Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

The second expression in the Lord’s Prayer concerns hallowing God’s very name. Telford Work approaches this petition, in his book Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, from a singular and interesting angle: How can God put up with the slander, with the nonsense from Christians and the hybris of those not his people?
Ever wonder about this? I have. Let us say that Jesus really does want us, and everyone on Planet Earth, to reverence God and hallow his very Name … if so, why does God go so long without acting?
Generations of said silly things about God: “God is apparently content for generations to come and go without correction” (29). “How can God tolerate the blasphemies of all the bigots, crusaders, jihadists, terrorists, triumphalists, skeptics, boosters, and consumerists who speak for him?” “When will he shut us up?”
It can feel for us at times like “loyalty to a losing team or membership in a party always out of office” (31 — hey, Telly, your comment about the Cubs wounds me).
The reaction to the quest for holiness has been dualism — making God completely outside us — or monism — making God one of us. Nor does the so-called “analogy of being” help. The Church tells a different story of holiness — and here he proposes something worthy of serious discussion. He defines holiness anew:
“holiness celebrates the otherness of the specific relationships that have bridged difference, incompatiblity, distance, and opposition” (36). Holiness is the story of relationships. It is, in other words, relational otherness that nonetheless makes connection.
Holiness is not a matter of degree; something is either holy or profane.
“God’s great reputation follows from God’s holiness, not the other way around” (40). Jesus’ life displays holiness to the Father, among his own, and for his enemies.
“In the Lord’s Prayer and on the cross the Son exalts the Father in the Spirit, calling him holy. At Jesus’ conception, resurrection, and ascension the Father exalts the Son with the Spirit, calling him holy. In his warning against unforgiven sin and his high priestly prayer the Son exalts the Spirit from the Father, calling him holy. … ” (44).
And finally: “God’s reputation may be in tatters today among the nations and even among his own people, but God’s reputation is eternally secure among the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and that is what really matters. These three God’s true biographers; we are merely their publicists” (45).



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Dianne P

posted November 16, 2007 at 12:46 am


I have nothing meaningful to contribute at 10:45 pm Arizona time. I just cannot believe that it’s Friday already. Seriously? sigh. Guess I know what my bedtime reading will be. Time to log off and move on to TW.



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Dianne P

posted November 16, 2007 at 12:49 am


BTW, the Suns are tied w/ the Bulls at 83 right now. Tough choice – b-ball or TW? As some wise theologian once said, “It’s a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning.” And I think that I just might be teetering on that line. Let’s Go Suns!



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ChrisB

posted November 16, 2007 at 11:44 am


Let us say that Jesus really does want us… to reverence God and hallow his very Name ? if so, why does God go so long without acting?
I wonder if this is not letting people reach the “full measure” of their sin.
The good news is that we have free will. The bad news is that we have free will.



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Bob Brague

posted November 16, 2007 at 12:36 pm


Let us say that Jesus really does want us? to reverence God and hallow his very Name ? if so, why does God go so long without acting?
2Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
And, no less than 43 times, “His mercy endureth forever.”
Scot, is your question really serious?



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MarkE

posted November 16, 2007 at 1:28 pm


“… why does God go so long without acting?”
This question could be asked about so many other situations. It implies that God isn’t acting or at least not in the way we would expect him to.
If our expectation is that God will act in this way are correct, we have a serious problem, empirically. Maybe they are wrong. If so, why do we persist in asking the question this way? How do these inappropriate expectations get perpetuated? I imagine many have lost faith as a result of inappropriate expectations.
It is always more helpful to me to hear about how God is acting than how he isn’t.



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ChrisB

posted November 16, 2007 at 2:44 pm


MarkE:
Consider my and Bob’s responses above: Both reveal something about the character and nature of God (opposite sides of the same coin). Asking the question is useful.
I don’t think hearing people speculate about what/why God is doing is any less prone to error than the opposite.



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MarkE

posted November 16, 2007 at 3:15 pm


ChrisB:
To be sure, your responses provide an explanation. Albeit, not a satisfactory enough one to cause some to not ask the question, or to not sing, pray, and talk in ways that may contribute to unrealistic expectations about how God is or ought to act.
That fact that his movement and action is not so apparent does lead to speculation.
I say as one believing that he does move and act. Just not in ways that many of us are satisfied with or, sadly, attuned to.
Maybe even this discussion may be classified as part of the “nonsense from Christians” that we think he ought to stick down.
Anyway, I recognize that this is not the point of the post. Holy is his name!



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Dianne P

posted November 16, 2007 at 4:31 pm


Given the question here-
How can God put up with the slander, with the nonsense from Christians and the hybris of those not his people?
my question is -
What is our role?
How can/do WE put up with the slander of God’s holy name? Should we put up or speak up?
If we put up, are we just acquiescing and giving silent witness?
If we speak up, are we just offering yet another example of Christian scolds? Slandering God’s name w/ our (eventual) hypocrisy?
I’m pretty convinced it matters if we as Christians slander God’s name, whether in word or deed. But what about our response to non-believers who slander God’s name?
And what does the slander of God’s holy name look like? A conversation liberally sprinkled w/ “Jesus Christ”, or worse? Surely blasphemy involves far worse, but does it involve far less?



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BeckyR

posted November 16, 2007 at 5:12 pm


I have read this part ?holiness celebrates the otherness of the specific relationships that have bridged difference, incompatiblity, distance, and opposition? over and over, trying to understand what it means. But I understand this, I like the idea, and will need to ponder it “(36). Holiness is the story of relationships. It is, in other words, relational otherness that nonetheless makes connection.” Holiness has had a scary nature for me – God is holy and I never will be. I like the idea to think of it relationally. A Schaefferism I heard is that the only thing that seperates us from God is he is infinite, we are finite. The above holiness quote could be taken to mean God’s holiness seperates us from God. Or it could be taken to mean it doesn’t seperate us from God because he has made the bridge. (infinite bridge?) Some are going to come in at this point and say sin seperates us from God, but that’s a holiness thing, it isn’t a set in stone seperation, there is a solution to that seperation. Whereas the seperation that has no correction is God is infinite, we are finite.



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Dana Ames

posted November 16, 2007 at 6:03 pm


Within the last year (forgot where exactly- maybe Richard Twiss at the Z conf. in SD?) I’ve heard that God is one *because* God is three. I see this is very connected to Work’s quotes you’ve put up her.
I would posit that God “shut us up” with Forgiveness, that God has acted- on the cross. God is the kind of God who would rather let people kill him than let anything remain in the way of relationship with them (apart from their choice to refuse that relationship).
His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting.
Dana



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Dana

posted November 18, 2007 at 10:10 pm


Scot this is a question with breath in it – the very stuff of life- and it makes me think…grace? Lamentations
Lam 3:21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
Lam 3:22 [It is of] the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
Lam 3:23 [They are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness.
Lam 3:24 The LORD [is] my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
Lam 3:25 The LORD [is] good unto them that wait for him, to the soul [that] seeketh him.
Lam 3:26 [It is] good that [a man] should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
Sending love your way – Dana



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