Tag Archives: Clark Pinnock

Widening our Doctrinal Definitions (Avoiding Superficial Spirituality Part 7) 

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“Theological reflection is a pilgrimage in which change should be celebrated, not feared.” Clark Pinnock

We’ve been talking about deepening our walk with the Almighty, and certain attitudes we must cultivate if we want to explore “the deep things of God.” (See at the bottom of this post links to previous ones on the subject.) Here’s my next recommendation to that end:

To go deeper we have to be willing to expand our doctrinal definitions

I realize that considering making revisions about what they believe is frightening for some people. For many, their entire relationship with him is wrapped around their doctrinal statement, that list of irreducible minimum beliefs that identify them as “true Christians.”

Don’t get me wrong, there are non-negotiables in our faith, and I wouldn’t think of trying to wrest any of them out of your white-knuckle grip. I’m not recommending that you toss everything out and start over. What I propose is that if you haven’t ventured into deeper waters for quite a while, you might want to take a fresh look at the width, if not the length, of the things you believe. Is it possible that your list of givens is too short or too long or too narrow or too wide to take you to a more profound place in Jesus?

Could it be that what you believe is fundamentally correct in and of itself, yet you’re not flexible enough in your thinking to tweak it if the Spirit were to bring fresh revelation to light? If the very thought of adjusting your theology makes you hyperventilate, you probably suffer from a fixation, if not a mild addiction, to the strictures of your spiritual beliefs. If you wish to have a more profound experience with him, you might do well to ask yourself if you love your beliefs about God more than you love God! Continue reading

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Way(s) to God?

Smiling EsmeAria in snow

There’s a difference between different ways to get to God and the different ways God uses to get to us.

Since God has many ways to manifest himself to humans––none of which are on equal par with Jesus, who is The Way––we should learn how to affirm those manifestations wherever we find them and build on them to help people find Jesus.

Whenever I’m asked––and a lot of times when nobody’s asking––I show as many photos to friend or foe of one of my phenomenal granddaughters as they can stand. (Feast your eyes on Esme Davi and Aria Joy above! You’re welcome.)

Of course these pix come with narration as I tell them about how she crawls on the floor, giggles when I tickle her, and snores when she sleeps deeply. When they fail to show signs of spellbound astonishment I figure, either they’re ignorant dolts or it has to do with the limitation of two-dimensional photography to show her superior persona. A picture may worth a thousand words, but it’s not the same as meeting this wonderful little human being in the flesh. Continue reading

The “Jesus Bus”

jesus-busDo all roads lead to God? “No,” says William Paul Young, “but God is willing to travel any road to find you.”

My friend and I were meeting at the baseball stadium to watch my San Francisco Giants play. Parking costs as much as the ticket, so I decided to take public transportation. From my house there isn’t one bus that takes me directly there, so I had to take one bus and transfer to another, which dropped me off right in front of the ballpark.

Though I believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father, there might well be a number of ways to Jesus. Creation, conscience, culture, crises and even some aspects of creed (religion) are like those buses that lead people to — the “Jesus Bus!” They can serve as vehicles that can bring us to The Vehicle that brings us to God. It’s necessary for devotees of other religions to “transfer” from their former way to The Way in order to get all the way to the Father. How and when they make this transfer, and even what the process of transfer looks like is so far above my pay grade that I can only speculate. Continue reading

Recommended reading #5

[A Wideness in God’s Mercy / Irresistible Revolution / Submerge]

A Wideness in God’s Mercy – The Finality of Jesus Christ in a World of Religions, by Clark Pinnock

This book by a respected (albeit, quite controversial) theologian teaches some extremely provocative things about God’s mercy reaching people with no adequate Christian witness. Pinnock is committed to Jesus being the only road to the Father, yet he explores how God might go down other roads to reach his beloved. They’re rather experimental, at least in my view, about how God might be willing to ride other buses to convince people to “transfer” to the Jesus Bus! My essay called, God’s Passionate Pursuit of People  is influenced considerably by Pinnock’s thinking. I’m not nearly as “free-thinking” as him but my hope is that through his book and/or my brief paper you’ll be as provoked as I am toward more passion to bring people back home to the Father. Continue reading