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In the Beginning

That's awfully pretentious, to start this first post with the opening line of Genesis 1.1. Well, I certainly don't think this beginning has anything to do with that beginning. Other than the fact that both are starting points. Of course, that was the starting point of a written revelation of God, referring to the starting point of the creation of the whole universe. 

I have less lofty goals in mind.

To begin, however, allow me to begin where that began, with the assumption that the almighty God exists and can speak reality into existence simply by commanding it. God is outside of that creation, speaking light, worlds, and creatures into existence. He is above and beyond that creation.

In the next chapter, that same God, now called the Lord, is within his creation, digging up dirt and making a man, and later a woman. He walked and talked with them. Regardless of what you believe about the historical accuracy of the first couple (and someday we'll talk about that), I hope you accept that this is a picture of the Lord acting in and on his creation in a personal way.

It is this interplay between God's almighty otherness and his personal togetherness that simply amazes me. Using the standard terminology of transcendence and immanence, the interplay of these seemingly incongruous characteristics forms through narrative the basis for much of our "theological" understanding of the paradoxes of God. Whether it is free will versus sovereignty or the human and divine natures of the Christ, we simply cannot wrap our tiny little minds around the idea of God. Yet both are true. God is greater than his creation, but intimately involved in it as well. 

The dynamic between God's transcendence and his immanence can be seen again and again in the narrative stories of the Hebrew Bible and can also be felt in the theological discussions of the Church. It is heady stuff, enough to spin the mind in a dozen directions, bring us to our knees, and lead us to both weep and worship at the same time.

This is what we will explore here at Thanks for joining me.