For the Life of the World Week 1: Oikonomia

Like the firing of a machine gun come the abstract theological bullets that were questions and statements at same time. Each video snippet is related to the one grand question of being in the world and not of it. Undergirding each bullet is the refrain of “perspective” or knowing/understanding. Have we taken the correct perspective on “what our salvation is for” or “do we know/understand what it is to be in but not of.” Naturally, having grown up in the church I wanted to say yes, but my more tempered side rested on the verse; the testimony of one seems right until the testimony of others is heard and analyzed. Like a mental game of chess I start playing out the question, but the opposition, the video, is playing a non linear game calling me to hear/listen and consider what is being said. What perspective have I/we taken and has something been missed because of this perspective?

What is the purpose of our salvation? The answer provided is “for the life of the world.” Normally, I/we want to answer the question with the Great Commission – Go and make disciples…. For the life of the world seems irritating as it is not the direct command of Christ, but “for the life of the world” is the benefit of fulfilling the great commission. Like a grand overture the theme “for the life of the world” thunders, while trying to fully understand the application. James 1:27 begins to unify the command and benefit – “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” The combination of James 1:27 and several topical elements: response perspective, being an exile, and Oikonomia – household stewardship/economics, begins to give us a picture of living in the world while not being burdened with the responsibility of making it conform to how we think the kingdom of God should look like.

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