The Future of the Four Gospels

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The Future of the Four Gospels Powered By Docstoc
					Asian American Spirituality
       in the Context of
American Fundamentalism


         Mako Nagasawa
         September, 2001
               Frameworks
• Two basic types of people
  – Guilt based
  – Shame based
• Two basic theories of the Cross
  – Jesus died to change how God feels towards us
  – Jesus died to change who we are and how God
    feels towards us
                     Non-Christian Self Concept #1




Comes from having relational
stability and internalizing a                        side
positive view of one‟s self             I‟m good
                                                     problems
Positive Sense of Self
Guilt-Based, is motivated by self-
improvement
Wrong actions or mistakes don‟t
define the real me.
Though I have some problems,
I‟m essentially good.
My personality is who I am.
                     Non-Christian Self Concept #2




Comes from internalizing a lot of
rejection or criticism or
instability
Negative Sense of Self                  I‟m bad
Shame-Based
I have a lot of problems, I‟m
essentially bad. My bad
character and mistakes define
me.
I have a thin layer of goodness
that I need to project as a façade.
I can‟t let people know who I
really am.
   Differences Between the Two Self-Concepts
• I believe relationships are held together by...
    – Confession and honesty; or
    – Avoiding confrontation and exposure
• When I make a mistake, I…
    – Feel like my good decisions outweigh my bad ones; or
    – Feel defined by the mistake
• When I feel unworthy or like a failure, I...
    – Can pick myself up and go on; or
    – Feel paralyzed and powerless
• Towards authority figures, I feel…
    – Basically respected and welcomed into some level of intimacy; or
    – Basically under threat of criticism and prevented from intimacy
• I think that if others really knew me, they would…
    – Like me because I‟m basically an attractive person; or
    – Dislike me because the real me needs to be changed or hidden
            Theory of the Cross #1
• American Fundamentalist understanding

                God the Father
                    Anger & Wrath



                        Jesus




                      Forgiveness
      Unbelievers      Believers     Unbelievers
             Theory of the Cross #1
• American Fundamentalist understanding
  – Jesus took on God‟s wrath and anger at the Cross
  – The Father seems like a Judge and stands for anger,
    justice, and wrath. The Son seems like a innocent
    victim and stands for love, mercy, and compassion.
  – Believing in Jesus means that God has no more anger
    left over for us
  – Hence Jesus died in our place, to change how God feels
    towards us, though we tend to still fear the Father and
    appreciate the Son.
  – This is called legal (forensic) justification
     Problems with Theory of the Cross #1
• The Father’s Image
   – The Father never seems to lose His angry Judge demeanor. Does
     not address the yearning to have a loving Father. Strongly
     maintains the „strict father‟ image of politically conservative white
     Americans.
• Intimacy Not Promoted or Modeled
   – We still feel distant from God, even though He might not be angry
     with us. Does not address the yearning for spiritual intimacy.
• Motivation for Obedience
   – Obedience is not organically connected to the Cross, which is
     understood exclusively to mean “debt-forgiveness.” Another
     motivation for Christian obedience thus has to arise, which tends to
     be weak, unbiblical, and either guilt-inducing or self-centered
     (Christian hedonism).
                       Theory of the Cross #2
• Biblical understanding
The Old Age                                       The Old Age will end




Unbelievers:                                                   Believers:
- Old Creations,                 God                           - New Creations
- Objects of Wrath,                                            - Forgiven
- Disempowered
                                  Jesus                        - Empowered
- Separated from God            Death & Resurrection           - In Jesus by Spirit
                                                               - God is a Father
                                                               ONLY to those
                                                               „in Jesus‟


                                        The New Age begins               New Heavens
                                                                         & Earth
              Theory of the Cross #2
• Biblical understanding
   – God is separate from us in His wrath but wants to be one
     with us in His love. We are not His children in this state.
   – Jesus and the outpouring of the Spirit are thus God‟s way
     of uniting Himself to us. The Word becomes flesh at the
     Incarnation, then becomes sin (separation from God) at the
     Cross, then becomes the first new creation at the
     Resurrection
   – Believing in Jesus means our old identity died with Jesus,
     who died to change who we are, and we are given a new
     identity in the resurrected Jesus by the Spirit
   – Believing in Jesus = being in Jesus = Jesus being in us.
   – God is a Father ONLY to those in His Son, Jesus. This is
     called adoption in Christ. It is familial, not legal.
               What the Scriptures Say
• We Have Died and Risen With Jesus
   – Romans 6:1-11; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 3:7-12; Colossians
     2:12-13
• We Are in Jesus By the Spirit
   – John 14:8-21, 15:1-9; Ephesians 1:1-14, 2:11-22
• Jesus Lives Within Us By the Spirit
   – Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; 2 Corinthians 4-5;
     Ephesians 3:14-19


