“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A God-Centered Reality

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!...For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” – Romans 11:33, 36

“There is…one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” – Ephesians 4:6

All of reality is centered on God. God made all things and has a purpose for all things. All things have their being in God alone, all things are woven together by God into the tapestry of reality, and all things move forward to God, for the ultimate purpose of his glory. Ontology, morality, beauty, and teleology are foundationally theological.

All things are from God. This is the nature of reality. God is the ontological Rock of reality, the firm foundation of all existence, the source of reality for all things. God in his being provides the only answer to the question, “why is there something instead of nothing?” The answer is that God is the I AM (Exodus 3:14). The Trinity is, and all things rest ontologically on the Being of the Triune God. The fullness of who God is – this is the reason for reality.

All things are through God. All things are continually sustained in their being by God. All things are moved forward by God as part of the cosmic History of Redemption, which is His Story. God’s Story is that of the revelation of God to those created in his image, the restoration and regathering of God’s people back into his presence and into relationship with him – this is what God has done. The Story culminates with the death and resurrection of the Son of God, our Lord, Jesus Christ. This is the Victory of God, the Eucatastrophe. This is the Gospel, the center of the Story. Jesus Christ is Lord, and his victory over death spreads over all of redemptive history such that there is, in a broader sense, the resurrection of a dead world, and the resurrection of millions of dead people. In Christ the tide is turned from a decaying, dying, and scattered world to a new world - regathered, reunited, restored, redeemed, and resurrected.

All things are to God. With the Victory of God, the door is opened to the fulfillment of all God’s purposes. The teleological end of all things becomes reality. This end is the glory of God in the love and joy of his people, accomplished through the knowledge and presence of God in the community of his people, and centered on the Trinity - the Triune God whose diverse perfections are united in the essence of divinity.

All my beliefs and thoughts about this world and about what God has done and what exists and how things work come back to God, and rest on the rock solid foundation of WHO GOD IS. All that we can know is understandable only by considering the nature and Being of God – his character, what he is like – and the fullness of God is known to us most fully in the unfolding of his Story. And it is not simply for what God has done that we praise him. We praise God for what he does because it shows who he is. We ought not praise God simply for saving us; rather we should praise him because he is such a God as to create us and save us. Behind and before all is the Being of God, which is most fully revealed when the Story of God is one of creation, fall, redemption, and new creation. The love and joy, the happiness and holiness of God are "best displayed" when the people of God are brought back through death and resurrection.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” – Colossians 1:15-20
Depth, riches, wisdom, glory, beauty, majesty, power, grace, passion, love, joy. It is a God-centered reality in which we find ourselves, and the supremacy of God in all things is the key to understanding reality. It is a theological reality.

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