Life… but not as we know it?

I was never a great Star Trek viewer but I do remember the line that was woven into a song:

It’s life Jim… but not as we know it.

Humanising the Divine. The Incarnation does just that. The resurrection makes it permanent. God was and is eternally humanised. Humble and accessible.

Then we come to the life of Jesus – fully human, but the temptation is to respond with ‘He’s human [Jim], but not as we know it’. And that is where it stops for many. An affirmation that Jesus is fully God and fully human but with a huge advantage. Once we understand the miracles are not performed through his divinity, but by the anointing of the Spirit that closes the gap a little, but I think the aspect I am pursuing at the moment closes the gap further.

He is the GREAT LEARNER, breaking out beyond his contextually induced prejudices through his encounters with those he would not have been able to see (naturally) as fully human. Gentiles, Samaritans and women (maybe also children?).

Jesus gives God a human face, a human life; the great learner then humanises Jesus (I think Hebrews is the book that pushes this aspect, further than Paul for example does in his letters).

Maybe Jesus has an advantage over us. I certainly was not filled from my mother’s womb with the Spirit. But living life from then on? We are both on the same track. Through our encounters with those who our tradition / culture conditions us not to fully see, we can grow toward true humanness. (And maybe from a Christian perspective, those we have been able to label as ‘unclean’, and so are unable to see them with different eyes?)

And perhaps Jesus had an advantage. I am sure that I could not make it to becoming truly human, without sin along the way, and thus become a source of eternal salvation to all! Anointed by the Spirit, but always with a choice to follow the path of the Spirit or not. I am glad that he rescued us.

  • Jesus fully human – not an infusion mixture of divine and human. Like us.(Also fully God.)
  • Jesus, human anointed by the Spirit, in ways that we are not by nature, but in order to rescue us so that we can be anointed by the same Spirit.
  • Jesus, without sin, but not mature, going through the natural process of growth and development, with provocative encounters that confronted his environmentally induced perspectives that he stepped beyond. Thus becomes mature, becomes truly human.

I have often quoted the remarkable response of Jesus in the dialogue of Luke 13: 27, 28.

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

The woman’s worldview was one shared by and deeply imprinted on her mind by her culture. A woman started at the bottom, but could rise, provided: she was married, she was a mother, she gave birth to a son, and if the son could be a rabbi like Jesus then she would indeed be blessed.

Jesus’ reply completely transformed that worldview. With a ‘no… you are human, in the image of the divine… not in any way lesser than anyone else… gender does not enter into any assessment of value.’

Now I wonder did Jesus carry that transformative worldview with him, or did it come to him in that moment. Like us, most revelation of where we need to adopt a different worldview comes when we encounter something / someone that means we can no longer live with authenticity from the former box.

Jesus… When we look there we can say – there’s life and just as I know and experience it. His responses, his willingness to learn and adapt – now there’s a gap.

Interesting

Humanisation a trend?

Just finished a zoom last night – finishing at 11.00pm here in Spain. On chapter 1 of Humanising the Divine. For me it was great, particularly as there was some healthy pushback on my ideas. It is wonderful to write something that could be well off, or at least wonderful if it helps others to push back against it and come to a far better position.

Anyway… I find it interesting that (and here I am being ever so positive about what I have written) in seeking to put humanity much more central to theology, there is either the possibility of just following a trend that has nothing to do with theology, or there is something very deep going on at this time concerning humanisation.

In recent work on women in politics – in some places there are (at last) record numbers of women entering the political realm that has been dominated not simply by men but by masculinity – there has been a shift with how violence is understood. Violence has often been equated with physical injury, but in policy and academic research the term is now being defined more broadly to mean a violation of integrity. Violence being any act that harms a person’s autonomy, dignity, self-determination, and value as a human being.

Humanisation… and for me theologically the work of demons is to dehumanise; sin is when we no longer act as ‘true’ humanity.

Then jumping forward some volumes (#3) of what I am writing I push into the necessity for the feminisation of humanity, with Jesus being (of necessity) 1st Century Jewish and male not because they are superior, but they (as defined above) have been the major perpetrators of violence. The male being universal, and the first Century Jewish context being that of isolation, separation and superiority. (Chosen, yes… but chosen for who?)

Back in the day I remember so much being unveiled concerning the imperial spirit, and the ‘rolling up of the Roman way’. It seemed at the time that those same themes were being unfolded outside the holy confines of church life also.

So maybe the humanising theme is coming through in theology because this is the time for a major push on this globally, and if so then there has to be a new breath expected in and through women. I like to think that.

If my thinking is in the right direction of course there will be an unholy push back against such a direction, the expression of that push back will be violence, as defined above and as classically thought of.

And of course I could well be wrong.

The demonic elite

Probably in us all?

Ah yes a gentle little title there! How else can I get your attention?

And just to soften it a little, and only a little, how often am I a servant of the wrong ‘side’? In my infallible writings that I have started to go through with a few who hopefully will help me with feedback I have tracked how Peter withstood Jesus on the basis of revelation, only to be told to ‘get behind me Satan!’

I have been pushing a high view of humanity, because that is where God is invested. The spirit of antiChrist denies the humanity of Jesus, to sin is to fall short of the glory of God (as a human)… so I have been pushing to dehumanise is to act on behalf of the demonic world. Sadly I can do that in the name of Jesus, in attitude or action.

It is this high view of humanity that is restored in Christ so that ‘there is , neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, nor male and female’. A new humanity, where the bar is raised but the field is level. [Little side-note the text is actually ‘male and female’ not as is often translated ‘male nor female’. I think this is a deliberate quote from Genesis – thus creation is not the model…]

Now given that the human partnership with the demonic is on a sliding scale with none of us absolutely free, in reality or potentially, I have been thinking about the ‘elitist’ attitudes and behaviour that ‘rules apply to…, but not to me’. The effect is to set up a slave / free division and if I am one of the elite then I am above you. I am more human (???) and thus you are less so.

In my deep ponderings I decided ‘Not good.’ So good to have one conclusion a day I think.

This elitism is something becoming ever so more visible in society. If the body of Christ shapes society, I wonder what seeds have we been sowing so that there is a visible harvest like this now appearing.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!