Eph 1 – Good news–You’re adopted!

(1) From Paul, sent by Papa to announce Master Jesus.  To those sent by Papa to bless Ephesus, those who share in Master Jesus’ faithful knowing of Papa. (2) May you be receiving what Jesus and Papa are daily sharing with us—their own life-together of grace and peace.

(3) How wonderful is Master Jesus’ Papa!  In Jesus, we have already ascended to the penthouse suite of the cosmos, the captain’s bridge of Spaceship Earth. There we are already receiving the extravagant love Papa has for her Son. (4) Even before she banged the Big Bang, Papa decided that we would share in her Son’s relationship with her—a face-to-face relationship of whole and unbroken love.  (5) It gave her great pleasure to give us our destination—adoption as her children, a share in Master Jesus’ sonship, (6) a participation in everything Papa freely lavishes upon her beloved Son.

(7) Because of the riches of the Triune love, Jesus entered into our death to set us free from it, to share with us his own eternal freedom from death and shame. (8) In her own brilliant way, (9) Papa has (through Master Jesus) revealed to us her unfathomable plan:  (10) Her plan for everything—all creation from top to bottom, when the time is ripe—to be included in Master Jesus’ life with her and Sarayu!

(11) We have now received what Papa promised to Abraham—the honor of being the carriers of her blessing to the whole world.  (12) Papa gave this gift to us Jews so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Master Jesus, might participate in the glorious Triune life.  (13) And as you non-Jews hear and believe the truth (the good news of your inclusion), you receive this inheritance right along with us.  Our life-together bears all the fingerprints of Sarayu—the Spirit of Jesus’ life-together with his Papa.  The truth is that we belong to Papa, and this truth is setting us free.

(15) I have heard of your trust in Master Jesus and the way you share in his love toward people. (16) I am constantly thanking Papa for you. (17) I pray that you will come to know her more and more through Sarayu’s wisdom and revelation, (18) so that by that light you will be able to see the infinite goodness of our ultimate future, the infinite abundance of our inheritance, and (19) the infinite strength that is unleashed in those who believe the truth.

(20) It is with this strength that Papa resurrected Jesus and brought him up to the top-floor corner office of the cosmos, (21) far above every other office, at the top of the corporate ladder, now and forever.  (22) Papa made Him chairman and CEO of the whole company.  He is the head of our life-together, and (23) we are his body; the in-the-flesh presence of the One who is everywhere.

Comments

  1. Jon Settlemoir says:

    Blasphemous

  2. […] ShackBible blasphemy Posted on June 4, 2012 by John Stonecypher (a.k.a., ShackBibleGuy) I’ve been accused of a lot of things (and many of those accusations were quite deserved), but I think this is the first accusation of blasphemy: http://shackbible.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/ephesians-1/#comment-610 […]

  3. Doug says:

    It seems like you’re left guessing as to exactly what he considered “blasphemous”. With such insufficient information, it would be best to just let it go. By the way, may I have your autograph? I’ve never gotten an autograph from an accused blasphemer before. Might be worth millions some day.

    1. Jon has clarified his meaning below. Very worth reading!

  4. Jon Settlemoir says:

    Ok, here’s where my comment came from. First of all I only wrote the one word because I didn’t know if anyone was actually monitoring this page. I find in this “paraphrase” of yours many blasphemous statements. One that you have already addressed is the Gender of God. On your site, you wrote this:

    “But in the end, I decided to keep the feminine pronouns. Why? Because the fact that it’s jarring is precisely the point. We have such deep mental ruts in our thinking about God, it is nearly impossible to get out of them. Seeing Papa as a woman is SUCH a big shift of mind, it forces us out of the ruts, forces us to start fresh and let go of our preconceptions of what our Papa is like.”

    So, in your estimation, forcing people out of their “ruts” is more important than sticking to the way that God has revealed Himself in Scripture. There is certainly a reason, as you stated, that the Bible uses masculine pronouns and proper names for God. I recognize that you are using the terminology of the book, but therein is another problem. It is taking the message of this book, the concept of God found in this book and superimposing it’s message over the Word of God, the Bible. I don’t know if you are using the Greek NT or an English translation in your paraphrase, but either way you are imposing a man’s conception over it.

    Further, as I read the pages you have posted, I see a very different definition of “salvation” and even “sin” in your writings than what are found in the Scriptures.

    Would you please give me your definition of those two terms, and where you find those definitions in Scripture? If you would like to dialogue more about this, I am willing to continue to do so.
    Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Jon, I really appreciate the thought you’ve put into your comments; this is exactly the kind of conversation I want to be having.

      There is so much to say, but I will start with this: We all come to the Bible with our own set of experiences and filters and prejudices (That’s why conversations like this are so necessary, so we can compensate for each other’s blind spots). I don’t know much about you, but my guess would be that you are a Christian of the Western tradition, and if that’s so, then approach to the Bible has been profoundly influenced by Augustine, whose approach to the Bible came from his lawyer-ly preoccupations with rules, penalties, and jurisprudence in general. When viewed through this lens (and it’s impossible to not have a lens), the God of the Bible certainly does look a certain way, and it does not look much like the entity portrayed in The Shack.

      So my main first point is that the Augustinian lens is inadequate in many ways, and that I read the Bible through a different one–a lens shaped profoundly by the Church Fathers before Augustine (Athanasius, for example). And when I read the Bible through that lens, I see a God who has a lot in common with the One portrayed in The Shack. More on that here, if you’re interested: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1455516805/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=heartconnexionmi&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1455516805

      Thanks again, and I’ll write more later!

  5. One of the reasons I love the Shack is the inclusion of the feminine gender which most of Christianity is DETERMINED not to allow. Don’t let this word stop your glorious rendering of the WORD given by GOD. Those of use who were running from the archaic, oppressive wordings in the Bible are reading again, afresh, renewed, rejoicing.

    1. Thanks mysticbluerose! It’s been a long journey for me, coming to the place where I can see what a brick wall it puts up for some people when we use exclusively masculine pronouns. I have glimpsed God, and God is so beautiful, I can’t bear for people to not see. For a mere pronoun to be a brick wall in the way–I just can’t bear to let that stand.

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