There’s no substitute for evidence based, knowledge supported truth. We are talking about the joining of the dots and the joining of them in the right way. Rightly interpreting the word of truth comes by way of the Jesus Lens. Not by proof texts and reading the law into the new testament age.
IT’S AN ONTOLOGY. NOT A LEGALISM
The frame for Biblical understanding is the new covenant which means that the words of the Bible - to be known in their correct meaning - must be read in the Living Word who is the Christ and the logos: The One in which reality is coherent, meaningful and purposeful. We have meaning because the world and we, find our bearings in Jesus.
When Jesus held the scribes and Jewish leaders entranced as a youth it was not because he was a carpenter who had read some scrolls. It was because He was a deep thinker, was spiritually discerning and had an intellectual grasp of the nature of God and the nature of us. But here’s the truth of the matter. Jesus spoke spirit and life because He was one with God. This is to say one with God in His being – not by assertion or resort to a text – but one with God because He was one with God.
WHAT IS FINISHED?
Since Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’ we are one with God.
The end of our separation from God is the fact of the new testament age. Our oneness with God in God’s oneness is our life in God in spirit and in truth. “The homoousion is utterly decisive and revolutionary .. for it expresses the supreme evangelical truth of the Gospel that God is the content of what God is towards us in God's love and grace. What God has done and continues to do for us in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, God really is in Himself.” We are not right with God by means of the law because an abstraction obstructs oneness and does not enhance it. How can we be right with God? Answer: By God extending His oneness over us.
In this season it has become customary to listen to fools. Blind people have grasped at blind guides as leaders. Masses of humanity are even now falling into the pit of self-deception.
Choose your counsellors well. Who you become and the quality of your life in God is determined by the quality of the wisdom you absorb. Be formed by diluted wisdom and you your substance as will be person diluted.
Don’t listen to those who talk because they can. If you want your car fixed get a mechanic to it. If you want to know the truth about God and yourself, listen to a theologian with a keen mind and a grounding in God’s being.
Understanding is based on connecting the dots. Connecting the right dots and developing an attention span long enough to ponder the operation of cause and effect. This is even more relevant in the things of God than it is in the realm of economy and politics.
BEING IN THE BEING OF GOD
Understanding comes from considering ideas that are not black and white but paradoxical, ambiguous and mysterious but nevertheless as real as the chair you are sitting on. Thomas Torrance, commenting on the Church Fathers who met at the Council of Nicaea to establish the foundations of the Christian faith wrote,
“If you will not believe, you will not understand’, or ‘be established.’ They[ the council] were thereby making the point that it is through faith that our minds are put in direct touch with reality independent of ourselves. For it is through faith that our minds assent to the INHERENT INTELLIGIBILITY OF THINGS, yield to their self-evidencing power, and are adapted to know them in their own nature (κατὰ φύσιν). It is upon that kind of BASIC CONTACT WITH REALITY that all sure knowledge rests and all genuine understanding is established.”
CONFUSION AND DELUSION
We are not in contact with reality when we have chosen our own gospel. Living from a peculiar gospel we will not be aware that we have distorted God, distorted ourselves and distorted reality – which is to say that we are living a delusion.
It is not enough to live in a silo doing the gifts and uttering ‘words.’ We need our lives to be rooted in the reality of our achieved union with God: Achieved as a result of the enterprise of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
TRUE AND FALSE
We live in a season where inconvenient truths are labelled as ‘false facts’ and nonsense is labelled as ‘truth.’ If believing things are true because we want to, is folly in politics, it is even more so in relation to the Kingdom of God.
In the quote above Torrance is talking about the working out of the truth about Jesus, His relationship to our Father, the nature of Christ in His divinity and humanity and the position of ourselves as a result of the vicarious humanity of Jesus.
Knowing the facts as they are reveals why legalism is a furphy. This informs us why an active belief in the new covenant is a must and why knowing that we are incarnated and interwoven with the trinity is both our normal and supernatural life. This is our life in the Spirit as the sons and daughters of God.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 20). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.