Friday, July 15, 2011

Deo Vivere

"Theology is the doctrine or teaching of living to God (deo vivere)."  William Ames begins his book, The Marrow of Theology (1623) with these words. The treatise gives a full look of Puritan thought about God, the church and the world. Despite its highly Puritan style and detailed theological content, what stands out is the emphasis on the heart and the actions that should flow from that heart relationship with God. Ames makes it clear that knowledge is not the ultimate goal but rather how the life of Christ shows up in all spheres of living. In keeping that focus he emphasizes 'deo vivere" or 'living to God".

Do I really live to God? If asked, I would say that I want to give glory to God through my life - but what does that really mean - what does it look like - does it in practice just come down to living my own life but keeping it within His bounds and directives? In truth, I generally live life - "my" life - a life focused on me and make it "christian" by asking God to bless it, to be in it, to help me live "my" life for Him. Ames idea of living to God is something quite different from my routine. God is the one who is really alive and living out life - Gal. 2:20- I am an intrument - a vessel. His living is designed to permeate every sphere of life, every moment, each interaction. Its not me living with His power of help but His living in and through me. I am not supposed to carry God along with me but rather I am to be carried along by His current, His wake - swept along in the draft of His movements. 

Sitting here in the cool early hours of my day in Tucson - how does that mindset - that orientation impact the remaining hours of this new day. I am not all-together sure ... but I think it changes everything!

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