C. Baxter Kruger: The Great Dance

While the Trinity was not an explicit focus of George MacDonald's writing, his thinking was in complete harmony with the best writers who emphasize the Trinitarian nature of God. Indeed, John's statement that God is love is only understandable in the context of the Trinity, that ours is a three-person God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit united in an eternal dance of love. The Good News is that we are all invited to join in that dance--you, me, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, John Piper, everyone. 

One of the best contemporary writers on the Trinity is C. Baxter Kruger, who I had the pleasure of meeting the other day while in line at a small sandwich shop outside of Portland. I've just finished reading a book he published nearly twenty years ago, The Great Dance, and offer you some paragraphs from a section titled Christian Faith. MacDonald famously wrote that "It is the one terrible heresy of the church, that it has always been presenting something else than obedience as faith in Christ." At first blush, what you'll read from Baxter Kruger might seem a quite different statement; but in fact, I think they share the same heart.

What do you think? And what does "faith" mean to you?

Christian Faith
by C. Baxter Kruger, from The Great Dance

Christian faith is not something we do that gets us connected to God or gets us into the circle of life shared by the Father, Son and Spirit. Jesus Christ has done that. Faith is not something that we do that moves us from the unforgiven column to the forgiven column. That was done in Jesus. Faith is not something we do that gets us reconciled, justified, included, adopted, redeemed, saved. Jesus Christ has already done all of that. The fundamental character of Christian faith is that of discovery. Faith, as Luther said somewhere, is like the eye. It does not create what it sees; it sees what is there. 

Christian faith is first and foremost the discovery of what the Father, Son and Spirit have made of the human race in Jesus Christ. Faith is the discovery that there and then in Jesus Christ we were reconciled, saved, adopted; there and then in Jesus Christ we were cleansed and born again, recreated and taken home to the Father, and there and then in Jesus Christ we were welcomed by God the Father almighty, embraced, accepted, included in the circle of life. Christian faith is first and foremost a discovery of truth in Jesus, the truth about God and the truth about ourselves, the truth of our identity, of who we are, a discovery of the fact that the father, Son and Spirit do no live out their dance of life without us. 

And that is a discovery that commands us to believe it as truth and to rethink everything we thought we knew about ourselves and others and our lives and theirs. That is a discovery that commands us to live in the dignity and joy and freedom of the truth and to recognize no one according to the flesh, as Paul put it, as a "mere human." For as Lewis says, "There are no ordinary people."