Saturday, April 25, 2009

Richard Foster on Life With God #1

(Wyandotte, MI)

Last evening Linda and I went to Wyandotte - I picked up a coffee at my son Dan's favorite java place ("The Grind") and Linda got a Tahitian smoothie. We sat, talked, and read at Wyandotte's riverfront park that looks over the Detroit River to Canada.

I brought Richard Foster's Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation. What a sweet book this is! Foster says the main God-thread running through scripture is a promise followed by a question; God says to us, throughout the ages, "I am with you, will you be with Me?" Foster writes: "This dynamic is the absolute unifying center of the Bible. Every story in the Bible, no matter its twists and turns, whether the human characters are trustworthy or untrustworthy, whether the story is sad or happy, is built on this clarion call to relationship. "I am with you. Will you be with Me?"

As I write this I'm now thinking of Bernard Ramm's commentary on Exodus. Ramm taught that the hermeneutical key to Exodus was the God-relationship. New Testament scholar Gordon Fee, in his massive commentary on the Holy Spirit in the letters of Paul, defines the "Holy Spirit" as "God's Empowering Presence."

As I read Foster last night I now only thought about how God has been and now is with me and Linda, but experienced God's presence. This ongoing experience (some, maybe much, of which is non-discursive) is but one of the things that assures me of the reality of God.