God Is Participatory

'god doodle' photo (c) 2009, bet hec han geu wan t2c - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Tony Jones recently issued a challenge to his fellow progressive theo-bloggers to “write one post about God between now and August 15.” OK so I missed the August 15 deadline. I’m still going to write this anyway.

It’s already been said many times in the missional church conversation that God is a missional God, that there is something in the very nature of God’s being that is missional, which is evidenced in Scripture by God sending Jesus Christ and God and Christ sending the Holy Spirit. And in the same way, we are sent … to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world today.

There’s something about that last part, where it talks about us and our participation in the very life and mission of Jesus that is absolutely crucial for me, and frankly it’s a point of a great deal of disagreement in the missional church conversation. Where does God’s action end and our participation begin?

I personally think it’s OK that we all answer that question very differently from whatever theological vantage-point we happen to be approaching the question. What I can say substantively is that we should all agree on this: We get to participate. On some level, in some way, mostly mysterious and unseen/unknown by us, we are participating in the very life and mission of God in Christ, which means God is letting us in on it. God is allowing us to participate. God is interactive. God is participatory.

That’s pretty exciting. That’s what gets me up in the morning. That’s what keeps me up at night. There’s a great big world out there and an even bigger God, and I get to participate in what God is doing in the world? … Holy shit.

Check out Tony’s excellent curation of the #progGOD series over at Storify!

What do you think about my contribution to the #progGOD series? Good? Bad? Ugly?

  • Glen

    I agree, we get to participate. The Holy Spirit was sent to live in us so we can participate with God. Paul said “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in my body, I live by faith, indeed, by the faithfulness of God’s Son, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
    I like what you said Steve “I personally think it’s OK that we all answer that question very differently “, I love the grace behind that, no arguments, just love in the midst of differing opinions.

    • http://www.missionalshift.com Steve K.

      Thanks, Glen!


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