The anvils of God
January 3, 2007
I've had enough of the depressing news out of Iraq and Darfur, of gang members in Toronto killing each other. But this is only a part. Weather patterns run crazy. Friends wrestle with relationships. Sometimes it's too much. Is there any good in life?
The trick of evil is to make it appear as if evil is normative. News media love fires, murders and traffic accidents. Like moths to the light bulb, they can't resist.
I admit it: I'm a bit of news junky. But now and then I need a mental wash. A respite. A shutting down. A holiday. A fresh look.
There is good in the land. The earth is the Lord's, and all that is in it. Squatter rights are not synonymous with ownership.
Hermeneutics is the science of interpretation: how we see, forms what we describe to others. It matters hugely how we see and teach the Scriptures. It also matters hugely how we interpret the world to others. Is the glass half empty or half full? Where we begin forecasts where we'll end up.
There are moments when leaders appropriately scare the daylights out of their people. But what is our predisposition? What is our perspective, our cultural hermeneutic?
Have you noticed that the pendulum of secularism has swung out to an extreme and now seems to be moving back? In the fear mongering—that I at times have been guilty of fostering—and dooms saying of the world, God is omnipresent. His accompanying goodness pops up everywhere.
Creation existed before sin. Plantinga is right: grace is the overwhelming favourite. His metaphor puts in mind round-headed hammers tired and banged out of shape, while the anvil continues to take a pounding.
In today's dryness, we would do well to sniff the air for signs of His latter rains. In the smallest of ways, in the most surprising of circumstances we can see His goodness at work. Goodness will win. It will become the default of human behaviour. Some day. His day.
Today we focus; we listen intently for signs of His kingdom doing good.
God of the good, Lord of the cross, Spirit over all the ages, free us from seeing what others push us to see, from negative dispositions controlling our hearts. You are good, and when You made this habitation and called it good, You expect that to be our paradigm, that to become our hermeneutic. For when the glass is half empty, your ever-ready jug of goodness prevails. Amen.
Evil rolls across the ages, but so does good. Good has its own momentum. Corruption never wholly succeeds... Creation is stronger than sin and grace stronger still. Creation and grace are anvils that have worn out a lot of hammers.