Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chopping up God

Following from Matt's post on tritheism last year, I'm starting to wonder whether a number of issues around our churches are related.

Pop Penal Substitutionary Atonement theories that see the cross only as the action of an angry father on a somewhat coerced Son abound. (despite the protests of more learned PSA theologians etc, this crap is still the general model of gospel summary. While we say Jesus takes the wrath of 'God', what we really mean is he takes the wrath of the 'Father', which leaves Jesus in a strange position of not being angry about sin. Rarely do I hear talk of God taking his wrath upon himself, in fact this is generally poo pooed)**. Overemphasizing the garden of gethsemane, the idea of competing wills in God is assumed. Chopping up God.

Pop functional subordination takes this a step further, and imagines a reluctunt Son who gives in to the authority of his Father, and does so eternally.
Chopping up God

Now interestingly,
the same group of people, while confessing the existence and presence of the Holy Spirit in believers, is often accused of not really acting as though God, God in himself, is actually present in believers. We have a bit of God. A part. ( part we find difficult to talk about.)
Chopping up God

Do we believe in one God or don't we?
Do we believe that the whole of God is in each of the persons due to their mutual indwelling or not?
Have we read our own sinful competition with God's will into the eternal Godhead and imagined that there is some primeval quelling before the creation?

** And on a sidenote, the same group of people generally downplay the representative role of Jesus' obedience as Israel/humanity, the faithfulnes of Jesus. It almost seems as though Jesus is neither God nor human when he dies, simply exchange fodder.


Matthew Moffitt said...

Or an abstract idea

Mike W said...

To me saying that Jesus was obedient because he was God, but died because he was human puts things entirely round the wrong way. Yet that is what I generally hear from preachers mouths.