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The pursuing God, summary (Part 3)

This is the last of three posts about Joshua Ryan Butler’s The pursuing God: A reckless, irrational, obsessed love that’s dying to bring us home (Nashville: W Publishing, 2016). It summarises Part Three, ‘Rising up from the waters: Resurrection.’ The second post is here.The TrinityThe Trinity is a communion of love (Chs 25–27).[1] The Spirit moves through the universe, sustaining everything. The Son unites divinity and humanity, reconciling heaven and earth and is King of earth. The Father is in a sense defined by that title, as without a Son he would not be Father. But God is ultimately beyond description, filling the universe through the Son and the Spirit. The three are not in competition. The main theme of Jesus’ longest recorded prayer (in John 17) is that the Father and the Son seek to glorify each other and the Spirit brings glory to both (John 8:54; 14:13; 16:14).[2] Butler translates the early church’s term perichor─ôsis as ‘mutual indwelling’, make up of peri ‘around’ and cho…

The pursuing God, summary (Part 2)

This is the second of three posts about Joshua Ryan Butler’s The pursuing God: A reckless, irrational, obsessed love that’s dying to bring us home (Nashville: W Publishing, 2016) (The first post is here). It summarises Part Two, subtitled ‘Crucifixion’. Butler seeks to communicate something of what happened on the cross. The cross is the climax of God's pursuit (Ch 13). Traditionally, Christians have described it as Jesus receiving the punishment due to us, but this is sometimes referred to today as 'divine child abuse'. God is all-loving, goes the response, so he would never have taken his anger out on his son. For Butler this is a caricature of what happened on the cross because the child abuse metaphor sees Jesus as a victim. Not so: he was a willing agent (John 10:18)[1] who knew in advance what would happen (Mark 8:31, 9:12, Luke 9:22).[2],[3] Butler writes, ‘The cross is not happening to Jesus; Jesus is happening to the cross.’ He is motivated by love (Galatians 2:20…