Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Formed for God's Family

I'm back, and I'm ready to get at it... I hope. I am returning to "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren in hopes of finally finishing it as a devotional. It is a book that has often been critiqued by Lutheran's in fear of its theology, but I can see that it has touched thousands and millions of lives and I want to see why. I think we all want a purpose in life. I think God gives us a purpose. It is a beautiful blend and I am shocked that both nobody has written like this before and that we as a church have neglected this so that a book was needed to be written. So far, I've like what Warren has had to share and in most chapters I've found a wonderful nugget or two to cling to for the day. Like some of the critical Lutheran's out there I have disagreed with some of his theology. Although I'm not surprised because I find that I disagree with a lot of people's theologies. I think theology can be a rather personal thing and we are not all going to line up exactly on all issues theologically. So like many in this generation I am grateful for our common love of Jesus and that is enough.

As for today I read Chapter 15 "Formed for God's Family". The two things I most enjoyed today, that struck me the most, were about family and about baptism. I like that picture of us being a part of God's family. That we are all brothers and sisters as we are all children of God. I was struck as well by the challenge that God's family is more important than our earthly family. Don't hear that wrong because I think Warren was clear that our earthly family is a wonderful gift from God, but they are temporary. God's family is for eternity.

I also was struck by Warren's comparrison of baptism to marriage. "Like a wedding ring, (baptism) is a visible reminder of an inward commitment made in your heart." I struggle a little with Warren's understanding of baptism as something you have to decide to do, but that connection to marriage I like. I like that connection of them both being an outward physical sign of an inward love that is happening. I like that...

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