Russell Minick Leave a Comment

Blogger johne nomad said…

Was trying to recall how the spiritual dimensions play into the 5 columns – highly relevant to my listeners,

The spiritual aspects of Crown~Heart~World are important, though they aren’t really drawn out distinctly from the world.  It is meant to be comprehensive, world = cosmos.  The world upside down is the the cosmos ruled by the “powers and principalities” instead of God’s image bearers (humanity).

So in teaching it, column 1 is where there was proper spiritual order.  The transition to column 2 is the temptation from powers and principalities via serpent. Column 2 then is the effect of the spiritual world we are in.  People are tricky and unsafe (hearts upside down).  We live in a world that is scary, naturally and supernaturally filled with dangers (arrow showing cosmos upside down and ruling over humanity).  Arrows upward are human efforts at responding to the dominance of powers and principalities.  IT IS WISE to make the point that IDOLATRY makes sense IF you limit your perspective to those 2 icons.  The mystery of God (“why haven’t we heard of him before?”) is the entry to Christian advance.  We are hear to expand perspective, not to ignore or negate what has been obviously significant among the people all this time.
I talk about the spirits/powers and principalities, like gangsters.  IF you are loyal, and show RESPECT via rituals, and signs, and offerings and whatever else you are told to do… you might be ok.  You might even be blessed by them, at some levels.  BUT, if you mess up, or if they just choose to, they can hurt you and you can’t help it, unless you enlist some other gangs to help you.  That is how animism is experienced as I’ve observed it.
Continuing, then, it becomes important in Column 3 to demonstrate how Jesus is other than the spirits.  The challenges of explaining the God-Man incarnation remain, but it must be clear that Jesus is not just another Mafia boss among others.  The story aspect of the life/death/resurrection of Jesus should be the focus, though.  The Author and Completer of our salvation in the sense of the one who actually did what we cannot do, as well as the one who models for us the pattern of life to God in  spirit rebellion territory, is the key.

Column 4 gives us our counter-revolutionary vision.  We are still behind enemy lines.  The cosmos are out of order, the world is upside down.  However, we have been righted, and now we stand our ground, looking at God’s character revealed in the gospel, to which we calibrate ourselves by Faith.  The encouragement of Hope, that victory is already but not yet… that death has been shown to be vulnerable; that there is that which is greater than sin and death, God’s righteousness.  With our stabilizing confidence of Faith and Hope we execute our original calling of loving our Creator and one another and exercising AUTHORITY over the powers and principalities.  Not in imprudent triumphalism, which would blame our own for their hurts, pains, set backs and various groanings, but in boldness of sacrificial love. The idea to drive home is that we will suffer, but not in a way that forces submission.  When the Enemy strikes you, and you wipe away the blood and stare back at them, and then advance… it’s on!  That’s the imagery to invoke, stirring groups to move forward against persecution, sickness, death, discouragement, etc. with sober awareness that the cause is not easy, but it is right, and it is certain.

Column 5 invites more graphic display of how things get turned right.  Some have offered ways of drawing Gehenna into things, but it isn’t the point.  Gehenna is the trash heap.  Saving Private Ryan ends with scenes of Allied memorials, not Nazi graveyards.  Yes, judgment and punishment and all sorts of descriptive harshness do have their place in scripture, and in our telling, but in a truncated diagram the key is in relating how 3 aspects relate: God, Humanity and Creation.  The focus should be on the accomplishment of God’s purposes.

“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:10-11).

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