Monday, May 21, 2007

The Love Song of Ed and Ing

I had hopes of writing something literary here, but I just don't have the juice to do it. Instead, I will just say what I want to say.

"God created the universe," is one way of explaining the existence of everything. Once upon a time God made stuff and it has been here ever since. We people, as part of God's stuff, get to rearrange the stuff with certain limitations. Life is somewhat static and certainly the act of creation is complete.

"God began creating the universe and never quit," is another way to explain the existence of everything. Once upon a time God began the truth process and in that process somewhere along the way, people came along and were invited into the process of creation of truth. We were invited as co-creators with certain limitations.

It cannot be stated strongly enough that the difference between the two perspectives is more than semantics. Replace the word "universe" with the word "truth" and you will see how relevant this discussion is.

It might be more digestible to replace "universe" with "love," but then I think we are playing more semantics.

The "ED" versus "ING" debate is the crux of the difference between the emerging church and those opposed to it. The emerging church has come to realize that there is also an ING on creation, on love, and on truth and not merely and ED. Critics stake their hopes and confidence on the fact that there is an ED and only an ED.

There is that which is what God created and there is that which God is creating and they not not necessarily different things.

For example, Abner Doubleday is credited by many with having created baseball back in the 1800's. So, baseball was created. However, baseball is in a constant process of creation. The rules are different, there is pay for the game on the professional level, there are huge multi-hundred-million dollar stadiums and on and on. The game looks almost nothing like what he created, and yet it is the thing he created.

Baseball was s created and is in the process of creation.

Why is this so hard to understand with God? In church? With faith?

ED and ING are not against each other - they are in love with each other. Why must we make enemies of lovers?


Matt said...

Great comment, Chris.

Sometimes, when people ask me about how my beliefs about God have changed during the last few years, I talk about how I now see God as present and progressive. Before, I saw him as past and perfect ("perfect" in what I think is the correct grammatical sense of being complete).

The language of present and progressive in theology changes everything. One example I like: God is saving me, not "God saved me" or "I am saved."

Many other examples abound. But no time right now.

Matt said...

I said "great comment." I meant "great post."

Sorry - my brain is not fully functional yet today.

Lance "LJ" James said...

How can you publish a post on May 21, 2007 without mentioning 24?

David U said...

Chris, sorry I have been away so long from your blog.....but I repent! :) I will be intentional about trying to stop by here more often. Today's post is all the motivation I still got it, bro!


Anonymous said...

Can you back that up with scripture or is it just your opinion?

Fajita said...

Thanks for the comments, all. Anon, I know of no scripture that says God has completed creation and that nothing is still being created. I know of no scripture that says God is done revealing truth in all of its forms and situations. I know of no scripture that says humans are not inlcluded in co-creating with God.

Good grief, if the church is not in partnership with God co-creating reality in real time then what exactly is the purpose of the church?

I think I don't even understand your questions since what I believe it to mean seem so utterly absurd.

Please clarify.

Anonymous said...

God who made the universe and everything in it has made me a co-creator? I don't think so.
I think you really have to be full of yourself to believe that.

Fajita said...

I may be full of myself, but not because I believe that my Heavenly Father invites me into his creation to be part of it, to participate in creating part of it, to be released to make decisions with the free will given to me that will impact part of it.

Every act a person does on this planet, in this universe, is an act of creation or destruction. Nothing is irrelevant.

Lance "LJ" James said...

How can you publish a post on May 21, 2007 without mentioning 24?