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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Transformation by working the 12 Steps accepting us as we are and changing us into something other than we were.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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God is completely “other” than us.  He is not confined by the laws of nature.  He is not consumed with social systems.  He is not contained...
God is completely “other” than us.  He is not confined by the laws of nature.  He is not consumed with social systems.  He is not contained in any way shape or form.  He is completely above us.  He is other than us.  If you’ve heard that God is transcendent, this is what I’m referring to.  Yes, the mystery of Christ has been revealed (Colossians 1:24-27), but God is still mysterious.  We cannot fathom all things God.  He is other.
If you study the history of theology, some patterns start to emerge.  Now, I don’t consider myself an expert on theology or it’s history.  Nor am I suggesting that these patters are black and white, cut and dried.  This is a very general observation.  However, you can see that at times the church feared God’s transcendence.  And you can see other times when the church relished God’s immanence, Emmanuel, God with us.  God is close.  God lives inside us.
When we lean to far to God’s transcendence, we tend to fear God.  And when I use fear, I’m not referring to the healthy respect sort of fear the Bible talks about in reference to God.  I mean that we can start to view God as vindictive.  We feel that God is out to get us.  We are only small little insects that he can squash at any whim.  This isn’t who God is.  But he is nonetheless transcendent and other.
When we lean to far to God’s immanence (and this is where I believe our christian culture is trending lately), we tend to take God for granted.  Now before you get up in arms, let me explain.  When we only rely on God’s closeness and intimacy, we tend to grow comfortable.  We tend to know that even though we fail him, he’ll still accept us (and that is true).  Over time though, this becomes dangerous.  It becomes easier to choose to let our self control go.  We begin to believe that life, and God, is all about us.  It becomes easier to sin, knowing God won’t matter about it, or so we tell ourselves.  This isn’t an accurate view of God either.  But He is nonetheless immanent.
So we have God’s transcendence/otherness in one hand and his imminence/closeness in the other.  What should we do?  I submit that we put our hands together.  Because either without the other leads to a skewed view of God.  He is not either/or, but both/and. When you really think about it, putting both together, it leads to an entirely vivid view of the true grace of God. “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14)  You see, God’s grace holds his transcendence and immanence together.  Accepting us as we are and changing us into something other than we are.
How is this understandable?  Really, it isn’t.  But it is believable, because it’s true.
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