THIS IS a place for us to break bread and fish in fellowship. This is a place for us to eat the bread and drink the wine of communion with Jesus our Lord. Here we share the love of Christ through sharing our hearts, our loves, our hopes and dreams, our struggles and trials, and troubles and cares. Our purpose here is to share conversationally, so we will remain open topic. We will remember that Jesus came to break bread with us, and serve us that bread, and was raised up to draw all to himself. A bruised reed would He not break nor a smoking flax would He quench. What He made us for, is a relationship, an intimacy with Him. One place to carry that out is in fellowship in the Spirit with brothers and sisters of that same one Spirit. We can even share favorite music and vids. Make yourself a cup of coffee, make yourself at home and say "Hi".

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I just want to open and close with this reminder, that this is an open topic coffee house,  this blog is intended to spur thoughtfulness and participation, not to assign a topic of discussion.

So Paul is admonishing the Church at Corinth (and us) regarding divisiveness

(loosely paraphrasing)....but I propose to you a better way:   Though I speak all the worlds languages and even the language of angels, but do not have love, I'm just a crashing brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  (kjv) and though I have the gift of prophesy and understand [every mystery] and all knowledge: and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have no [love], I am nothing [in God's economy, I am inconsequential].  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and [even if] I give my body to be burned, and have not [love], it profiteth me nothing [no fruit will be borne to my account in eternity].
(English Standard Version) LOVE is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.   It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.  It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with THE TRUTH.  Love bears all things believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends [kjv "never fails"].  As for [all of the aformentioned gifts], (loose paraphrase) they will either fail or cease.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.   

Now, my renewed interest in I Corinthians 13 (perhaps my first ever true interest in the passage), is my fuller understanding of the Trinity, and the significance of the Eternal relationship of love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and creation as the outworking of that love relationship.  Thanks to "The Evangelical Calvinist Blog", and the Affective theology blogs: "A Spreading Goodness" and "The Honey-Combe", and TF Torrance's book Incarnation, I understand that the God's essential nature is in Trinity, that that is first in importance. 
Our understanding of God is only in His revelation of Himself, and that revelation is optimized in the Incarnation of the Son.  Jesus said: "When you see me you see the Father".  The disciple who Jesus loved said "God is Love".   Since it is God's nature to love, Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit have been in an Eternal Love relationship of the most perfect intimacy.
The Son (the Word) participated in Creation.  Creation as I said, was the outworking of the love of the Trinity, to spread that love out- to share that love.  To wit, following each Step of Creation, God's evaluation of His work:  It is good!  It has forever been God's intent to become a man so that He could commune with His creature on his own level.  This is probably not an original thought, but it just ocurred to me that when God said of Adam "it is not good for man to be alone", He was thinking ahead of the INCARNATION,  and the plan for Jesus to wed His bride, the Church.  The fall only necessitated that He send His son to live a vicarious human life perfectly, to die a sinner's death in order to reconcile His creation to Himself.
He sent the Holy Spirit to commune with us every moment of our lives, and as an earnest payment, a surety, or security that He intends to fully redeem (resurrect, remake) our bodies for full, everlasting communion with the Trinity, in perfect intimacy. 
Assuming I am understood (an enormous assumption) or else hoping you have some understanding of your own of this doctrine, how does this apply to the passage above?
The nature of my question contrasts my former understanding:  If Paul in Corinthians, is adding to a long list of  "how to live", "oughts", it should be obvious why I have found it pretty sterile in the past.
If, on the other hand God is Love, He created to multiply that love, He saved us, not for His glory, or some other utilitarian purpose, such as a grudge match between Him and His creature satan, or to prove something, but He saved us because He loves us and desires a relationship with us, then it stands to reason that the passage above describes Him first of all:

Patient, Kind, does Not Envy, does Not Boast,  Not Arrogant, Not Rude,  does Not insist on its own way; Not irritable Nor resentful, not rejoicing at wrongdoing, but Rejoices with THE TRUTH. Love bears all things believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


 Jesus spent a perfect lifetime, entirely God, entirely man, lived out (vicariously on our behalf) in perfect love for His Father, as Son of God and Son of Man, and in perfect love for His creation as Son of God and Son of Man.   He was perfect intermediary between God and man because He was both in one person.  His love does not exemplify I Corinthians 13 love; He Is I Corinthians 13 Love.  
We can only practice this love as we abide in HIM.




