The Meta-Narrative BC

14 05 2012
  • The Everlasting God
  • The Plan: before the Foundation of the World
  • The Beginning: Creation
  • Galaxies, planets, suns, moons, stars
  • The Earth as Home: plants, animals, oceans
  • Adam and Eve, Created in God’s Image
  • Marriage – Centrality and Prototype
  • The Mandate for Humanity
  • The Great Tragedy
  • Great Grace
  • Anger, Mayhem, Murder
  • Noah and the Rainbow
  • The Nations
  • Abraham: Call, Faith, Blessing
  • Isaac
  • Jacob and Esau
  • Joseph and his Brothers
  • Egypt, Power and Slavery
  • Moses
  • Community Life of Israel: Law, Culture, Worship, Wisdom
  • Joshua, Judges, Prophets
  • David: The defeat of Goliath and Charter for humanity
  • Kings, Prophets and a Recalcitrant Nation
  • 587 BC     Babylonian Captivity
  • Daniel
  • 400 BC     Malachi
  • No Prophets
  • The Rise and Fall of Empires
  • The Roman Empire
  • Alexander the Great

Edenising the Whole World

25 06 2011

The term ‘Edenising’ is seldom used by theologians and preachers alike—and hardly at all, by the general public.  That is a pity really.

‘Edenising the whole world… that is God’s plan’.  It always has been his plan.

Edensing is a term which encapsulates the story of God, humanity and creation, and the purpose for which all has been created.  It is the whole story and counsel of God from Creation to the New Creation.  From the Garden of Eden, and the tragic event therein, to the “river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing … on either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, … and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations’ (Revelation 22:1, 3)

Some may be familiar with Jonathan Edward’s essay: ‘A History of the Work of Redemption (See The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 1, 1834 (1990), Banner of Truth Trust, p. 533-619). He picks up the details of the biblical story and tells them as a continual flow of events, one story.  This is the story of the Edenising of the world.

The mandate of fruitfulness given to the man, Adam, and his wife Eve, was a word of blessing which forwarded that work. It continued though failure appeared to thwart the whole plan, and it continued through Noah, Abraham, Moses and the whole nation of Israel. It continued through to the coming of Jesus Christ, the most frutiful person who ever lived. His fruitful life, is flowing out into the world now, as he is Lord of creation, and Lord of all fruitfulness.

He will speak his Word and bring forth true action, love and service in that great lan of the Triune God, until that day when he makes all things new, pristine, and full of glory. The glorification, of God, man and creation will be the Edenising of the whole world.

Israel has had a unique role in all this, being elected by God to be the focal point for the revelation of his grace ad love towards all nations.

Edenising the world, how wonderful. In Paradise again, only more fully assured. What a plan. This is the work of the Word of God, as it goes out to turn the peoples of the earth towards the central focus of the people of God – Jerusalem, outside of which Jesus was crucified, so that all through his merit, may enter the New Jerusalem, holy, sanctified, justified ad glorified.

No wonder we like to enjoy a garden and take delight in fixing and tidying it up ready for enjoyment.  No wonder blessing people with love and community in Jesus Christ, is like planting a good rich, vibrant, colourful and varied garden.

Well, by faith, come home to the Gardener, who first planted Eden and placed the man, and the woman, in it. Come home to the Gardener, and share in the work of gardening.

Responsibility and freedom were given to the first couple, with one note of caution. Sadly this warning was not heeded, and so the long saga of human history, battling with sin and death began. But it began in hope, and the flow of the rivier of life continued until it flowed fully from the belly of Jesus Christ – rivers of living water (John 7:38).

As Geoffrey Bingham said of Adam and Eve ‘they are to take what is the special life of Eden and take it to the whole world.’ (G. C. Bingham, Searching For God, RBP, 2000, p. 109)

Edenising the World. That’s the go.



Why God Created:

26 03 2010

Karl Barth wrote:

. . . God did not remain satisfied with His own being in Himself. He reached out to something beyond, willing something more than His own being. He willed and posited the beginning of all things with Himself. But this decision can mean only an overflowing of His glory. It can consist only in a revelation and communication of the good which God has and also is in Himself.

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, vol. 2, pt 2, T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh,1957, p. 168).

Losing Open Space in Adelaide!

28 11 2009

O what a sad state of affairs it is, when modern leaders fail to recognise the value and importance of Open Space for human beings. It is sooooo…. necessary for our physical and mental health and well being.

This is a semi-political piece, in a way. But it is theological, too. Lord help us!

