Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Community Called Atonement Ch. 9 and 10

Many apologies on the tardiness of getting back to this discussion. A few weeks ago I went to Boston with our teens and then the weeks leading up to last weekend I was preparing for our 30 Hour Famine. Both events went really well, but I'm mostly excited about the Famine event. It's the perfect youth ministry event, because it teaches the spiritual disciples of fasting and serving and gets kids involved in caring for the world and making a difference...and if you do it right, it builds a foundation for a life of compassion and justice.
Now onto the discussion of our book. I've decided to change our format up a bit to provide a little bit more direction for our conversations. So I'm gonna have some questions to which we can each respond. Feel free to go beyond the questions (maybe even ask your own), but I hope that trying to answer the same questions would give us a bit more focus.
So here are the questions for chapters 9 and 10.
  1. Did you agree with Scot's statement that "the cross creates the kingdom as Christ envisions it"?
  2. How have you explained the wrath of God as it appears in scripture? (Scot gives a couple options: impersonal wrath or personal wrath)
  3. On page 75, Scot says that "...the gift of the Spirit is cosmic." In this instance he is connecting the Spirit to the enabler of community. I'd love to hear stories about how you've seen the Spirit's work benefit community.

1 comment:

Josh said...

To start the answering...

1. I have difficulty with his choice of words when he says that the cross creates the kingdom as Christ envisioned it, because it seems to locate the creation of the kingdom in the moment of the cross, when it seems throughout the gospels that Jesus is announcing the coming of the kingdom from the beginning of his ministry. Now, I would say that the cross is the penultimate moment, when all the ideals of kingdom living (sacrifice, love, forgiveness, etc) find their most beautiful expression in the middle of a horrific death.

2. I have to admit that I often avoid the wrath of God when I explain things because I don't understand it very much. This is probably because I have a view of wrath as something personal. So it's hard for me to put the wrath of God next to the John 3:16 vision of Jesus that has been pounded into me. I recognize this is not a logical thing, but more of an emotional response. But when I do have to answer questions on punishment and wrath, I generally always connect God's wrath to God's great love and his desire for all to know the best possible life.

3. I could tell stories about how God has shaped me through his Spirit so that I live a more forgiving life. Also, I have a friend at our church who's life has made a 180 turn in the past two years. He has gone from selfish to selfless...serious. And these things wouldn't have happened without his reliance on the Holy Spirit. This turn has transformed his family and the way they interact with others too.

Oh yeah, another comment...I was bummed that when Scot talked about living in the power of the resurrection he did not reference Colossians where Paul says, "Since you have been raised with Christ". oh well...