Influence, convert or no hope?

Larry Fink, the ‘most powerful person in Wall Street’ was recently in Spain and here are a few excerpts from the interview… But first, who is Larry Fink, I hear. He is the CEO of BlackRock, the largest money management firm in the world. If BlackRock were a country it would be the third largest economy on the planet – behind USA and China. Here then are a few quotes from the interview:

With respect to investments:

It’s a zero sum game. For some to win, others must lose (emphasis added).

I believe everything BlackRock does is sell hope.

Hope for who? Hope for what?

In the recent collapse of FTX (crypto exchange) BlackRock lost $18million. How did Fink respond to that?

We lost $18 million, which in the context of $9 trillion assets under management, was nothing.

It was nothing! And underlying the reply of course is that the only measurement worth using is that of money.

The value system is out there. Money, so-called wealth, over people. The flow has to be one way, some will lose (‘others’ – the majority?). Meanwhile, the Galilean peasant from the first Century hands the money to the thief; talks of a new era of hope for the poor. The flow for BlackRock mirrors what John saw on the isle of Patmos as he watched the boats head for Rome with their 28 cargoes inside, those cargoes including ‘human souls’. And then in a subversive way John drops into the narrative that the Lamb (appearing 7 times) is given for the four-fold description for humanity (7×4).

A big question – hence the title. Can BlackRock (and all like it) be influenced to move toward something more redemptive – by which I do not mean something perfect; can those such as Larry Fink be ‘converted’ in the sense of toward kingdom values; or is the whole system beyond hope – and if so when does the call to ‘come out of her my people’ need to be shouted?

No answers here from this person… the questions remain.

God, humans… but Jesus

Karl Barth once wittily remarked,

One can not speak of God simply by speaking of man in a loud voice.

God wholly different, set apart; cannot project from here to there and think that in the ‘there’ that we have pointed to that we have discovered God. Well said Mr. B!

BUT, let’s put another ‘quote’ following KB’s:

One cannot speak of God by saying ‘humanity’ in a loud voice…
but even with the softest voice, and even if we tentatively say ‘Jesus’ we have truly spoken of God.

God is wholly different (the meaning of holiness) AND has become one of us, and I think given the resurrection, we can add ‘for ever’. (And just to push that one step further, hence in parenthesis, so no need to read if it is a step too far for the reader… after all, we do not want to offend do we? For ever, human, but not now male… nor female.)

The radical nature of the Christian faith is that the Christian God reveals Godself in human form. God is beyond human, but not so wholly different. We cannot shout ‘Martin’ and immediately God is manifest, but we can whisper ‘Jesus’ and God is present. (Yet as I whisper Jesus, increasingly as someone else raises the volume of their voice and says ‘Martin’ a little bit of God becomes present… ‘follow me as I follow Christ’ being the paradigm.)

We should always realise that even when we talk of the best that is within humanity we have not fully talked of God for ‘fallenness’ runs throughout humanity; but when we talk of Jesus (for there is no other God than the one revealed by Jesus – revelation being personal not propositional) we really are talking of God. Not only is the Christology of the New Testament a high one (Jesus is God) but it is high in the sense of raising the bar as to what it means to be human.

I pursue some of this in the book ‘Humanising the Divine’… where I use the paradigm of Jesus being fully God (we are not); fully human (this we share) and also uniquely truly human (we are being redeemed into this image). Sin therefore is not about a set of laws, but about falling short of the glory of God, of failing to be truly human.

BTW… from time to time I hold Zoom sessions on the book(s) – if interested you can send me an email here:

Here is a link to a little more on the book series:

And to purchase ‘Humanising the Divine’:

Coffee… really good coffee… and good people…

And so I could go on – good vision, good (very good) interviewer etc. But suffice to say Linda and Nick Castle, CLO coffee. Gayle has been doing some work with them and been taken with the integrity of vision. Oh and at the end of the video is a possibility of investing into their future.

