Years ago, when I was going through my own personal crisis of whether or not the Christian world-view could be "true" and more than just a deconstructed narrative of my particular culture, a thought came into my mind. If it was going to be possible for the gospel to inform my life, I needed it to be more than a simple framing story (as McLaren now calls it, a kind of layman's phrase for meta-narrative) of my life. I needed it to be something that was really some sort of meta-narrative of history, science, culture, math, language, art, politics, etc. This may not have been your personal story, but postmodern philosophy actually helped me to find my faith and be more solid in my faith, partly because it first shook my faith to the core. I found at some point that Jesus was making a claim about himself and about his Father. He was making the claim that his story was the ultimate framing-story. His story was the meta-narrative that gave meaning to all other stories, and it was in his story that all other stories find their meaning. And not just stories - but creation, beauty, pain, love, and life all found their origin and meaning in the midst of his story. That's a pretty big claim, particularly in a world that is increasingly saying that there is no ultimate framing story, no prime meta-narrative. So, I believe that. I believe that "in Christ all things hold together." It was, in fact, this passage from Colossians that brought me back to Jesus particularly because of its underlying message that the seeming fragmentation of the world is actually held together in the unity of the one who started the whole thing through the creation, and that we know him through the person of Jesus Christ. Here's the passage:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. [Colossians 1:15-20]
So, note these phrases: all creation, all things (with his clarification... which pretty much includes all things), all things, all things, all things, in everything, to reconcile to himself all things (again with clarification which pretty much includes all things).
So... is the gospel confined to a few things? Or to all things? Just asking.
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