Last year I posted (among a host of others) Steve Robinson’s video contrasting the Orthodox view of salvation with the Western view of salvation using two chairs. If you haven’t watched it, take a minute and do so. It’s well worth the time.
This weekend, Kingdom Grace posted a somewhat extended version of the Gospel in Chairs. (It was Steve’s video that was posted on Jesus Creed — the same video I posted above. I recall that he’s a tonsured reader and may also be a subdeacon, but he’s not an Orthodox priest. He’s talked about some of the reasons behind that in his Steve the Builder podcasts. I found those podcasts interesting, personally.) At any rate, I found the somewhat extended version by the Protestant pastor Brian Zahnd also quite good. He added some additional emphasis, notably on the point that God is fully revealed in Jesus, that I liked quite a bit. So I thought I would post that video as well.
I’m not sure most people realize how central and critical that point is. For some reason, a lot of the things I hear revolve around trying to paint a picture or build a framework describing God apart from Jesus and then fitting Jesus into that picture or framework. As Christians, our central claim is that Jesus is God fully revealed. If we ask what God is like on any level or in any context, our answer lies in what Jesus is like. Period. Apart from Jesus, we can say nothing about God.
As I’ve written elsewhere, that’s one of the reasons I’ve always been incredulous about the often repeated modern assertion that God is holy and can’t be around sin or evil. Nowhere do we see that in the story of Jewish and Christian God, but it’s absurd whenever we look at Jesus. He sought out the “sinners” and those considered ritually unclean and acted as though he could make them clean through association rather than the opposite. Jesus certainly had no problem “being around” sin. In fact, that was one of the major criticisms leveled at him. At one point, he almost shrugs and says he didn’t come to the healthy, but to the sick. And in the fullness of that revelation, in case we missed the point of a God who goes looking for man from the moment in the story of the garden when he asks Adam where he is, Jesus shows us a God seeking out “sinners” and always facing man wherever we might flee.