Temptations of Jesus – their loci

A little Latin in the title… got to go steady as I could get quite excited about my linguistic abilities! Anyway, back to earth, and that is the real point about this post: the temptations of Jesus take place not simply on earth but they are located in three different specific situations. The order that the temptations are reported differ slightly in Matthew and Luke, with the latter two switching order (Matt. 4:1-11; Lk. 4:1-12). The first in the sequence they both agree on, that of economic temptation and it takes place in the wilderness. I term it economic but it is wider than that – it is the quick escape from the trouble one is in with personal economic benefit. Work – something that Scripture defines at its core separate to economic issues – was a creation mandate before and after the fall. The temptation is that of personal and wider benefit through an exploitation of creation that does not involve (biblically-defined) work. Biblically-defined work is not centred on monetary benefit – that is present in some aspects but not at the core.

It takes place in the wilderness, the god-forsaken place, the unfruitful place, the place of testing (where God tests us… and we put God to the test!). Jesus quotes Scripture in reply to the devil:

Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments. He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. The clothes on your back did not wear out, and your feet did not swell these forty years. Know, then, in your heart that, as a parent disciplines a child, so the Lord your God disciplines you (Deut. 8:2-5).

The connection of the forty days in the wilderness and the forty years is clear. The spies who went into the land and the majority came back with a negative report were present in the land for 40 days – as a result Moses said that the people would be in the wilderness for forty years. That process of being in the wilderness was to:

  • humble them
  • test them so as what was in the heart was revealed
  • to demonstrate that God would provide for them

SO THAT (and here we come to Jesus’ quote) they might know that bread was not the provision for life but God’s word to them on an ongoing basis.

We need bread, and are taught to pray for provision of bread for each day, but to set our hearts on basic provision when there is something much higher to go for. (I appreciate where there is real physical hunger and famine that a focus on bread for today is not wrongly placed. That is not the audience in mind with the Gospel stories.)

I label this temptation as economic – it is also into exploitation of resources without appropriate labour. Stones to bread is the start of an inappropriate business supply. It is not uncommon that those who set their vision toward ‘business’ will find themselves in the desert and with offers to progress that involve compromise. The economic is to humble, test and to find faith in the goodness of God with provision.

The second temptation (Luke’s order) is regarding political power. I have written in a previous post that the use of the term oikoumene has to be understood as the offer of the Imperial structures of the day being colonised to serve God! There is something so incompatible about Imperial rule (the top elite who promise blessing to one and all (who comply) but the flow of resources is in reality back to the ones at the top) and the work of the kingdom that comes to honour the least and the last.

This temptation takes place at the top of a high mountain. Beware of mountains! They might give sight, but we have to be careful what we do with what we see, and Jesus’ work was to raise the valleys and bring down the mountains.

Power to be and authority over the works of the enemy are the kingdom connection of power and authority; power to implement and authority over people is the parody used by Imperial structures.

The quote from Jesus (Deut. 6:13) is in the context of (I paraphrase) ‘once you were slaves, do not forget when you are no longer slaves and you have resources that you move away from the God who sets prisoners free. God’s focus in on those who are enslaved… do not enslave others’.

The third temptation takes place in the Temple – the religious sphere. Jesus suggests that if we respond to accolades in the religious house that we are putting the Lord God to the test (Deut. 6:16).

Some people focus on one of the above spheres – economic, power or religion. Jesus was subject to all three temptations, for Imperial rule will pull all three together. Backed by ‘divine’ authority / right (even when a regime is ‘atheistic’ this is present with the transcendent right of ‘no god’… but usually considerably more sinister when a belief in ‘god’ is present) there is a system of rule that will bring about a distinct divide between those who have and those who don’t: economic oppression. The wilderness we are tested; the mountain we are open to lust; and in the Temple we can domesticate god to be our servant.

Hope for all of creation

Easter Sunday has arrived again to remind us… if he is not raised then we are still in our sins; that God raised him from the dead by the Spirit of holiness thus declaring him to be the ‘Son of God’. Not that Jesus is alive, but that he is alive and his body has been raised.

In the Western mind Jesus is raised and raised alone but we have in a wonderful Scripture in Matthew:

Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many Matt. 27: 50-53).

It is such a strange Scripture that many commentators say it was not a literal event but is making a theological statement (possible… I do not suggest either that Jericho nor Ai as reported in Joshua was literal, but theological… historical and archaeological reasons for my perspective). However, this Scripture in Matthew I do think is literal: his reference to eyewitnesses suggest that to me. Matthew is very careful to say that they came alive (and by that I consider he means ‘bodily resurrection’) after Jesus was raised. Jesus was the firstfruits of the resurrection – everything that takes place is after his resurrection.

