It's wierd. In the liberal reformed seminary i went to the difference is between Barth (we are desperately unable to reach God without his interrupting revelation) and Tillich (we are created as beloved, co-creators with God, called to have the courage to return to our ground of being). But now I see it less either-or. At Neighbors Abbey last night we were reading Luke 5 when jesus says "its the sick that need a doctor." and I was surprised to hear myself reflect that i'd rather be a collection of the sick, the lost, and the blind, than a group who "has no need of a doctor" "has been found" or "now can see comprehensively and objectively." Even the zen/integrationist-est in
our group agreed that following a LIberator-Jesus includes knowing we stand in need, queued up for liberation.
So I still say that I'm over the "you're shit until you meet Jesus" pitch, while maintaining that meeting God in Christ gives us courage to be lost, blind, broken with the rest of the God-loved-world.
Right-on man! I agree that we're all created good, and in God's image, and nothing sin can do will ultimately destroy that. Nonetheless, there is something desperately missing if you only ever focus on human goodness. There needs to be room for lost, broken, messed up people to say so and find healing. Maybe the difference from a pastoral perspective, is between telling people they're screwed up, and giving them the freedom to admit when they feel like they are and offering them love, grace and healing anyway. And quite honestly, I too would prefer to be part of a humble community of the broken who know they need help than a self-righteous community that thinks they already have enough of the Spirit (or the divine-spark or whatever) that they don't need any more.
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