It is an advantage to have the faith of Jesus and not some self-made faith. Our quest for life in fullness, if it is to meet with success is to have the mind of Christ, live from the Christ of God and not some ‘other christ.’ We need to be immersed in the life that is the Gospel of the Kingdom and not some lesser imperfect and disrupted gospel born of the father of lies. This is open to all of us if we seek an identity in Jesus rather than identity in pieties, long-held beliefs or the beliefs and attitudes of relatives and friends.
PURE IN HEART
‘Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me’ Matt 10.13 NIV. This is not only referring to people but to the ideas and beliefs that fathered us. Who we are as human beings is very much conditioned by the beliefs that fathered us. In Matthew Jesus urged all to become people fathered from the Father of Lights rather than the father of lies.
To anyone who loves life, life is an adventure. Even the pain and misfortune of it becomes a bonus that enriches our understanding of God, the world and people. Or we can be marooned like an Ancient Mariner in the Sargasso Sea of reeds and torpor, stalled there with the dead albatross of received beliefs around our necks because we did not love life enough to search 0ut the truth or worse: We thought our ‘truth’ was life when it was really death. Life comes from Jesus’ person and truth conforms to His mind.
UNION OF BEING
A critical feature of Thomas Torrance’s work involves the belief that: ‘Union with Christ involves not simply a participation in the life of Christ, but also a sharing in the mind of Christ.’ Sharing in the mind of Christ takes on a heuristic force in Torrance’s work, pointing the reader back to Jesus Christ himself whose life, thoughts, prayers and worship become ours in a trinitarian event of transposition.” (1)
‘Transposition’ means Jesus’ thoughts and understanding become ours. Torrance, as with Paul, John and Jesus see truth and life as union with God firstly in being (ontological) and as a consequence oneness with His thought. Not just an assent to scriptures, the citing of proof texts or sectarian beliefs imposed on the Bible. There’s a reason why fundamentalism produces illusions. It’s because truth comes from being and not from words. The ‘word’ that is sharper than a two edged sword in Hebrews is not words on paper. It’s the living word and logos – the Christ of God.
The primacy of being is like the need for circumcision of the heart which denotes the circumcision of our being that is entirely achieved in Jesus. Here we are dedicated to God because we are included in the relationship of the trinity in Jesus. Life is never a matter of days and times, places or circumcision. It’s a matter of being and our being is ‘sons of God’ who are included in the heavenly Family in Jesus. It’s important that we latch onto this and not become caught in cobwebs of notional belonging to the Body when we in fact a deep union in which God has woven us into Himself.
C Baxter Kruger who did his PhD under James Torrance declares that “It is not about you inviting Jesus into your life. It Is About Jesus Already Including You In His.” We are drawn into His mind and His life by believing what Jesus believes as expressed by Himself, and the doctrine of the apostles. We have more than salvation. We have a life in God. But this is not a life in the abstraction of God. It is actual fellowship with the members of the trinity whose delight is to be our companions, mentors and the igniters of our sonship. We get this because we are enveloped in the being of God. This means that we are woven into their being and they into ours. Baxster writes,
“The Christian God is interested in relationship with us, and not just relationship, but union, and not just union, but such a union that everything He is and has—all glory and fullness, all joy and beauty and unbridled life—is to be shared with us and to become as much ours as it is His. The plan from the beginning, in the Christian vision, is that God would give Himself to us, and nothing less, so that we could be filled to overflowing with the divine life.”
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) . Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.