• Every discussion of the Cross eventually sees us
  participating in it because it is a full-blown Jewish
  argument about how to enter God‟s new creation. The
  Fundamentalist understanding can only be made by taking
  a few verses out of context.
       How People Interact with These Theories




                       Guilt-Based Person              Shame Based Person
Jesus died             + Great! I know I‟m not           - How can someone else die
                       perfect, but now God              for me? That makes me feel
instead of you         overlooks the bad part of me.     worse. Plus, I‟m still evil, so
                       I‟m forgiven and now I can        why would God want
                       please Him.                       intimacy with me?


Jesus died, and you    - Why would I have to die or      + Great! God kills the evil
with him, to           change? I‟m fundamentally         core identity I have, which is
                       okay; it‟s just my side           what it deserves, and gives
transform you into a   problems that need to be          me a new core identity that is
                       dealt with                        intimate with Him
new creation
          Ministry in Most of the 20th Century




                       Guilt-Based Person                       Shame Based Person
Jesus died
instead of you                      +
                   White Church believing in America‟s
                                                                                    -
                                                                  Educated East Asian-American
                   moral goodness, but trying to rationally       Christians searching for a
                   convince people of their sin and guilt         meaningful theology.


Jesus died, and you                                           Many Black Churches (& recently,
with him, to                         -                                             +
                                                              Latino-American Church), with people
                                                              already aware of their sin and shame,
transform you into a                                          gave encouragement. However, in most
                                                              cases, they did not anchor „new creation‟
new creation                                                  language in the Cross-Resurrection
          Ministry in Most of the 20th Century




                        Guilt-Based Person                        Shame Based Person
Jesus died
instead of you                        +
                       White Church believing in America‟s
                                                                                      -
                                                                    Most Asian-American ministers
                       goodness, but trying to rationally           were trained at White seminaries
                       convince people of their sin and guilt       and tried to adopt Fundamentalist
                                                                    theology.

Jesus died, and you                                             Many Black Churches (& recently,
with him, to                           -                                             +
                                                                Latino-American Churches), with people
                                                                already aware of their sin and shame,
transform you into a                                            gave encouragement. However, in most
                                                                cases, they did not anchor „new creation‟
new creation                                                    language in the Cross-Resurrection
          The Effect on Asian Americans
                                                               Shame Based Person
• The Father’s Image
   – The Father never seems to lose His angry Judge demeanor. This
     view does not address the yearning to have a loving Father.
• Intimacy Not Promoted or Modeled
   – We still feel distant from God, even though He might not be angry
     with us. Does not address the yearning for spiritual intimacy.
• Motivation for Obedience
   – Motivation is reformulated from the Cross in terms of “debt-
     forgiveness.” This makes Asian-Americans, more so than their
     White American counterparts, want to repay the debt.
       • “Don‟t you know how much Jesus suffered for you?”
       • “Don‟t you know how much God gave up for you?”
                 Ministry in the 21st Century




                       Guilt-Based Person   Shame Based Person
                                            Asian Americans
Jesus died                                  rediscovering the „in
                                            Christ‟ language from
instead of you                              White Christian
                                            counselors and from more
                                            accurate theologians.


Jesus died, and you
with him, to
transform you into a
                              -                               +
new creation
                 Ministry in the 21st Century




                       Guilt-Based Person                      Shame Based Person
                       White Protestants moving towards
Jesus died             shame-based culture, by painfully
                       realizing that White American
instead of you         history is filled with injustice, and
                       by the instability of the White
                       family.


