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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Final Thoughts Before Sunday

I am currently putting final touches on the weekend’s message. This will be the final message in our series, “Sleeping Beauty—the Theology of Art and Aesthetics.”

I am going back through my notes from my friend Jon Tyson’s session from cre:ate where he urged us to adopt a “holistic theology.”

Holistic theology approaches the discussion of atonement as a tossed salad—wherein one atonement theology is not disregarded in place of another.

In recent Christian tradition churches have banged the gong of sinners needing repentance—fallen and in need of redemption. This is true but not complete theology.

My grandparents would have heard a different message about atonement that echoed in the songs they sang like, “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “Victory in Jesus.” Christus Victor—Ransom theology—paid debt—Jesus the winner—all true but again, not complete.

This weekend, we will be talking about another part of atonement theology as we survey art and aesthetics and their role.

As Jon Tyson so aptly put it, “our story doesn’t start with sin. Our story starts in a garden.” That garden was no ordinary garden. It was a “royal garden” complete with all the natural resources we need to create culture. God never intended for us to “exist” as farmers and gardeners. He intended for us to shape culture. To create culture.

Tyson likened it to a musician taking the raw notes of the scale and compiling those notes into something beautiful—a piece of art—a celebration of the beauty God designed when He put us in the garden after He designed His creation and called it “good.” In Tyson’s words, “We were not designed to be saved. We were designed to never be lost.”

Of course, we screwed it up. We created culture not to the glory of God but to the glory of ourselves. We live in this story. But, instead of succumbing to the culture that is being created without our input, Christians are not called to run from the tidal wave of culture shock—we are called to wax up our board and get wet.

Unfortunately, we have hidden ourselves away from the deluge or—maybe worse yet—we have loudly banged that gong of needing to be saved from our sin while the world around us ignores us, doesn’t understand us, and creates a culture of its own absent of Jesus Christ.

By the way, I highly recommend reading the book, “Atonement for a Sinless Society” by Alan Mann. It has been very helpful for me.

Created with the Imago Dei, we are called to do what Christ came to do. Beyond saving souls (which is true, necessary, and huge), Christ came to restore the “creation mandate” and the “renewal mandate.” He calls us to create culture for the thriving of humanity in the kingdom.

When we create, we mirror God. We imitate Him.


Anonymous said...

Wow, do I feel privileged - stopping on your blog shortly after posting. and getting a glimpse of fusion the night before!
Tyson's words so struck me, “We were not designed to be saved. We were designed to never be lost.” That is going to stick with me for awhile. Also can't help but hear DA's song "(Nearsighted Girl with Approaching) Tidal Wave": Even the guys with muscles cried, "The tide is rising!"
And all the folks with porsches made it up to the cliffs
A group of kids were praying that I'm sure went up to heaven
But no one tried to surf..."
What you shared here & soon tomorrow just grab me since growing up in the Onward christian soldiers epoch of time, wait - oh yes, its still going... but the whole soulwinning mentality just rings of getting another notch for christ. i want to watch my friends morph from b/w to full technicolor a la pleasantville as they move into relationship with jesus.
so glad to be rattling all those old notions and doing life with westwinds & you.
Love ya - can't wait to gather with the AV bro's soon.

Kari said...

Thanks for taking copious notes! I didn't so I'll use yours :)