I knew this blog (1 Cor 13) was incomplete.  I went back to the 1st blog.  It gets close too, but there is one more something.  It keeps flashing through my mind, and then I forget it again.  It really is the dynamus (sp?) of the human response to affective theology as I see it.  Somehow it flashed at me again in church this morning; so I wrote it down on the back of my church bulletine.  Continuing in the passage:  

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:  But when I became a man, I put away childish things.

So in that passage Love is the main thing, as set against childish things.  What are rules and regulations for?

Galatians 4  speaks to the believers of Galatia who having begun in the Spirit by the hearing of faith, were now being "bewitched" by those who wanted to re-subject them to the law.

Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child... is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. [I'm skipping through this chapter] God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons....God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying "Abba, Father".  
[now Galatians are self-subjected to the law.  Contrast that with where they were at first:]  
Where is that blessedness ye spake of?  For I bear you record that if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.  

Why would they have done such a self-sacrificing thing?  Because they thought it was their duty?  Because the law taught pay backs for Paul's gospel?  NO!  He implies they would have given up their own eyes for love of Paul.  Yes, because of what he did for them, but not out of duty or obligation, but you do what you love to do.  That is the legs of affective theology.  God loves to give love, that is why He created creation, and man.  God, including the Son of God, "It is Good", loves His creation and man.  That is why He endured the torture and shame of the cross.  Because He loves torture and shame?  No silly! Because He loves us.  Did He keep law all His incarnate life because it was the law?  No, He did so because He loves us.  So now let us go toward the end of Galatians. 

5:13ff  Brethren, you have been called into liberty[out of the law].   Only use not liberty for an ocassion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.... Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fufill the lust of the flesh...
Now the works of the flesh are manifest [a laundry list of fleshly lifestyles and sins follows, which one might think, "hey, how does keeping the law differ from abstaining from these?" ].....But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace...And they that are Christs have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts. 

So, under my formally law clinging self, I looked at the two lists,(the don'ts and the do's) and wondered how this differs from keeping the ten commandments.  In fact the standard seems if anything higher. 
Above Paul said "walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  What does that mean?  As a stand alone directive, it just led me to eventually succumb to trying to beat the the lust of the flesh by will power, and here we are on that tread mill again (it's a hamster wheel).  So at risk of unpacking this too much, and losing the point in overwhelming verbosity, I'll cut to the chase.

On the back of my church bulletine is scribbled:

"WWJD  WDJL?  What does Jesus Love?
Affective Theology:  As we get to know Him in His love, the more we actually trust Him,  the more we behold Him and see Him as He is,  the more we Abide in Him, the more we will love what He loves."

The whole point is that if I am serving the law, I frustrate the Grace of God.  I do out of obligation grudgingly.
To a certain degree, I think this is good as it keeps us out of prison (literal) and keeps civilization somewhat civivlized until He comes.  But what Jesus did, was create us, gave us autonomy, watched us fall, and saved us, out of pure love for us, not out of any sense of duty or obligation.  He was and is driven by His love.
How could we possibly succeed under any other motivation?  As we ABIDE in HIM, (remember, keeping the law is contrary to the Gospel) We get closer to Him, and get to know Him better.  (remember, the law is a stumbling block to those who live by it).  We truly see His infinite love for us.  We begin to identify with Him and His loves.  We begin to love what He loves.  That love drives us to do what we do.  "A man can not serve two masters, He will either love one and hate the other, or else hate the first and love the other."  Jesus specified God and Mammon (whatever that is)  Paul specifies that you can not serve God and the law.  
All you can DO is Abide in Jesus, in His word, in prayer, worship, and fellowship of the brotherhood.  Unless you Abide in Him you will bear no fruit.  As you abide in Him, and trust Him only forever, you will finally know His love, you will finally love Him and love what He loves.  

