My recent hiatus blogging can be explained by one simple word: vacation. Instead of writing, I was busy playing golf, gardening, and hanging out with my family. All in all, it was a magnificent two weeks.
Of course, I also never stop reading. Over the course of the year, I’ve been reading Robert Jenson’s two volume Systematic Theology. It is a great read, once you can get past the density of his language and the intensity of his prose.
It is almost impossible to sum up all of Jenson’s theological scheme in one coherent sentence, but I’ll give it a shot. “The purpose of the Triune God is to have all of creation be in conversation with himself.” This is the gospel (literally “the good news”), that God is like a great symphony, and that we, as complete persons, will one day live and move and breathe in this divine music.
Jenson not only blesses his readers with a vast knowledge of theology, but everywhere once in awhile drops a sarcastic phrase that speaks volumes. For example, in his discussion on how it is that people who have not heard gospel might be saved, he offers this brief thought:
“How then would, for a example, a shamanist enter the Kingdom? Here an affirmative rule must be observed with equal strictness: the same way as anyone else, but incorporation in Christ.”
In other words: “How could somebody who is not a Christian enter God’s Kingdom? Through Christ’s love! Duh!”
Finally, at the End of All Things, Jenson says that it is not that we live in an eternal state of blessed consciousness (for that is the hope sought for by secular post-modernity). Rather, we are taken, as whole people (which includes our bodies!), into the very life of God and in fact become like God. Alleluia! For at the End, evil and sin are relegated to the past, to a history that will never again be repeated.
Then we, with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, forever sing hymns of praise to God’s great and magnificent Name.