Response to @LindaParriott RT of Nadia Bolz-Weber’s post called “God with a Goody Bag” [http://thehardestquestion.org/yearc/ordinary19gospel/]

I like Bolz-Weber’s post on Luke 12:32-40. Her question “Does God want to give us stuff, or take stuff away?” is an example of the essence of Jacques Ellul’s take on Scripture: That the biblical text is fundamentally dialectical and contradictory, which incidentally doesn’t make it less true. Holding the tension between two opposites is what any honest reading of Scripture requires of us.
For instance, is God with us or is God holy and separate from us? Does God require obedience or does God forgive sin? Does God judge or does he reconcile? Is the kingdom here or not here yet? Are we saved by faith alone or are we required to work out our salvation with fear and trembling? The text teaches both/and.

Ellul claims that life (including human history) without tension and conflicting facts and ideas is static and might as well be dead. God has created a world in which dialectic (“investigating opposing ideas and forces”) fuels movement and growth. In Hegelian terms, thesis without anti-thesis yields no synthesis. And, history does not progress forward.

I think that embracing this philosophy, especially as worship artists and curators will allow us to communicate more effectively to both postmodern Xians and non-followers of Jesus. Our postmodern world has become keen to the fact that tension exists; it is reality. This is why our fundamentalist version of a “domesticated” Jesus – to use Nadia’s term – with nice and neat categories, answers, and boxes will not do.
It will not do, first, because this is not what the Bible reveals about God. Second, it will not do because our world will not accept such a One.

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