Sunday, July 15, 2007

Escape from reality

from Eugene Peterson’s "Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology":

“The end of all Christian belief and obedience, witness and teaching, marriage and family, leisure and work life, preaching and pastoral work is the living of everything we know about God: life, life, and more life. If we don’t know where we are going, any road will get us there. But if we have a destination – in this case a life lived to the glory of God – there is a well-marked way, the Jesus-revealed Way. Spiritual theology is the attention that we give to the details of living life on this way. It is a protest against theology depersonalized into information about God; it is a protest against theology functionalized into a program of strategic planning for God.”


“....Our Scriptures that bring us the story of salvation ground us unrelentingly in place. Everywhere and always they insist on this grounding. Everything that is critically important to us takes place on the ground.”

“What we often consider to be the concerns of the spiritual life – ideas, truths, prayers, promises, beliefs – are never in the Christian gospel permitted to have a life of their own apart from particular persons and actual places. Biblical spirituality/religion has a low tolerance for ‘great ideas’ or ‘sublime truths’ or ‘inspirational thoughts’ apart from the people and places in which they occur. God’s great love and purposes for us are all worked out in messes in our kitchens and backyards, in storms and sins, blue skies, the daily work and dreams of our common lives. God works with us as we are and not as we should be or think we should be.

People who want God as an escape from reality and the often hard conditions of this life don’t find much to their liking in this aspect of our Scriptures, our text for living. But there it is. There is no getting around it.

But to the man and woman wanting more reality, not less, this insistence that all genuine life, life that is embraced in God’s work of salvation, is grounded, placed, is good news indeed.

‘Eden, in the east’ is the first place name in the Bible. It comes with the unqualified affirmation that place is good, essential, and foundational for providing the only possible creation conditions for living out our human existence.”"
from Eugene Peterson’s "Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology":

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