When he dies everything is shaken:

the Temple and creation. Has to be as creation is the Temple for God. And at his resurrection we can also add ‘time‘ because resurrection is promised to be ours, not when we die, but when he appears, yet here we have bodies raised ‘ahead of time’.

So resurrection is not a lone event. In the Eastern tradition there is a major ‘harrowing of hell’ and the icon in the Greek orthodox church is that of Jesus pulling Adam and Eve out of their graves or out of the fires of hell. That certainly takes it too far for me – hell: it is one thing to believe in hell post judgement but in the time prior to that?

Laying that ‘too far for me’ bit aside it so communicates the victory over death; the final enemy is defeated. Everything changes, the confirmation of it is the resurrection of Jesus. Is there a proclamation to the dead (1 Peter 3:19, 20)? Difficult passage to translate, hard to know what to make of it…

Yes numerous unanswered questions; but it seems so unlikely that there is no activity between cross and resurrection. The cross rips the curtain up – God cannot be found behind the curtain; it causes an earthquake; bodies of those who have passed get ready as the clock changes dramatically. The resurrection indicates he is to be found, but not among the dead; earthquakes continue not now with an eclipse of the sun but when the new day was dawning: the cross pronounced the end of an era, the resurrection the beginning of a new one; time changes and I guess something is released through those who have gone before and never seen the fulfilment of their hopes. Nothing is lost. That is the resurrection hope and assurance.

Sounds – ever so important

I don't understand

It would appear that the first revelation of God came to humanity in a sound:

We heard the sound of you in the Garden.

They knew God was about to appear because they heard the sound in the garden. ‘Those who have ears, let that person hear’. We so need our ears opened so that we discern the sounds.

At Pentecost God came in a sound.

And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting (Acts 2:2).

Language. Through language we both communicate so as others can be included in the conversation or we use language to divide. Identity is strengthened through language. We are first ‘Catalans’ not Spanish is one aspect of language, hence it was no surprise that at times language (such as Catalan or Welsh) was forbidden to be spoken.

Was the language confusion at Babel a good or bad thing? It certainly was a necessary thing, so that they might not destroy the whole future through a united imagination that was focused on making a name for themselves. [Babel and Babylon not only sound alike, but are one and the same… the reason for translating it as babel historically was simply that it communicated the English ‘to babble on’. The chapter is a critique of Empire where one language and one vision will make a name for us. ‘Make the land of anywhere great again’ is not a very smart move!]

Understanding one another is desirable. My mother used to say she could not understand why other people did not speak English… (a little question here that you can easily get the answer to via Google, so no prizes… my family came from Orkney and one of the many words that one does not find in the English language that we always used was ‘peedie’, such as ‘luk at that peedie buey’… so my mother wanted everyone to speak English?). Speaking the same language – wow that would help me and many others!

Yet God seems to honour language difference. The day of Pentecost where the vast majority – if not all – gathered spoke Greek fluently (the language that Peter used when he stood up to address the crowd… common Greek spoken to the people with an accent from Galilee!) yet they heard God speak to them in their own language when the disciples were speaking as a result of the Spirit coming on them. (I have twice that I know of spoken in languages that I have not known – that might take another post to explain.)

Imagine being in a restaurant / bar where each table is from a different language background and everyone is speaking at the same time and all at a volume. In your head you would go from ‘I think they are speaking English at the table over there… I am sure I heard something in German spoken over there…’ but you would be unable to be absolutely sure, as you might hear half a word here and there but each language would be lost in the next one as the words poured out and the volume ebbed and flowed at each table.

I had two experiences within weeks of each other similar to the above. I was present with one other person in a prayer house, and it was dedicated sacred space (don’t like the language but in a fallen world that is what it was). All of a sudden my ears were opened and I could hear angels communicate. It was strange and I could not make out a word. As I tried to focus on something another ‘voice’ came over the top… this continued for some minutes and I thought I am not sure how to describe that.

A few weeks later I was present in a prayer gathering for Europe. Many languages were present and the encouragement was that everyone should read the ‘Disciples Prayer’ in their language. It was the same sensation. Straining to hear a word in one language was almost discernible but was soon overridden by another stream of speech in a different language. It was a strange experience as the overall effect was the same as I had experienced a few weeks earlier.

