Monday, 6 February 2012

God is Simple

The web has been awash in blog posts, tweets, comments and arguments over recent comments made by John Piper.  Hopefully I'm not misquoting, but it appears that Piper claims that Christianity has a 'masculine' feel because God has revealed himself in predominately masculine ways as well as predominantly calling men to be leaders in Israel and the Church.

There seems to be much that is unhelpful out there in regard to this, but thankfully Scott McKnight and Steve Holmes have both provided some much needed wisdom and insight.

Rachel Held Evans has invited male bloggers to blog about the feminine aspects of God's nature and character in response to Piper's comments and then she will put the best ones on her blog.

So what have I got to say in all of this?

Well I doubt it will be original as 'there is nothing new under the sun', but I think it is important to say that God is simple.

God is simple.

God is simple.

We need to remember that God is not a contradiction.  He is not some kind of maniac with a personality defect struggling to figure out who he/she is.  God is not grappling with his/her gender.  God is not a male and female. God is not confused and angry with at himself/herself at his/her gender complications.

The arguments and replies in this whole episode are very much in danger of creating a very confused God, made in our own image.

There is a real problem with modern day theology that it has very little to do with God and an whole load to do with us; this is the problem with Piper's comments and we need to be careful that our response to his comments do not fall into the same trap.

God is simple.

In the Gospel story God has revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ.  And we discover in this story a God who is compassionate and gracious, a God who desires to relieve the burden of those under oppression, abuse and injustice.  We discover a God who weeps at death and drives away the darkness of death though the resurrection of his Son.  We discover a God who calls people to himself to learn from him, follow him and be sent by him.  We discover a God who loves unconditionally, dies freely and lives eternally.  We discover a God who calls humanity to give of themselves to one another in servant-hood and humility, just as he gave himself in this way.  We discover a God who calls all humanity to himself through the horror and victory of the cross - 'In that he hangs in our place, it has been decided what our place is' - there is no distinction.  We discover a God who calls people to serve him in the world regardless of gender, class or ethnicity.

We discover a God who is full of grace and truth and calls humanity to be likewise.

Our God is simple, let us try not to forget that.

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