Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Friday is for Friends

Telford Work closes this book,Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, a series of ruminations leading to themes in the Lord’s Prayer, with three sermons under the chp title “Amen.”
Each is in some sense a response to 9/11, each in a different way.
#1: Work ties the story of Jonah to John 3:16. An insightful angle informs the whole: We are temtped to think, perhaps, that God is the strict one and that we are the kind ones. John 3:16’s famous “God so loved” opens up an angle on Jonah. For in this story God is the one who has compassion and Jonah, who represents the exclusivist people of God, is the strict one.
Any thoughts on this angle?
#2: In August of 2004 he preached about generosity and how to win in the election no matter what. His point: that hope can breed generosity in the midst of evil. Why? Because God is our Father and our lives are different. He captures the message of Revelation for the time of election. We need this. I will turn to this little sermon during the next year as we listen (endlessly) to the promises and hopes and apocalyptic warnings.
#3: Joy challenges a culture where sadder is cooler, wiser, deeper, and greater. Paul, Work sketches, is a joy machine. The Transfiguration sounds the note of joy in a world of gloom. Joy is reasonable, it is varied but not artificial, it is obvious but not forced, it is enouraged and disciplined — and it is central to the Christian’s identity.
Again, next week, we begin Edith Humphrey, Ecstasy and Intimacy.

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posted December 28, 2007 at 1:54 am

I have always loved the story of Jonah being ticked off that God was merciful instead of consuming Nineveh. It is so important to remember that God is not willing that any should perish…and if he chooses to extend mercy, just who are WE to question him?! 8)
Goes right along with the Elder Brother from the Prodigal Son story…which I like to call the Prodigal Father story, since prodigal is a description of outrageousness…and the Father in the story was just as outrageous in his love and mercy as the younger son was in his riotous living!
I just never get over folks who think they can dictate to God what he can and cannot do….

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Ted M. Gossard

posted December 28, 2007 at 2:41 am

I’m beginning to think I really need this book. I at least have to look at it, and preferably read it through. This is needed stuff!
Thanks, Scot.

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John Frye

posted December 28, 2007 at 8:24 am

Scot, my challenged is to distinquish between an outrageous inclusivism (modeled by God in the Jonah story) that does equal universalism. Does that make sense?

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John Frye

posted December 28, 2007 at 10:16 am

Even I can’t make sense of comment #3 and I wrote it :)
My challenge is to grasp God’s gracious, expansive inclusivism (e.g., the Jonah story) in a way that does not lead to universalism. Is human choice a factor in not reaching the universalism conclusion?

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Matt S.

posted December 28, 2007 at 10:34 am

I too am challenged to shake off the restrictivism that I’ve grown up with to embrace a form of inclusivism that is not pluralism and does not contradict Scripture. I’m not sure how to do this or how to talk about it with my friends. I’m looking forward to Scot’s series on God’s Rivals, thinking that may shed some light. The book itself may need to be added to my ridiculously long reading list – we shall see. The story of Jonah may be a useful clue / talking point when thinking this through out loud with friends.
Thanks Scot!

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posted December 28, 2007 at 1:49 pm

I too am interested in developing a theory of inclusiveness that is not universalist.

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Bob Smallman

posted December 28, 2007 at 5:56 pm

“…He captures the message of Revelation for the time of election. We need this.”
I confess to a growing sense of disinterest (or perhaps skepticism?) toward the election process. Some might call it apathy, but would not. I’m just tired of hearing that the world is going to end if Xxxxxx is not elected — or be saved if Xxxxxxx is elected! In the grand sweep of history (or is it His Story?), I’m not sure it makes much difference. That’s not to say I won’t vote — I just won’t stay awake election night fretting (or rejoicing) about the outcome.

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