The overall effect I realised was so similar to the sound of rushing water. A flow but as each water movement makes a sound it then gives way to the next and the next and…

And there the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east; the sound was like the sound of mighty waters, and the earth shone with his glory (Ezek. 43:2).

and his voice was like the sound of many waters (Rev. 1:15).

And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters (Rev. 14:2).

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals (Rev. 19:6)

How does God speak? Not in the voice and language of a white Western male. Not in the voice of the majority; not in the voice of Imperial rule. God speaks in diversity; the smallest language group (and culture) carries something of God. We read (and from memory that fourfold description comes 7 times in Revelation):

every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages.

The sound of many waters; not one sound dominating – hence the lie of Babylon had to be acted against. If we do not silence diversity something amazing happens… ‘we hear them speak in our language’. God can communicate to us… if we do not silence what we do not understand.

What a day!

Good Friday… what a day to remember. I put up a post yesterday with a perspective on what is taking place on the cross; what the issue that the cross is to respond to. I used the three headings of ‘for God?’, ‘for us?’ or ‘to deal with the bondage to the powers?’. Not surprisingly I move away from ‘for God’ in that sense of turning God toward us. That never has been an issue: God is and always has been for us… we are certainly not ‘saved from God’; the cross saves us and reveals God as Saviour, and not simply Jesus as Saviour. Redemption is the united work of the Trinitarian God for us.

I read a short review yesterday saying that anyone who calls the penal substitutionary view of the atonement as ‘cosmic child abuse’ (I think that term was coined by Steve Chalke) should also then term the virginal conception as a case of ‘cosmic rape’. Really????

The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God…’ (Luke 1:35).

Sex by the gods is a pagan concept – as is appeasement / placating the gods / getting on their good side. The comparison used in the review I do not think comes close to being suitable. The Spirit’s presence is as a divine womb, a divine carrier for the one being carried within the womb of Mary. ‘The Spirit will come upon [Mary]’ is surely parallel to that of the Spirit coming on the disciples at Pentecost, or the Spirit brooding over the waters at creation. God – not defined gender-wise – is described far more as a mother in partnership with the human mother, Mary, in this text.

We cannot, for example, say that ruach (breath, wind, spirit) is feminine and ‘womb’ (rechem: vowels come later in Hebrew so same basic word structure) therefore God in this instance is ‘mother’… but we can see the nurturing element of God. In creation the Spirit is working and draws from the earth the human (Adam, Adamah – from the earth). The transcendent God embracing the immanence of creation to bring forth humanity; the transcendent God entering a room with a sound from heaven and covering those gathered so that something might arise among them, that which will be termed ekklesia.

In all three situations we do not have an image of anything approaching a god who forces entry on creation, Mary nor the disciples in that upper room.

‘Cosmic child abuse’ might be somewhat offensive, but it at least forces a reconsideration of what is being said (‘saved from God?’ or from ‘the wrath of God?’)… but to push back with ‘cosmic rape’ I consider is not appropriate.

Today we remember that we are saved from our sins, that we put Jesus to death; that we can be free from the powers of this age. What a GOOD day.

Why the cross?

For God? For us? 'For' the powers?

I am not one who is familiar with the ‘church calendar’, but do note when it is Easter, Pentecost, Christmas – the big ones. And here we are at Easter. With Noel Richards, I was on an ‘Off grid Christianity’ podcast that is due out this coming weekend. It was focused on Easter and the ‘why did Jesus die on the cross?’ question of course came up. Martin Purnell (interviewer) afterwards said he was anticipating that we would go down the ‘to fulfil Scripture’ route whereas I went down the path of by the Romans as they were nervous of him and he was handed over by the Jews. Crucified as a non-violent resister (if he had been in the camp of violent rebel his followers would also have been crucified) to bring to an end the whole Jesus-movement. That is a take on the human side of things that fits the history, the shock being that the movement did not only continue but grew and affected / infected city after city of that one-world government. [The human element is clear in the NT records; the Jewish high priest stating that it was Jesus or a threat to the Temple / the nation’s freedoms by the Romans – hence sacrifice Jesus for the nation – a whole theme that deserves more than a blog; and the consistent theme in Acts that ‘you put to death the author of life’ – God did not kill Jesus.]

[An important aside: did God need the cross in order to forgive – treading on toes here and this one needs much more than a blog… but for now just a teasing aside.]