Love you-all 

Your Brother



PS  Remember, this is a non-topical site.  Comment on whatever is on your heart, or just say "hi".  



FATHER, please show us the height of your Holiness,     
the depth of our sinfulness,  
                and the Height, the depth and the breadth of Your Love for each of us,
then we will begin to see you as you are, and begin to love what you love.
It is in Jesus name we ask this,
                *Used at the close of Sunday School, March 21, 2010



  1. I like your addendum. My husband is always saying that a person cannot love God without loving what He loves. Basically, it's what John wrote in his first epistle.

    1 Corinthians 13 and 1 John interconnect in my mind, too. You're welcome to peek at my past musing on this topic.


  2. Hi HEATHER!

    Thanks, I'll check that out.

  3. Hey again Heather,

    Also responding to your comment at Bobby's (Evangelical Calvinist), I'm beginning to wonder if the proper use of the law for the believer is as a marker, an indicator. e.g. am I committing something on the "don't list"?
    My response should be not to grit my teeth and resolve to never do what I love to do (that sin), my proper response is to draw into Jesus, confess my sin and ask Him to show me His love and ask Him to conform me to His love. Until I love (for example sobriety) I will only eschew (again, example, intoxication) grudgingly. To bear true fruit to Him, I must love what He loves, and that love only comes from Him, and that comes as we abide in HIM.

    Your Brother

  4. Nice, Duane! Glad to see that you have really dug into Affective Theology and TF's book "Incarnation." I would totally agree, I Cor 13 certainly exemplifies the life of God in His inner and outer being. As we read Paul it becomes apparently clear that the Trinity is the presupposition of everything He says and writes.

  5. Hi Bobby!

    Thanks so much. That means so much to me that you think I'm on the right track.
    I believe this is a break through; that Christmas gift I was praying for at Rose's blog, and that miracle we were talking about with Jim and Michelle at Michelle's blog. This is worlds away from thinking of God and creation in what I think of as utilitarian terms, what you may describe as Thomist or scholasticism. I just want to shout out praises to our God, because He rreeally truly loves us, and seriously, deeply desires communion with us, and that we commune with one another, and my eyes are just opening up. For this, I am ever so grateful, and thankful for His faithful servants (you especially) for preaching it.

    Your Brother

  6. My response should be not to grit my teeth and resolve to never do what I love to do (that sin), my proper response is to draw into Jesus, confess my sin and ask Him to show me His love and ask Him to conform me to His love.

    I do believe I understand what you are saying. Actually, I could offer my own sugar "addiction" (um,idolatry). There was a time when I studied and schemed and tried to find the best diet that was intended to "cure" me of my destructive tendency to stuff myself with chocolate or whatever. When I finally realized and confessed that such behavior is just legalistic fencing, the struggle to stay "clean" became so much less. I still can catch myself nibbling mindlessly if I'm not careful. But that constant drive to gorge is gone. Jesus truly has filled that needy space with Himself and when I'm actively seeking to be close to Him, the idea of counting food portions or calories or avoiding "forbidden" foods seems ludicrous.

    Why would I need all the junk food when I have True, Living Bread to nourish me?


  7. You got it Heather!

    It's not that we go for hedonism or become antinomian, giving ourselves over to our base desires. It's that battling the flesh using hammers and saws won't work. Better living through chemistry has been found wanting also.

    It absolutely requires the work of a skilled surgeon. All we can do (not quite literal) is lay on the table and pray.

    Ask Bobby about that (he can't heal himself).

  8. Hey Everybody!
    Hope ya'all well. Bobby I hope your feeling better. Welcome to any newcomers. Including my friends at Compassion. Please take a monent say hi! I may not catch up to you for a couple days 'cause of my dastardly blessed work schedule, but I will get back.

    Your Brother

  9. Welcome to Wayne and Henry!
    No, I don't know that you're here, just anticipating you may come by.