Satan adjusted the narrative and altered the meaning of the story. Adam and Eve were seduced and entered a form of separation from God called ‘the fall.’ This separation ended at the cross. The end of separation and the reality of union with God is ours if we believe that the gospel story rather than some deceptive story.
A vital principle in the understanding of anything is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This is founded on the ability to distinguish the whole from the parts. Subordinate to this but equally as important is the ability to distinguish between the real whole and a distortion of it. Thus, the ‘man who mistook his wife for a hat’ saw the same woman as his brother. But the man who perceived his wife as a hat was fundamentally mistaken.
This is the same kind of mistake that people make when they assume that their salvation is about the law when in fact our salvation is about real life as distinct from non-life. This leads us to the theology of Thomas Torrance and the ability to ascribe the correct meaning to the scriptures and understand correctly what our inheritance is as a result of the cross.
OVERALL LOGIC – THE BIG PICTURE
“Of vital importance to Torrance was the notion of intuitive knowledge in which an enquirer apprehends the “wholeness” of something, thus gaining a knowledge beyond what can be inferred deductively from individual scraps of data which may be accessed through formal experimental procedures.
What this meant for Torrance was that, when a scholar—or any believer—grasps, however imperfectly, the overall logic and grammar of Christian theology, then the way in which he or she reads the Word of God is thoroughly changed; and his or her understanding of the possibilities of God’s actions in human history—actions to which Scripture so powerfully witnesses—is radically transformed.” (1)
WALKING IN THE LIGHT
To understand God’s action through the person of Christ, meaning the Jesus Lens, is to understand the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Christ of God as they are. To view the gospel through the lens of the law or the window of the knowledge of good and evil is to gain a blurry view of our inheritance and live in confusion. Once we allow Christ to be our life our vision is born again because we are, with the result that we see clearly instead of through a glass darkly. This is why Jesus is the light of the world and we are not.
‘But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!’ Gal 1.8 NIV. The curse is to be dead in our spirit and crippled in our soul when we could have been a son in spirit and in truth.
Paul states that everything is ‘yes’ in Christ. Not ‘yes and no’ which would render it nonsense. The notion that everyone’s version of Christianity is legitimate is one such ‘yes and no’ and as such it is nonsense.
The narrative we believe is the narrative that is our mindset and the reality we create in life.
Jesus did not say ‘yes’ to disease, sin, guilt, demonic bondage or bondage to wrong ideas. He came to set captives free in every possible way. To put this in ‘yes’ terms He came to give all life to the full.
‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it’ JOHN 1.1-4 NIV. We must choose to live in the light and life of be among those who do no comprehend it.
A lying narrative is robbery: Robbery of fullness of life, of love and genuine identity. We cannot be our genuine selves in any kind of lie. Speaking to people with a vested interest in promoting their narrative and shutting out Jesus’ narrative, Jesus declared, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies’ John 8.44 NIV. Here we have the murder of life linked to resisting the truth and the maintenance of a theology of dissimulation.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” John 10.10 NIV. Here the robbery of life is sheeted home to the liar and the thief – the one who withholds or obscures the truth. But the un-diminished Christ is heralded as the Bestower of life without limit.
Some present a façade of open-mindedness. It’s their professional persona but not their private one. They have made themselves a prison from their religion. Addicted to their ideas, they remain closed to the possibility that there may be truth that obliterates and denies all they have been taught and all they stand for. They will not countenance the possibility that the way, the truth and the life is so alive and such a new and living way that it is a definite no to the ‘other gospel’ that they live to promote. Richard Rohr writes, “You have to leave the field open. The ego seems to strengthen itself by constriction, by being against, or by re-action, and it feels loss or fear when it opens up. Spiritual teachers want you to live by positive action, open field, and conscious understanding, and not by resistance, knee-jerk reactions, or defensiveness. This is not easy: it often takes a lifetime of work and honest self-observation to stop judging or starting with “no.” (2)
Christ’s word to you is ‘yes.’ What is your word to Him?
(1) Ritchie, Bruce. T. F. Torrance in Recollection and Reappraisal (p. 13). Pickwick Publications. Kindle Edition.
(2) Rohr, Richard. The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (pp. 49-50). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.