Isaiah, the Fifth Gospel

Deliverance and Healing in Isaiah

How to Read this (lengthy) Meditation

If you like this piece that started as a personal journal entry, you may want to skip around, perhaps starting with Isaiah 30, which is the chapter that inspired this meditation. The meditation isn’t written with a beginning, middle, and end. It instead says something like, “Oh, not only back there, but here again is similar good news, worded a bit differently, another facet on the diamond.” Each facet stands on its own and can be read in any sequence.

A Note on the Violence of God in Isaiah

If one assumes scriptures (the “Bible”) are inspired by God, the question arises: does every statement in the scriptures provide an equally accurate description of the nature and character of God? While religious fundamentalists are taught to say “yes,” that approach is fraught with problems (both moral and intellectual).
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Identity Crisis

Identity politics, at least in America, hold the rapt attention of the current culture, particularly the younger generations. Accordingly, individuals are grouped along racial, gender, class, and ethnic lines. This post has little to do with that discussion, however important it is to balancing power structures in our society.

Rather, this post has to do with how we see ourselves relative to how God may see us. If God exists, as I believe is the case, all the particulars of each human (including one’s class, gender, race, and ethnicity) is understood. The specific strengths as well as shortcomings of one’s birth, childhood, and later years are also understood. In itself, this divine understanding of us should be a comfort. When glimpsed, our identity in God’s mind, in Christ, allows us to see ourselves as being more, not less than the people we naturally think we are. Religion (all sorts) can rob people of  their natural identity. By contrast, Christ gives us a new identity that includes and transforms the details of our birth, culture, and traditions.