Coming back to a more central issue: who was the cross for? There are three main aspects under which a view of the atonement can be placed. For God: either to deal with the ‘wrath’ of God or the ‘righteousness of God’. Here lines up the quoting of ‘My God, my God why have you forsaken me?’ Scriptures… The cross though does not change God – and to get a bigger picture we need to read on in Psalm 22 to see that Jesus was not abandonned, that God did not turn his face from Jesus on the cross. I find it very hard to align such views with what I read in Scripture. In my YWAM days I was heavily influenced by a view presented that a dutch lawyer and theologian seemed to initiate that of ‘moral government’ (Hugo Grotius being the Dutchman, and the theology developed by Charles Finney). It was a move forward from the straight penal substitionary view, suggesting that the cross was the upholding of the law, so that both the law and forgiveness could be in place. A move forward… but not enough. The cross is not for God… God did not need to be reconciled!

that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself (2 Cor. 5:19).

The Trinity is not separated (as if this could happen!) through the cross. The cross is a Trinitarian response.

The cross is for us. Here we see such views as ‘moral influence’. The love of God changes us. There certainly is that element present, and this would be much more widespread in the aspects of theology influenced by the Eastern strands of our faith. And from that strand we also get the concept that ‘What Jesus did not assume he did not redeem’ – hence he took on humanity’s situation and walked another path… he finally goes to death – and overcomes. So the cross is not payment to God (payment – that concept is owed to Anselm of Canterbury some 1000 years ago, and moves to the law courts with God as the judge waiting for payment some 500 years ago) but is about opening a new way for us. Hence the cross has to be tied to the resurrection. No resurrection, nothing achieved at the cross. For us? For sure. We are the ones who need to be reconciled to God.

The cross is to deal with the powers (couldn’t simply write ‘for the powers’). Having recently read again Galatians I think this is very central to Paul:

who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age (Gal. 1:4)

And a few verses earlier – the first verse in that book – we have the reference to the resurrection. As the book continues Paul starts to write about the stoicheia, the principles / spirits that shape human life and society. He calls them weak and then with an amazing approach he basically says that what the demonic powers were to the Gentiles the law was to the Jews! It is not possible to get from the history of Israel through to Jesus and beyond to come up with that viewpoint… but it is possible and essential to come to that viewpoint if we start with the future back through the cross to Israel! [Hence we read the Scriptures narratively, historically and eschatologically.]

The cross is to deal with the powers – if they are not shifted there is no deliverance… hence the use of the term ‘redemption’ in the Gospels, being ‘redeemed from the powers’ – all referring to the Exodus where there was no payment for the release. NO PAYMENT. The cross is to set us free from this present evil age – an age when the powers rule; if set free then there is a ‘new age’ within which we live, or as Paul puts ‘new creation’.

The cross – with not just Jesus coming out of the grave but others who were ‘saints’ rising (Matthew records this). Something took place totally out of time sequence, indicating a shift, a major shift, in the tectonic time plates. The future had arrived; the powers stripped and exposed, with the pathway opened for all who wish to walk into freedom.

Jesus death did indeed open the way for the nation to be ‘saved’ (Caiaphas carefully considered words, that John says was a prophecy!). And opened the way for freedom to those beyond the nation.

The cross – not to change God. After all God was ‘in’ the cross. The cross, the result of human sin – literally, we sacrifice Jesus for us; sacrificing true humanity for fallen humanity – our choice; the choice of Barrabas (son of the father) to go free; God embraces our sin, embracing the choice we make to create a door to our freedom. The powers cannot hold their grip in the light of such a ‘God choice’. Love, eternal, self-giving love looses all such holds. Death and resurrection. The cross is for us.

Of course all the above can be reduced to technicalities. But if we see, if we ponder, freedom comes. At the end all the men disappear. The women remain. And one disciple – perhaps the one who had ‘special needs’, who is not looking to ‘understand’ what he witnesses but to ‘see / feel’ it. That is the path to freedom.

Loads of sight

The first chapter starts with so much sight, with the repeated use of the terms ‘sight’ and ‘good’:

And God saw that it was good (Gen. 1:10; 1:12; 1:18).

Then we have the added words that ‘God blessed them’:

And God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”… And God saw that it was good (Gen. 1:21-22, 25).
God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:28).

