I missed more than a month of blogging, not because of writer’s block, but because I needed to step back from “the fray.” God was reminding me that we are not at war with each other as Christians. I was becoming too invested in “proving” my views were God’s views, of winning arguments. During a particularly awkward moment, when in the middle of arguing about Trump’s ban on Muslims with a Christian brother as conservative as I was liberal, I ended with a rather self-righteous comment that he was a hard nut for the Holy Spirit to crack! As I closed my iPad it was as if God was whispering in my ear…”he is you!!” At once I was aware of how similar he and I were, despite our theological differences.
Of course God lead me to apologize and we ended on a good note a few days later. But I was troubled with how easily my zeal for the Lord can turn to strife. I decided to give blogging a rest while spending more time in prayer and contemplating God’s great love. What should not come as a surprise, was that God heard my prayers and opened my heart to a deeper understanding of Himself through Bradley Jersak’s wonderful book: “A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful Gospel.” …”What if God is like Jesus? What if the personality of God is identical to the personality of the man called Jesus of Nazareth portrayed in the Gospels?” The result of Jersak’s book is atonement theology centered around a non-coercive, loving and sacrificial God who calls us to sacrifice as well.
I confess, I was quite taken aback by the concept, as most conservative theologies start with the defense of Scripture and move on to God’s attributes, His irresistible Will being a primary one. But as Jersak patiently explains, starting with either assumption will end up with a misunderstood Heavenly Father. In the weeks to come I hope to share more from his book with you. I believe it is the most valuable and challenging book I have yet to read on Christian theology. It is also the most lucid and convincing explanation of the Gospel I have come across.