Thursday, August 18, 2016

A review of the new book The Atonement of God

A review of the new book The Atonement of God - Building your Theology on a crucifixion of God, by JD Myers.

I have always struggled with the Savior attributes assigned to Jesus. Not rejecting the mainline theology being taught or espoused in most major denominations as a child, or even as an adult now, but always questioning. Overall I have never felt that emotional response to Jesus many in the Southern Baptist traditions have had, or that "time and date" being saved thing.  I grew up knowing the story, grew up in the church, I did not have to "accept Jesus into my heart" as they say because I was always aware of Him/God. Like air, no reason to acknowledge the obvious or make a big deal out of it.

I have found on my journey that others also feel this way, and its moreso now than it was some years ago.  Many taboo topics in religion are now super popular to discuss and right books about. Its hard in the religious south to talk about such things before because, pick your response "God is Soveriegn", "Omnipotent", etc. Which means of course they don't have the answers to its the default response and do not question it.

 So when I saw this book being offered that talks about the theology being built around the crucifixion, I bit on it.

I'm not going to give away the arguments of the book for you. I think you have to discover these things for yourself.  But J.D. Myers covers Three Common Views of the Atonement, which tend to overlap some, Penal Substitution Theory, Ransom view, and Moral Influence. He touches on these briefly and kind of goes into the questions behind the logic, or lack thereof , of each one.

Myers uses the terminology The Non-Violent View of the Atonement (I know, a little lack luster there) to describe, discuss and put forth his view of what the crucifixion means/meant to both the early church and to us today.  I'm not going into it but he uses a majority of the book to discuss it. I'm not certain I agree with it all so much, but its a different take.  If you get the book and read it he goes into a bit, for me, a far fetched interpretation of the whole Cain & Able thing ... and how it relates. I think its a stretch, but its not my book!

Its conversational in tone. He isn't heady (which I was thinking it might be a bit more of), but he uses quite a bit of quotes up front from CS Lewis who is a mainstay in Christianity to Walter Wink who stands on the very edge of the left side of the field theologically speaking.

I would say its an interesting read for a discussion starter. ~npp 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

I AM BACK! .... I think

I cannot believe HOW LONG ITS BEEN since I have posted anything.

I'm not sure anyone is still around to read these things.

the world of social media has rapidly changed in the past few years... Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc and I frankly don't have time to keep up with it.

Also new things like ISIS and Transgender dominate conversations.  It appears that the United States, and the world, has increasingly divided itself into more and groups.

I searched my old BlogSpot and couldn't remember password or username so it was some effort to get this done....

But I'm here... I think.

Some of you know of my severe and long lasting reaction to the antibiotic Cipro and its devastating effects.  My mind is still, four years later, not as clear as it once was.  Words do not flow freely from my brain to my hands to this page.  It takes more effort to make it through the day.  It could have been much worse.  Google Cipro Toxicity and you would see.

I'm going to try and post my thoughts on things here. You may or not care or agree with them. 

The bad thing about being a prophet is that you say things that people may or may not want to hear.  Historically in my blog I have called attention to things that we as general mainline Christians do or don't do that is harmful or stupid or personal or corporate.  And sometimes that falls in the lap of traditional religious structures.  But sometimes my words are for the left.  No side has the claim to getting it correct.

I find myself struggling.  First to not hurt people but also to remain honest to what I know to be true.

Political Correctness is the enemy of Truth.  For without Truth we cannot have honest discussions about Life.  And without honesty, we have no growth in understanding.  It is sad and not helpful.  It leads others astray, gives them false security and creates enemies. It distorts what is good for evil and what is evil for good. 

The prophet Isaiah already covered this a long time ago...  5:20 (NIV)
Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter
My beloved denomination is facing this.  It will be harmful. Hurtful. And a division/split is coming. There is much politics behind the scene....  but Political Correctness is going to deal a death blow.