Jesus died, and you
with him, to
transform you into a
                                       -                                +
new creation
     Biblical and Transformative Ministry
• Inward healing needs:
   – Shame, negative self-identity
   – Confused, unstable identity
   – Lack of intimacy, relational instability, abandonment
• Outward responsibility:
   – Genuine love for others
   – Motivation for obedience
   – Empowerment
• Can one spiritual language - the ‘in Jesus’
  language - accomplish both?
      Appendix A

The Spiritual Anatomy of the
         Individual
    Biblical Words Used to Describe the Person
•   For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, fornications, thefts,
    murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander,
    pride, and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the person
      – Matthew 15:18-20, Mark 7:21-23
•   For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel. After those days, says the
    Lord, I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them upon their hearts. And I
    will be their God, and they shall be My people
      – Jeremiah 31:31-34, quoted in Hebrews 8:8-12
•   Moreover I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you; and I will
    remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
      – Ezekiel 36:26, parallel to Jeremiah regarding the new covenant
•   Blessed are the pure in heart
      – Matthew 5:8
•   He who looks on a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his
    heart
      – Matthew 5:28
•   Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also
      – Matthew 6:21
•   Beware of the false prophets, who…inwardly are ravenous wolves
      – Matthew 7:15
    Biblical Words Used to Describe the Person

•   Our old self was crucified with him…present yourselves…and your members
      – Romans 6:1-23
•   For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner person, but I see a different law in
    the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a
    prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
      – Romans 7:22-24
•   Those who are in the flesh cannot please God; however, you are not in the flesh but in
    the Spirit if indeed the Spirit of Christ lives in you
      – Romans 8:8-9
•   And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is alive because
    of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
    He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies
    through His Spirit who indwells you.
      – Romans 8:10-13
•   The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God
      – Romans 8:16
    Biblical Words Used to Describe the Person
•   But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with him. Every other sin that a
    man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do
    you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, who you have
    from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price,
    therefore glorify God in your body
      – 1 Corinthians 6:17-20
•   Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh
      – Galatians 5:13-25
•   Lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,
    and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in God has
    been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth
      – Ephesians 4:22-24, background 1:15 - 2:10
•   For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our
    life, is revealed, you also will be revealed with him in glory. Therefore consider the
    members of your earthly body as dead to immorality…since you laid aside the old
    self…and have put on the new self.
      – Colossians 3:3-10
•   May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and
    body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
      – 1 Thessalonians 5:23
        The Basic Anatomy of a Believer
• Starting with 1 Thessalonians 5:23




                      spirit


                      soul

                                       See also Watchman Nee, The
                                       Spiritual Man and The Normal
                      body             Christian Life
                        The Basic Anatomy of a Believer
Our spirit (in Paul‟s                                 Our soul encompasses our
language) is the part                                 mind (or will), emotions and
of us that is joined                                  feelings, memories,
to the Holy Spirit,                                   preferences, fears, hurts, and
where we                                              sensitivities. Place of
experience                                            “character” and “personality.”
communion with                                        Place where we make
God. This is what                                     decisions.
Jeremiah, Ezekiel,
and Jesus called “the
heart” as they called
for a “new heart.”
                                    spirit


                                    soul

                                                 Our body is simply our physical
                                                 body and encompasses its natural
                                    body         urges and the „members‟ of our
                                                 body: arms, legs, voice, eyes,
                                                 ears, etc.
                          The Anatomy of an Unbeliever
Spirit is identified with sin, is
rebelliously independent from God, and
has a core sensation of emptiness. This
person is also “in the flesh” or has a
spiritually “dead” spirit or has a “heart of
stone” in the sense of being
unresponsive to God.

Soul is capable of “good deeds” but
essentially self-protective and driven                       mind
by some sort of fear, forms patterns of
relationships that are self-serving.
                                               fleshly,
                                               spiritually
                                                             (unrenewed)
Engages in behavior that makes the             dead
spirit feel “full,” e.g judgmentalism,
pride (Romans 2:1-16). Or the soul             spirit         flesh
makes decisions favoring the body and
its sensations (Romans 1:21-32).

Body and its members are being used as
                                               soul
instruments of unrighteousness, to serve
self-centered or self-protective goals,
and even to hurt others. Sometimes the
body drives the soul, e.g. through
appetites, sex, sensations, comfort, etc.
                                               body
(Romans 1:21-32).
                         The Anatomy of an Unbeliever
Thus, people who believe they are good
or strong at the core actually need to be
challenged to reevaluate the story they
tell themselves. They must go through a
painful process of awakening to the
depth of their heart-level sin.



