Hi friends. Here is a public drafting of what I will be working on. The following is raw. That means that these are ideas seeking to form up. They will be sharpened against Scripture and wisdom from reflection. I will reread these ideas and adjust them, others will challenge what I am saying (hopefully graciously) and I will then make some progress toward a responsible version which will be published on a more publicly advocated blog (www.JesusWisdom.wordpress.com ) which is designed as a platform for sharing these ideas once they are ready.
Part of the reasons for this is related to ADD type problems I have had and partly kept hidden. Do I have ADD? Don’t know what that means really. I just know that I have symptoms, like most people, of struggling with staying focused on one think and making incremental progress. Whether it is part of a condition with a medical name, or maybe one with a moral name (undisciplined, lazy, unfocused…) the fact is that I am not content with my forward progress on carrying things to publicly useful conclusions. So, I am going to press on, partly because I am convinced that Christ has called all of us to learn the wisdom of carrying things to completion. With that, I will start my next effort at articulating a Telos shaped understanding of the Kingdom of God.
The essential argument of Telos is as follows:
- Story. The story of the Bible is about a good situation that goes bad, has a promise made, a promise fulfilled but while problems persist. The end result is a situation that is better than at first, as if the fall and suffering through the Alpha and Omega was actually intended and useful. Telos teaching makes some sense out of why God allows suffering: it is necessary for regents who can handle the responsibility to live wisely over creation, having known good and evil and rejected evil personally and permanently through confirmed relationship to God as King and redeemer. Naïve good to wise good.
- The purpose of life is about wise discernment being developed not about solutions being delivered. What humanity is called to do is to be overwhelmed by the weight of the entanglements of sin and detachment from the Creator such that humanity willingly and intentionally, as well as humbly, attaches to God in loyalty and dependence. The result is an active corresponding relationship, not a merely passive one. We experience this dynamic in basic developments including raising children through phases: Dependence >Independence> Interdependence.
- The reading of the Bible becomes particularly intentional in pursuing what to do more than to map out everything that is. A doctrine of ignorance and distortion is developed alongside a doctrine of knowledge and clarity such that people in Christ can be honest to experience of mental, emotional and physical dissatisfactions while honestly reaching for and extending hope for themselves and others.
This is what comes off the top of my head today. I will seek to edit and re-edit such that I end up with a proposition of how the New Testament usage of the Greek word Telos (and related words) can guide us into a faithful and fruitful spirituality that is doctrinally faithful and immediately compelling to ourselves and the world when it listens.
My goal is to have a Telos oriented presentation of the gospel on JesusWisdom.wordpress.com by Christmas so I can use it as a public proclamation to my LuniS friends and others. From there I want to shape it into an article for academic publication and from there to a book focused on the Sermon on the Mount spirituality and the invitation of New Testament Telos Hope.
Let’s see where this goes! J