It's an important question. Mark Driscoll, the famed neo-Calvinist, wants us to believe that we are God's enemies and God desired our destruction until Jesus, God's own Son, put himself in harm's way and saved us from God. Interesting theological gloss...but there's something in this I'm pondering right seriously this morning...
...What's it like to wrestle with the Divine One? You know, like Jacob did there in the desert one night. You can contend with God, can you not? Is God not then your enemy in some way? Well, perhaps your adversary? I don't know for certain if any of this language suits, but I'm pondering it because God and I are engaged in a cage match and I am mustering all the courage I have not to pull out a folding chair or some such mess knowing full well that God cheats.
God always cheats. It's in God's nature to cheat. Resurrection? Cheating. Yep. Jesus cheated death and Hell and there it is. Redemption comes through God's cheating. It's just how it works. So, I'm sitting here embroiled in a divine cage match and screaming "Get off my *&^*%&^ island!" as loudly as I can. I assume it will have no real effect, but I am compelled to do it no less. What choice do I have? Made in God's image, I want to wrangle. I want to step into the void and make something, anything happen. God provided me a void (a future, if you will) and I'm trying to make something happen.
Charles deLint writes about "the first music." It's the music from which all other music emerges. It's the sound that God uttered at the beginning of all things. It's a lovely notion. In the beginning was The Music, not the Word, but a Song, perhaps. Was it Tolkien or Lewis who used the same idea in one of their books? I cannot recall.
So, when one steps into the cage with The Almighty, know that you have to sing your way forward into the abyss. Know also that God cheats.
I half expect to be clubbed with a trombone today.
Tripp Hudgins is a doctoral student in liturgical studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., and associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Palo Alto, Calif. You can read more of his writings on his longtime blog, "Conjectural Navel Gazing; Jesus in Lint Form" at AngloBaptist.org. Follow Tripp on Twitter @AngloBaptist.
Photo: Toy battle, B Calkins / Shutterstock.com