* A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; (Psalm 24:1)

In South Australia, the ruling (often dominating) Mike Rann Labor Government has been behaving in a reprehensible manner concerning our open space – our public open space.  They are up for selling it off.  They are being most unwise. Why? Real Estate concerns!  Valuable public real estate is being sold off. Why? Why? In a word, money!  In words: Greed. Money. Power. Thoughtlessness.

Lack of consultation with the public, is unacceptable these days. Refusal to hear the public. Refusal to see the state of our society. Refusal to listen – to the Spirit.  People feel their leaders are arrogant and remote. Sad indeed. Sure people need housing, but not jam packed housing areas.

In recent days we have seen this government “trimming back”, imposing upon, and reducing open space. This will not help our society.  I hope we may react sooner, rather than later.

Some, (just a few) of many areas being restricted and ruined, include:

1. St. Claire Recreation Park, at Woodville. (For years a great blessing).

2. Glenside – hospital grounds for mental illness. (Lord knows they need space!)

3. Cheltenham  Race Course, Torrens Road – ideal for water catchment and birds.

4. Port River surrounds, including Pelican Point, ideal for fishing, and recreation.

Add to this, … some people want it to be illegal to jump off the local jetty, and others want it to be illegal to drive onto Sellicks Beach, for recreation. (this is why we are called ‘the nanny State’).

Human beings are made to relate to the creation around them. This is essential to our humanity. Flora and Fauna – lovely friends of humanity. Birds and bees. Places to run and play. Dogs, prams, walkers, runners, bike riders, people talking, praying, thinking, getting some space.  O Australia.

Sadly the back yards of homes are getting smaller. Sadly, parents feel their children are unsafe without supervision. Sadly, we have embraced the TV stations, and internalised our life; fine, fun it may be, it is, it can be, sure.

But we need outside life.  Yea… wealthy people can buy a hobby farm in the hills. Wealthy people can have a block of land for a motorcycle, and a dam, a creek and a horse. But the majority of Adelaide residents need accessible space – here in Adelaide.

No wonder the whole creation groans, as it waits for the liberty to come…

Praying for a profound change of heart and policy at local leadership level, and within our minds and hearts, generally. Lord have mercy!

A Distinct Bugle Sound

28 11 2009

As a kid, I used to really enjoy the cowboy movies, we were shown on TV; especially the ones where the US cavalry, heard of the impending problems on the frontier, and to the sound of music … came charging over the hill, to the rescue – just in time! US flag held aloft, bayonets at the ready, and a fine stream of horses and riders… (back in the days before it was politically correct, to hate all things US).

Like the urgent call of the fire siren, to the CFS volunteers in a country town, so the call of a bugle was once used to awaken the troops – to do battle.

In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he asks the question: “..if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?” (1Cor. 14:8). Speaking in tongues, a lovely, yet somewhat minor matter, had become the big focus for some, rather than the clear Word of the Gospel, proclaimed to the nations. The Gospel is a bugle blast!  It is a clarion call. It is a trumpeted song of resurrection joy!  It makes great, grand sense of the seemingly sad and sombre notes, that cry forth, in the crucifixion.

The bugle. Yes. For what reason?

Ah, the battle!  The life of faith is undoubtedly, a battle. There is a clash of two kingdoms. The kingdom of the Son of God’s love, and the kingdom of the deceptive, evil one.

We usually nominate the enemies, in our battle, as 1. the world, 2. the flesh, and 3. the devil.  However, a more complete list really comprises of: 1. sin, 2. death, 3. the wrath of God, 4. the law, 5. the conscience, 6. satan, 7. world powers, 8. the world, 9. the flesh, and 10. the idols (see G.C. Bingham, The Things We Firmly Believe, NCPI, p. 115).

People of faith are engaged in a battle, a battle to stand firm in the freedom we have already received. Human beings are being called into freedom, through the gospel, or good news of Christ Jesus. Christians are kept in freedom by that same gospel. However, it really needs to be a clear gospel, a distinct sound. And this needs to be the case, even as we are engaged in the great mysteries, revealed to us.

Clarity. Clarity. Clarity. These three are needed amidst the information overload of our age. Especially, we need gospel clarity. To this end, many rightly turn to modern day teacher, John Piper. I do too.

