It is about relationship

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The . . . larger purpose of the Father, Son and Spirit for humanity is not merely the deliverance from sin and corruption (though this is critical), but our exaltation into the very trinitarian life of God.

Real relationship—shared life,
communion of the most personal
and profound order, union—
stands as the driving purpose of God
in creation and redemption.

Logically speaking, when the great apostle stated that the Father predestined us to adoption before the foundation of the world, he is setting forward the ultimate framework within which we are to understand the coming of Jesus. It is about relationship, about communion, about union with the very life of the Father, Son and Spirit.

–C. Baxter Kruger

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Overflowing Life

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God is not some faceless, all-powerful abstraction. God is Father, Son and Spirit, existing in a passionate and joyous fellowship.

The Trinity is not three
highly committed religious types
sitting around some room in heaven.

The Trinity is a circle of shared life, and the life shared is full, not empty, abounding and rich and beautiful, not lonely and sad and boring. The river begins right there, in the fellowship of the Trinity. The great dance is all about the abounding life shared by the Father, Son and Spirit.

-C. Baxter Kruger
The Great Dance
(emphasis added)

The overflowing Fellowship

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God is not a bookkeeper or an old professor or some kind of divine black hole who is so angst-ridden, so lonely and bored and needy he sucks the life out of everything around him. God exists as a triune relationship–Father, Son and Spirit. And it is not a dead or empty relationship. The Father, Son and Spirit are not like three bronze statues in the park–speechless, motionless, heartless. The Father likes His Son. He loves him, is absolutely thrilled with him, bursting with pride over him (Matthew 3:17; 17:5 and John 5:19-20). And the Son adores his Father, loves Him with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength in the freedom and fellowship of the Spirit.

Far from being frozen in some lifeless pose,
the Father, Son and Spirit live in a circle
of eager and lavish hospitality.

It is a circle of passionate embracing, of mutual acceptance, delight and love, which issues forth not in sadness or depression or misery but in unchained life–joyous, overflowing fellowship. The early theologians of the church were quite right when they spoke of the triune life of God as a divine dance. It is not dead, but alive, good, right, unstifled, overflowing, creative…

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The gospel is all about the fact that the Son of God, who enjoys life with his Father in the fellowship of the Spirit, became human–came across to our side of the table–so that he could share nothing less than this life with us. And he was sent not only to share this life with us but also to deal once and for all with our alienation from it. What good would it do for the grandparent to stoop to the grandchild if the grandchild were blind, deaf and mute? But, if in stooping, the grandparent could also heal, well then that is the point. Jesus came to share his rich life with us, and he came to do what was necessary–even at profound cost to himself–to heal us so that we could know and live in his life with him.

–C. Baxter Kruger
The Secret

Banqueting with the King

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The eternal purpose of the Father is to bring us into existence, and not just into existence but into His house. And not just into His house but to His table, and not just to his table but to His right hand. And not just to His right hand but into conversation with Him, and not just into conversation with Him, but into face-to-face fellowship with God the Father Himself.

–C. Baxter Kruger

Published in: on 07/24/2013 at 4:07  Leave a Comment  
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Face-to-face fellowship

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The eternal purpose of the Father is to bring us into existence, and not just into existence but into His house. And not just into His house but to His table, and not just to his table but to His right hand. And not just to His right hand but into conversation with Him, and not just into conversation with Him, but into face-to-face fellowship with God the Father Himself.

–C. Baxter Kruger

Published in: on 06/07/2013 at 5:09  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

What God is like

ProdigalSon

Luke 15:11-32

This story is about who God is and what God is actually like. It is about the way God thinks, how He thinks. It is about the way God acts towards us. It is about the Father’s heart and joy. It is a story of a God we can believe in–a parable of the dancing God.

Jesus picks the worst person that he can possibly find and he has the Father running after him. This most pitiful excuse of a son, Jesus tells us, is the object of the Father’s intense longing and passion and affection. He is the object of the Father’s care and unconditional no-strings-attached forgiveness.

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Jesus paints a picture of God standing on the balcony of heaven, watching, searching the horizon for the least inkling of a shadow of His son’s return. And once He sees him, this son, Jesus has the Father running and embracing him and commanding a great party to be thrown on his behalf.

What a picture of God! I tell you there is no greater statement about God in the whole Bible than verse 20: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed and kissed and kissed him” (NASB). He was absolutely thrilled to see him.

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The first question for all of us, and maybe the only question, is this: Have we met this Father? Have we met the God of this parable? Do we know Him?

Can you not feel Jesus’ heart here? Can you not see, written all over his face, the words, “You have just got to meet the real God”? Can you not feel Jesus struggling with the whole wrongheadedness of the prevailing conception of God around him? Can you not hear him saying to himself, “If they could just meet Him and know Him, it would change everything”?

