01 January 2011

RESPONSE - Building a coffin?

Steve and Marilyn Hill have given us food for thought in their latest message. They write about theological systems and how a coffin is a good analogy for them. Not that theology is a bad thing in and of itself, but no theological construct can be an adequate container for the truth.

An ornate mediaeval coffinHere are three quotes from the Hills' article...

We cannot make a rational system out of our relationship with our spouse and we try to do so with our relationship with God?

Every theological system is like a coffin. The only body you can get to fit into it is a dead one.

The universe is relationally ordered. God is a Father and God is a love relationship of Father, Word and Holy Spirit. Their union is a mystery of love and mutual honour.

Steve and Marilyn's message is well worth reading in full. I agree with them and I'm impressed that it's been a recurring (and increasing) theme throughout the church over the last few years.

The essence of this thinking is that church is about relationship much more than it is about behaviour or tradition. Jesus is much more about life than he is about teaching or knowledge. If I truly follow him I will love the Father, Son and Spirit enough to let them change me at the most fundamental level. The result of that change (and the evidence for it) will be that I love those around me enough to impact their lives - just as Jesus did 2000 years ago.

In a nutshell - I am first loved by the One who is love so that I may also love.

That is all the theology I need. And the box that contains that theology is not the shape of a coffin, but the shape of a living temple.

I'm in full agreement with Steve and Marilyn here. It's not about theological positions, it's about the Truth. As William P Young puts it, 'It's not about what I do, it's about who He is'.

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