image, it is his authority which affirms the conclusions we draw. For me this is uniquely vested in the Jesus of the gospels. This faith standpoint defines life for me. Although I know that this position is open to many questions and challenges I am undaunted by them because of what I believe to be first hand experience of divine dunamis drawn from willing submission to Christ’s kenotic exousia. In the coming days I want to talk about the damage caused by the Christendom view of God’s authority as sovereign, legal, and requiring appeasement and sacrifice. This will involve some historical explorations, but above all it will raise the psychological issue of transference, of the way that those who claim ultimate allegiance to the loving authority of Jesus become the personal focus of reaction, test and potential power for those who are consciously or unconsciously on the receiving end of domination and control.



  1. i’m looking forward to more Roger. c.

  2. Right Roger – Here I go!

    I cannot tell you, even though I can’t claim to understand it nearly enough how much you explaining your standpoint hit me. I have been constantly challenged day and night, things in the Bible, things that are not even in the Bible. Every value, belief and concept that I have of God is being challenged, my mind is actually actively being blown. Even though I still don’t say that I can agree with you completely, one thing for sure is the importance of someone actually asking the questions that you are asking. I feel that.

    There are a couple of questions that I posed, one stating – Jesus did replace a closed system of authority (the Worlds) with another greater one, His own. I also stated that God was the eventual author of reality. Here was the challenge that hit me. I inferred therefore that Gods system of control, as it were was therefore reality, it’s just that reality is the only system of control that is infinite. It is actually not closed! God is the eventual author of reality, it is His, He made it.

    This has been blowing my mind so much because it has SO many ramifications.

    Question two, why is God so committed to cause and effect? I came the conclusion that it is us who disassociate action to effect, in Gods perspective, are they not the same thing. You do something because you are making something happen, cause is as good as the effect, and they are not two different things. So therefore for God to be acting against your effect (even if it’s unintentional) is the same as God acting against what you’re trying to do – He would be acting against your free will. It’s like, look, either you’re doing it or not which one is it?

    His word doesn’t return without accomplishing that which He sent it to do. He said let there be light, it doesn’t say He tried to make light – He does or He doesn’t and wants us to live the same (let your yes be yes and your no be no).

    As He is the God of reality, to explore His creation is to explore Him. This makes us so responsible for so many things in life – can you see the train that I am being hit with?

    God bless.


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