Recently, however, I reviewed one of John Piper’s small talks: What is the Gospel? I appreciated his words, and work, but felt that they lacked something. I would like to make an important point, therefore. Here is his summary:

The Gospel is

  1. A Plan From Eternity
  2. An Event in History
  3. An Achievement between the Son and Father
  4. A Free offer to the world of these things
  5. Application of this Achievement – Forgiven, Justified (do not stop here, he adds, for many do!)
  6. To Bring us to God (Reconciliation for Fellowship)  (What-Is-The-Gospel—John-Piper).               The wonderful point he makes, is that we are to know, love and enjoy the Triune God. So true. But here in point 7, is a further addition, which connects the benefits of the Gospel, to the setting in which we will always find ourselves, namely – the Creation!
  7. To equip us to participate in running the Universe, together with God, eternally.

In all his writings, and especially in his stories, Geoffrey Bingham taught the significance of Salvation in relation to the Creation, and to the New [renewed] Creation. Only recently, theologians were discussing what was, or is, the priority of God – the story of salvation, or the work of creation, in order to bring humanity into fellowship, eternally.  I think the confusion comes, or the question arises, because we seldom ever glimpse the wonder of creation, from the outset, when all the angels sang and shouted for joy (Job 38:7). As a result, we fail to anticipate the role of humanity in relation to creation, into the future. We, as it were, stop short at fellowship and communion.

The real goal of the plan, is to form ‘a peer community’, together with Jesus the Son, Redeemer, who enjoy one another, in relationship, and in the ongoing action of the creation.

One of the Lord’s dear servants, Geoffrey Bingham, has put it like this: ‘God’s purpose in having a church is to train people up to be able to run the universe, with him, for eternity’.

Now, I believe, this is …. A Distinct Bugle Sound.

Adelaide to Darwin

18 07 2009

Arrived home this week from a driving trip (on annual leave) to Darwin, in the Northern Territory (NT). What beautiful territory!  From the flat city named after Queen Adelaide, to the Modern City named after Charles Darwin – it was mostly dirt, termite mounds, blue sky, green pick and long grass for cattle, lots of bitumen, and … I like our term: “the bush!”

It is staggering how much wide open space there is in Australia. And some strange, odd, stunning, and interesting places there are!  Alice Springs is a very lovely looking town. Standley Chasm is always a favorite.

But that Big Rock is still a stand out: Uluru – or Ayers Rock as we said for a while. (And of course Kata Juta – the Olgas). Always reminds me of this Blog Spot – ‘And the Rock Was Christ’… provision of water springing up in the dry land, the law for aboriginal children ‘rustling in the leaves of the trees’ (innate in creation, we might say), and the sheer mystery of it.  Ha. …. I rather like the Aboriginal explanation as to how it all came to be… ahead of the one by the geologists (still plenty of room for mystery when both have had their say!)

To the west of Elliott, (half way between Darwin and Alice) there is a great Waterhole with more pelicans and other birds catching fish in a big expanse of water – the Longreach Waterhole. It is near to Newcastle Waters, and so worth a look.

Then, to the top end…. Wow! The salty crocodile, is a fearsome creature! The fresh water crocodile, is mostly, rather like a very sleepy lizard. Ha.

Mindil Beach sunset markets, on Thursday and Sunday nights is quite an event. Food and people from all over the place, but with a distinctive Darwin feel.

And winter in Darwin 32 degrees! Can you believe it? Quite nice to get about in shorts for 3 weeks.

Then, there are the water holes… Douglas Daly, hot springs, cooler pools and cold rivers. Very refreshing. Litchfield National Park – what excellent Falls into the waterholes. And the lovely open wet country on the road to Jabiru.

Speaking of Jabiru – what a colouful masterpiece is the bird they call the Jabiru. And then there are the hawks and raptors – birds everywhere…. Enough of all this.

Psalm 150:6 is a good summary:

“Let everything that breathes praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!”

Geoffrey C. Bingham dies – (goes home!)

3 06 2009

Geoffrey Bingham – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Today Geoff Bingham died. He is one of the dearest of men, that I know. He has been a friend, a mentor, a joyful preacher and teacher of the Christian faith, a doctor of theology, a missionary to Pakistan, a former POW in Changi in WW2, and a prolific and notable Australian author – and one to whom many, many people are grateful for his help and encouragement.

In particular Geoffrey has taught the heart of the Cross of Jesus Christ, and the grace of God known there, he has taught the hope and joy of creation redeemed through Jesus resurrection, and he has – perhaps as well as any – taught the Fatherhood of God.

Geoffrey has been a theologian and preacher of the heart! He has left a rich legacy in New Creation Teaching Ministries. 

May the Lord comfort Laurel—his dear wife, and his family, and the many, many people who will miss him. Much will be written about him. As the years roll on, many will undoubtedly discover his writings, and do so with great joy.

That is my small comment, for now.  … thanks dear Geoff, thank you!

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