Monday, June 13, 2011

LOVE WINS. (Chapter 5)

Chapter 5 - Dying to Live

Bell does a fantastic job highlighting scripture's reflection of Jesus' death and resurrection. He shows the fullness of what the bible says about the power of the cross. The cross served to completely transform, renew, and restore social constructs, practices, and beliefs; such as:

cancel the sacrificial system - turning religion upside-down (Hebrews)
reconcile relationships and create peace/shalom - turning injustice upside-down (Colossians)
justify oneself - turning the legal system upside-down (Romans)
claim victory and destroy death - turning the military model upside-down (2 Timothy)
redeem - turning the economic system upside-down (Ephesians)

I like this because it adds so much to how I was personally brought up in the church. The cross saved Christians, you got baptized, then you went to heaven when you died. That was the totality of the faith. But seeing the fullness of the cross makes us participatory in this salvation - not just heavenly, but worldly, practically, currently, and urgently!

I liked what Bell wrote on page 134: that when we reduce the cross to saving us (humans) only, we reduce the totality of what God was doing, and what scripture shows us to be true about the cross. God stripped the world of its perceived power (military, government, economic, etc) and shows a new way...a better way.

Again, we see in Romans the "universal" nature of God's saving and restoring, "just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for ALL, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for ALL" (Romans 5).

In recent conversations, some say that a god who justifies and saves all is a small god that can't be served, because justice isn't served. I say that a god that ignores his creation and turns on his own words is small. And if God is to be trusted, then we must trust ALL of what God says, not simply the parts that work out best for us in the end.

I hope you'll chime in...


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