And the final verse of the chapter reads:

God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good (Gen. 1:31).

What an amazing start… turn a few pages and we read again about ‘sight’ but ‘good’ is absent:

The Lord saw that the wickedness of humans was great in the earth and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually (Gen. 6:5).
But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord (Gen. 6:8).
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw that the earth was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon the earth (Gen. 6:11, 12).

Quite a fall!! A fall from ‘good’ to ‘wicked’, ‘corrupt’, with Noah as a hope. [We could also look at Genesis 11 and the ‘tower of Babel’ where God came down to see the situation.] Let’s jump back to Genesis 3 for a bit more on sight:

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves (Genesis 3:6, 7).

I have referred to this original sin as being that of ‘consumerism’, of which our cultural use of the word is one example. It is consumerism described in succinct form: saw, took and consumed. Lose sight of the generosity of God (eat of every tree) and it can only lead in the wrong direction, and with the loss of sight come new, damaging sight.

How do we go from good (not perfect / mature but with all the potential to move toward maturity) to corrupt? It seems to be that shame has a big part to play. Their eyes are opened to sight of themselves as naked, in every sense of the word. I suggest that ‘glory’ is the opposite of shame (Paul in 1 Cor. 11). Loss of sight bringing shame was a doorway from ‘saw and it was good’ to ‘saw and wickedness was great’. Such a loss of sight leads to the statement that ‘all… have fallen short of the glory of God’. Fallen from that place of maturing toward true humanhood.

An aside

There are some parallels with the building of the tabernacle that Moses was the architect of, shaping it according to the pattern that he saw above. In three parts – holy of holies, the holy place and the outer court: one ‘tent’ with three parts, symbolising heaven (God’s dwelling place), the holy land of promise and the outer world. At the end of the construction of the tabernacle we read:

When Moses saw that they had done all the work as the Lord had commanded, he blessed them (Exod. 39:43).

It was a little bit of creation, a sign as to how things were – mobile so that wherever God led the people they could construct the image of the world; a sign that drew the presence of God… ultimately lived out in the Incarnation (he ‘tabernacled’ among us; Emmanuel); and that sign of the tent / temple thus became obsolete and was soon to disappear (Heb. 8:13, of the former covenant). And if we keep the trajectory going, to a whole earth without a separate temple.

New Creation

Genesis 1 –> Genesis 11 good –> corrupt via deceptive sight of a tree.

This takes me to the sight that Paul pushes us to have:

From now on, therefore, we regard (understand / know – using mental perception) no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew (knowledge as in experience) Christ from a human point of view, we no longer know (knowledge as in experience) him in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; look (a stylistic use of a word to emphasise a new scene), new things have come into being! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation… (2 Cor 5:16-18).

Sight, sight and more sight! Away from categories so that the shame environment is removed. Inspired imagination that does not stop at a tabernacle / temple but where everything ‘old’ has passed away. That kind of sight would not take us back to a garden where God might show up at evening-time but an ‘outer court / outer world’ still continuing in existence. Yes, that world still exists… but it can exist far too strongly in our imagination / sight. God saw… and it was good. What a start. Eve saw… and what a fall. Paul encourages / provokes us to see what one day will be.

Reminder: ‘Open’ Zoom on Monday

The next of the ‘open zoom’ evenings is now scheduled for Monday April 3rd, 7.30pm UK time. (NB: Two days away).

This evening we will have Spencer Thompson with us and the input he will bring will be both stimulating and practical. We have been focused on a ‘Kingdom Economics’ and at the time of writing this already two banks these past few days (with a third I am sure right on the heals of those two) have been suspended, making issues of economics highly visible.

Spencer lives in Edinburgh where he works as an economist in the Scottish Government. He’s currently on secondment at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation where he does analysis aimed at solving poverty in the UK. He also has an interest in theology and writes on the intersection between theology and economics.

Spencer will be introducing some of his emerging thoughts on the theology of counting. Counting appears to be inherent to the universe and innate to human beings, yet it is loaded with historical, philosophical, and theological baggage which needs to be unpacked. Particularly in the modern world, which is increasingly ruled by numbers, we are often blind to the ways that our thoughts and actions are shaped by this apparently neutral act. Intrigued? It will all become clear and nicely ‘earthed’ with Ro Lavender and Steve Lowton hosting. See you Monday?

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