Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Geography of God, Cha. 9

Last week, Barbara, Marc and I talked about ways we experience God. This Sunday, Lindvall says, we will begin to "sneak up on the Trinity." The doctrine of the Trinity has inspired many volumes of commentary, but let's spend a little bit of time talking about the ways in which we understand Trinitarian belief.

"Faith as an escape route out of life and its troubles" is presented as one wrong (or at least incomplete) way of thinking. Do we need an escape route, or is what we need a better way of thinking that, as Lindvall says, "leads us deeper into and straight through this world." What does it mean to live our lives in relationship with God?

"Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer" is one way of thinking about the Trinity. In each of those three ways, God is acting in love.

The illustration of an upstairs and a downstairs to the cosmos is very like the older illustration of fundament below and firmament above, which at some points in history was linked to the concepts of the sacred and the profane (or perhaps ordinary). If we think of "heaven" and "earth" in that way, where do they intersect?

In the Reformed tradition, we speak of God as being transcendent and immanent, that is, God transcends all boundaries and is present in all places and times. What, then, explains our feelings of distance from God?

Lindvall says that the God of creation and incarnation is God with us — incarnate in Christ and present to us in the Spirit. In what ways do we recognize that? How can we learn to be more aware of it? How can a pastor invoke awareness?

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