reload The Race by Maurice McCracken

Monday, November 17, 2008

Big Questions

posted by Little Mo | Permalink |
So - great week at Cumbria with lovely students who are doing a brilliant job of getting alongside the students on their campus. There was good attendance at events, but as it should be, it was the students doing the work not us, taking Gospels and giving them out in their lectures and getting stuck into campus life. It really felt like the events were part of the ongoing Christian life which these guys are living out amongst their friends on their small campus, which is great. Also, they gave us a nice plant, which we love.

Then it was off the Scottish borders for the Newcastle Houseparty. It was great to spend time with these guys, digging into Zephaniah in preparation for their events week which we'll be heading up to in February. It was great to get into the book, talk mission, pretend to be Louis Walsh and make a new group of first year friends, including hearing the other side of an hiilarious Word Alive story.

But it was also a weekend of disturbing questions: do we want to believe in the God that Zephaniah describes. Is it true that, as Zephaniah seems to say, human rights are less important than God being honoured for who he is? Can't we have the value of humanity, without the God of Zephaniah who judges and destroys? Why can't we simply agree that people have intrinsic value without the basis of the Trinitarian God?

I think we need the God who will judge, the God who is the centre of morality. It isn't just God who sets the standards, but God's purpose of glorifying himself that is the standard.

There is a real risk that we begin to read the Bible through cultural lenses. For any of us. My guess is that if you live in the world where the consequences of rejecting God are really obvious then Zephaniah doesn't seem so extreme - if you have seen a genocide or starvation or grinding poverty so others can be rich, then God's awesomeness in frightening people into the humility - which means that we don't enforce our rights on each other - that to me is the key to morality.

But hey - what do you think?


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