Here is the body of the blogs combined:
- God has always wanted to have a personal relationship with humanity from the beginning forward.
- God created humanity the way it is, and in spite of that declared that it was "very good."
- Jesus overthrew the legal-constitutional focus of scripture in favor of seeing it as the redemptive narrative.
- God's ultimate purpose in creation was redemption.
- Humanities pathology results from mortality, and the ability to judge what is right and wrong.
It is not strange that God would want a relationship with Mack. Nor, is it strange that He would present himself as an African American woman. Furthermore, the New Testament scripture clearly shows that all of the trinity is included in the relationship. Actually, the evangelical view of a relationship with God is the one that is unbiblical. God has stated through the writer of Hebrews that he would never leave or forsake us. Yet, evangelical doctrine insists on a person having an obedient, compliant relationship. They teach erroneously that one can be out of fellowship with God based upon their attitude and behavior. Yet Mack was able to wrestle with God, not unlike Jacob. He was able to show his anger toward God, thinking that God had abandoned his daughter. In a sense, he was a judge of God. In-spite of that, God loved and wanted a relationship with Mack more than anything. Evangelical and orthodox dogma does not stress how deeply God desires a relationship. It makes it seem as though God only wants a relationship base upon his terms. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Twenty-four years ago, I made a three-day car trip alone from California to St. Louis MO. I was going there to work for about an eight-month stint. I remember so vividly traveling with the sense that Jesus was sitting next to me. He was an ever-present companion on that journey. That was a time of great spiritual growth for me. Essentially, I was alone except for my relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father. That was important in my paradigm shift. God poured so much in me as I prayed, read the scripture, and began to gain insights into His deep and abiding love for me.
There is a lot to be gleaned from watching "The Shack" movie. There was a lot in the book and in my view, the movie is very faithful to the book... it is just simply condensed.
Furthermore, given the sovereignty of God; Ephesians 1:11 NASB "also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will," How likely is it that God would then relegate the vast majority of people who ever lived to eternal torturous punishment? Right, not likely at all. I will allow the possibility that some people will simply be annihilated, having their life on earth be their only reward. But, I have also proven on this blog, that the current evangelical concept of hell is a misunderstanding of things written in the New Testament prophesying the impending destruction of the temple and Jerusalem. It is further complicated by the King James rendering of Sheol and Hades as hell when it is most clearly simply the grave. Gehenna, is the Greek word translated as hell connected to the lake of fire, and is a metaphor for the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem, a judgment that was given for the rejection of the living Word of God in their presence.
In the movie and the book, it is made clear that the main purpose of God is to have a relationship with humanity and that it is facilitated by redemption.
That is where Jesus of Nazareth comes into the picture. He, being born of the Father, had perfect faith. While his faith was tempted and tested, he always remained sure of the Father's (Papa's) love for him. He ultimately was so sure of it that he was willing to die, knowing that he was eternal, and the Father would resurrect him. He was able to do that because he had the Father's Spirit as a constant companion. His death overcame death. Death is no longer a threat to humanity... why, because just like the Father resurrected Jesus, he will also resurrect us. He through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus has demonstrated his unstoppable love for humanity. When we accept and believe this good news... we then, get the same Spirit that assured Christ Jesus that he was beloved of the Father.
It is God's love and grace that cures our pathology once for all time. That is precisely what happened for Mack in the book and movie "The Shack." God was in Christ reconciling THE WORLD to himself, not counting their pathology against them. Papa was along side Mack, Jesus was along side Mack, The Holy Spirit was along side Mack as he worked through the pain that evil had perpetrated on him. This shows the real working of the gospel, and how the Holy Spirit supernaturally heals with the gospel.... that is, provided the gospel is properly presented, and believed. Humanity has been reconciled to God. How many realize it?
I am imploring anyone reading this as Paul did.... BE RECONCILED TO GOD!