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Old 08-31-2016, 07:37 AM   #44
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,064
Default Re: What is God's Economy?

Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
take away the problem for a moment

I appreciate your coming to an arguably unfriendly sphere and trying to support the notion of "God's economy" as presented to us from scripture. But I really wonder if we can separate the problem from the teaching. That's like taking away the fruit from the tree, and pretending it was a different tree. But the fruit reveals the tree.

Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
What is left is local churches, they have the Bible, the Spirit, and each other, and they probably are an OK representation of the unified Body of Christ.
They also have teachings that need serious re-examination. So let's try again?

Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
God's economy simply means God wanting to dispense Himself into man, so that may might become god.
Let's look at the first part, the dispensing part. You have the cup filled with water analogy, or the glove filled with a hand analogy. Then you have the Holy Spirit operating within the redeemed human vessel. "No longer I but Christ". Fine and good.

But there's something crucial lacking with the 'simply dispensing' idea. God has a kingdom, and God uses agents. God dispenses so that we can be responsible stewards. Jesus was the progenitor. He was the Faithful Son. We the unfaithful saw the One True Son, the Obedient Lamb of God, and repented and turned back, and received eternal life. Now what? Dispensing? No - obedience. Dispensing is for sustained responsibility, attention, and obedience, not for mere 'enjoyment' and divinization.

Look how Jesus' closest follower, who observed Him day and night for 3+ years, described His life and ministry: "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him." Jesus went around doing good. He even told His disciples, that His food was to do the Father's will. He told them, be doers, not merely hearers of the word.

In contrast, the "God's economy" metric produced three behaviours: First was to go to meetings and sit in chairs and listen to messages. Second was to make noise: sing, pray, praise, call "Lord Jesus" and "Amen" and pray-read verses from the Bible, later to pray-read words of expository ministry. "Let's all stand up and declare Stanza Three together!" Third was to go out and recruit others to participate in the first two practices.

That's it. Very little outflow of life. No attention to Jesus' commands to spend yourself on those who couldn't repay you in this age. In fact we were actively discouraged by "the ministry" from wasting our time with those who couldn't advance the ministry's cause in the short term.

Jesus on the other hand would heal ten lepers (interestingly, by sending them to the priests[Lu 17:14], the very ones who later turned on Him), only one of whom came back to thank and praise God. The other nine - gone. But Jesus had healed all ten! And so forth: the Samaritan woman, cripples, drunks and orphans. One after another, Jesus brought the light of the kingdom into the darkest holes. By contrast, God's economy turns people into timid, emasculated, organisation-centric navel-gazers. Noisy navel-gazers, to be sure, but paralyzed, hyper-subjective, introspective, and self-absorbed. Trying to "make it". Trying to be filled. Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Now, as far as being 'made god', that's really above my pay grade, so I'll bow out. My only comment is that Athanasius isn't our source here; he was pre-dated by Origen by 150 years. Origen, if I remember rightly, thought that all would eventually be saved, including disobedient angels, and all would become God, including obedient angels. Everything and everyone becomes divine, eventually. Higher and higher, everyone goes, until all return home. Merged back into the Father, our source.

Which idea I'm not particularly fond of, as attractive as it seems. Anyway, listing Athanasius as your ideational source is probably incomplete, or even incorrect.
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
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