                                                          mind
                                            fleshly,
                                            spiritually
                                                          (unrenewed)
                                            dead

                                            spirit         flesh

                                            soul


                                            body
                                The Anatomy of Conversion
The spirit is now joined to the Holy Spirit.
This person is now “in the Spirit.” This
event is described in three ways in the NT.
First, it is the moment when the old self,
essentially the old identity/old spirit, dies
by being crucified with Jesus at the cross,
and when a new self joined to Jesus at the
resurrection, emerges (Romans 6:1-11).
Second, it is the moment when the old self
which was dead in transgressions and sins
is placed “in Jesus” and gets resurrected                     mind
with him. This newly resurrected spirit is      Holy Spirit
still resident in us as well (Ephesians 2:1-      spirit
10, Colossians 3:1-4).
Third, it is the moment when Jesus comes
                                                              flesh
to live in us by his Spirit, and conversely
when we enter into Jesus who is also in the
Father (John 14:8-21).                            soul
Also, in Jeremiah‟s and Ezekiel‟s new
covenant prophecies, this is called being
given a “new heart” or a new “heart of
flesh” in the sense of being responsive and       body
soft to God. Ezekiel does not use the word
“flesh” the same way Paul does.
      The Believer‟s Struggle Against Indwelling Sin
The soul is now divided. The “flesh”
contains old habits, fears, memories,
relational patterns, and hurts. The
flesh resists the Spirit. The “mind” is
now aligned with the Spirit of Jesus in
one‟s spirit, and has a new ability to
choose between the Spirit and the
flesh. The renewed mind/will will
accumulate new memories, work
through troubled emotions, experience
Christ-centered joys and sorrows,
                                                        mind
                                          Holy Spirit
extend forgiveness, engage in truly
loving relationships, and choose            spirit
against self-protection. Thus, aspects
of one‟s personality and character can
                                                        flesh
change, e.g. temper, flirtatiousness,
gossiping, trustworthiness, humor, etc.
                                            soul
          Body and its members are
          now either instruments of
          God or sin, depending on the
          choice of the mind/will.
                                            body
             The Believer‟s Future Resurrection Body
The flesh will be destroyed when
Jesus gives us new resurrection
bodies.




  The body and its members will be a
  new creation, similar to Jesus‟
  resurrection body. “Now I tell you
  this, brethren, that flesh and blood                 mind
  cannot inherit the kingdom of God;     Holy Spirit
  nor does the perishable inherit the      spirit
  imperishable. Behold, I tell you a
  mystery; we shall not all sleep, but
  we shall all be changed…the dead
  will be raised imperishable, and we
  shall be changed. (1 Corinthians
  15:50-52)                                soul

                                           body
  John and Paula Sandfords‟ Counseling Framework

The Sandfords use the terms
“converted part of the heart” and
“unconverted part of the heart.”
The unconverted portion is best
thought of as simply the flesh, but
it aptly describes that part of us
which has not submitted to
Christ. It needs to be “preached
the gospel” because it runs on
                                                      mind
                                      Holy Spirit
mistrust and fear and is
performance oriented rather than
                                        spirit
accepting of God‟s unconditional                      flesh
love and power.


                Converted part
                                        soul


   Unconverted part, which has          body
   inner vows, bitter roots, etc.
                                          See The Transformation of the Inner Man
               Larry Crabb‟s Counseling Framework

Crabb calls this pyramid the
structure of the fallen personality.
Internal decisions are made
progressively after doubting God.        Yet I will survive
The bottom level should be seen
as what the Spirit says to us at the         I hate me
core of who we are, in our spirit.
The subsequent levels should be
seen as happening in the soul and            I hate you
affecting the body.
                                             I need you
The voice of residual sin in our flesh       I doubt God
The voice of the Spirit in our spirit        I need God


                                                See Finding God, p.148-149
               Larry Crabb‟s Counseling Framework

Put into our diagram, Crabb‟s
framework looks like this.
Included is the structure of the
godly personality.                     I will obey
                                       I judge me
                                       I accept you
                                       I love you
                                       I believe God

                                                         mind
                                       I need God

                                                         flesh
                                       I doubt God
                                       I need you
                                       I hate you
                                       I hate me
                                    Yet I will survive



                                       body
                                          See Finding God, p.148-149

				
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