This week… On Theological Thursday…
The past couple weeks have been a nightmare trying to declutter my DVR. Life has been busy. Throw all of the extended season finales on top of that, and you’ve got your hands full. Well.. maybe you didn’t, but I did. So as I’m clearing my DVR, I’m beginning to feel some pressure being lifted. My friends that I hang out with once a week are saying good bye for the summer. Some of them are saying good bye forever (Smallville). What a relief! But they’ll be back in the fall. It will seem like no time has passed at all, and we’ll get right back to joking around and sharing all the drama that’s going on in our lives. Greg House. Man, I love that guy. A little bit eccentric, but who isn’t. And Meredith Grey. I sure hope Derek mans up, or what is she going to do with that baby all by herself?
But this brings me to my main topic. I’m sure you have no idea where I’m going after that intro. Or maybe you’re still thinking about little Baby Zola. Understandable. Television has a similar capability as books have concerning an idea that I’ve been kicking around recently. It may be more philosophical that theological, but it’s interesting to me nonetheless. I refer to it as “Temporal Relativity” or “Divine Temporal Suspension”. I haven’t been able to find much about this idea on the internet. I’m sure it’s out there. I don’t presume to be the first to have these thoughts. These are terms I’ve given to my thoughts concerning God’s perspective of time.
God exists outside of time. God exists outside of creation. The Bible clearly depicts God as an author, but he is an author who has chosen to interact with his writings. I created this metaphor to help me grasp the tension between what I believe are coexisting realities of election and free will. It seemed to me that everyone wants to pit the two against each other when there is an abundance of scriptural evidence for both. I never understood why the only two options were to argue one of the sides ‘til you were blue in the face or throw your hands up in indifference while declaring that it doesn’t really matter. Why can these two truths not be reconciled into a picture that makes sense to a person with even the most basic of belief?
So let’s try this… God is a writer. He has written a book. He knows every intimate detail and chooses to interact personally with each character (you and me). He wrote the beginning, the middle and the end. His will is the flow and theme of the story. The story is redemption. The main character is Christ. But God calls us to pray and petition. Does this change the story? Good question. What about the decisions we make? Can we mess up God’s plan? Here is how I think about it: If I were writing a book, and someone gave me some compelling and constructive criticism about one piece of the story, it is still my choice whether to change that small piece, and if I do change it, then it still fits into my story. The beginning, middle and end have not changed. Will the change cause far reaching ripples that affect every other character, provoking countless hours of editing my manuscript? Maybe. Maybe not. Ever seen the Adjustment Bureau? That’s definitely another post. The fact remains that the great meta-narrative is God creating; man sinning and fracturing what was perfect; Christ living perfectly, dying for our sins and rising from the dead to justify us before a Holy God. And now we are waiting for Him to return, to reconcile all of creation to Himself. Don’t miss this next part though… The story is most definitely about Christ. It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s not about our microscopic bit pieces we play. It’s about an infinite, sovereign and righteous God who has chosen to make our insignificance significant because of his love, mercy and amazing grace.
So maybe this is a terrible metaphor. Maybe it helps you. Maybe it doesn’t. But I hope you know the story. Even more, I hope you know the Author.
Can I get an AMEN!?