–C. Baxter Kruger
The Parable of the Dancing God

God, grapefruits and spirituality

Someone ask me recently, “what is God doing in your life?”  If you could have heard the way he said God, you would have known that his question was loaded.  As soon as he asked it a feeling of inferiority swept through my heart.  For I knew that he was asking me what supernatural, what grand and astonishing thing had God done in my life recently.  And I knew that if I didn’t have a rather grandiose story to tell that my spirituality would be questioned.  “Well,” I said, “He gave me a ruby red grapefruit, two daughters, a son, baseball, fishing lures, friends and a wife to dance with.”

Many Christians, in their proper pursuit of Zoe, spiritual life, leave behind their Bios, natural life, as if they can have the one without the other. 

If we separate the life of the Trinity from our humanity then we fall into a wholesale de-valuing of the natural, the ordinary things of life.  The dignity of our work vanishes.  For what is managing a hardware store or running a bread route or making fishing lures compared to being a spiritual person in the pursuit of God?

When the life of the Trinity is separated from creation, our pursuit of spiritual life then leads us to discount ordinary things, to look over ordinary people and beyond ordinary events in our quest for God.  While the great dance of the Trinity is not to be reduced to creation, we have no access to it without it.

The life of the Triune God permeates creation and it is within creation that we experience it.

–C. Baxter Kruger

The fundamental truth about God

The early Church saw that what was fundamental about God was the Trinity. But in the development of Western theology, the holiness of God was substituted for the Trinity as the fundamental truth about God. In truth, it was a false view of the holiness of God that was substituted. For the holiness of God, properly understood, is simply beautiful. If we took the joy and the fullness and the love of the Father, Son and Spirit, their mutual delight and passion, the sheer togetherness of their relationship, its intimacy, harmony and wholeness, and rolled them all into one word, it would be “holiness.”

The holiness of God is one of the special words we have to describe the wonder and the beauty, the uniqueness and health and rightness of the Trinitarian life.

But in the Western tradition, the holiness of God was detached from the Trinity and reconceived within the world of law and order, crime and punishment, blind and cold justice. Reconceived within this stainless steel world of pure law, “holiness” came to mean “legal perfection” or “moral rectitude.” The notion of holiness was then taken back into the doctrine of God and substituted for the Trinity as the deepest truth about God—the driving force of divine existence.

When that happened, the whole logic of the universe changed, and with it the logic of creation, the logic of incarnation and the death of Christ, the logic of human existence and that of the Holy Spirit. It all got twisted, skewed, terribly confused.

–C. Baxter Kruger

Sharing the Dance

Before the universe came to be, before the heavens were called forth with stars and moons, before the earth was carved in infinite beauty and human life was fashioned with style and grace and glory, before there was anything, there was the great dance of life shared by the Father, Son and Spirit. In staggering and lavish love, this God determined to open the circle and share the Trinitarian life with others. As an act of mind-boggling and astounding philanthropy, the Father, Son and Spirit chose to create human beings and share the great dance with them.

–C. Baxter Kruger

The chasm has been crossed

The miracle of all miracles is the incarnation, the fact that the eternal Son of the Father, the one who eternally dwells in the bosom of the Father and shares all things with Him in the fellowship of the Spirit, became human.  And in becoming human, the Father’s Son earthed his own relationship with God the Father almighty.  When the Son of God crossed the chasm between the Creator and the creature, when he entered into the world of humanity, he did not leave his Father behind, nor did he step outside of the fellowship of the Spirit.  The incarnation means that the very life of the Trinity–the inner knowing and fellowship, the mutual delight and love of the Father, Son and Spirit–has now set up shop on earth . . . The eternal divine life of the Holy Trinity is no longer only divine; it is now divine and human.  That is the stunning miracle of the incarnation.  The unimaginable chasm between the Creator and the creature has been crossed by God.

–C. Baxter Kruger

One circle of life

There is only one circle of life in the universe and we belong to it . . . We belong to the Father, Son and Spirit; the rhythm of the great dance beats in our hearts. To walk to its rhythm is not to move to an alien beat; it is to hit our stride. It is to find ourselves. it is to find home and athomeness, genuine fulfilment, and the first tastes of everlasting joy.

–Baxter Kruger

Rethinking everything

For me, everything we thought we knew, from our doctrine of God to our notions of salvation, from election to eschatology, from heaven and hell to repentance and faith have to be rethought in the light of Jesus’ identity. Jesus is the light of the world. It seems to me that the Christian community is called to believe in Jesus and that means to stop believing in ourselves and our own notions of God, life, and history. If we err, we are to err on the side of making too much of Christ and his place in the whole of creation–which, of course, is impossible.

-C. Baxter Kruger

We are included

There is only one circle of delight in the universe.  The Father loves the Son, his beloved, and in him he is utterly thrilled.  “Thou art My beloved Son, in whom My soul delights” (Matthew 3: 17; 17:5).  We are not to stand before such delight, and wonder how we could ever thrill the Father’s heart like Jesus does.  The good news is that we are included in Jesus Christ.  We have been given the gift, as Professor James Torrance says, of participation in Jesus’ very own relationship with the Father in the Spirit, and thus in the delight of the Father for His own Son.

–C. Baxter Kruger

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