OK, I really don't even have the time to write this. And I realize that, as a layman with no formal Biblical training, my theology may be shaky and my words...um...simple, but I've been mulling this over in my mind and have to get it out. Usually, that means I write. Often it means I write meaningless junk. Maybe that will be the case now.
I agree with Rob Bell. There. I said it. I AGREE WITH ROB BELL. Love Wins. Love prevails. Love conquers. Amor Conquista Todo. (Thanks David Meece.)
God's love for Himself wins. And His love for us wins.
I don't think it's blasphemous to say that God is selfish. He is. And He should be. From the very beginning we see, even in the dim sparks of God's revealing of Himself to us, a God that cares first and foremost about making a name for Himself.
He chose Himself over Lucifer. He chose Himself over Adam. He chose Himself in the flood. He chose Himself in Egypt. He chose Himself in the desert. He chose Himself in Commandment #1. He chose Himself in the Holy of Holies.
Enough of my words on that, He sums it up:
I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images (Isaiah 42:8).
God is the only being in existence capable of perfect selfishness, and with the ability to absolutely ensure that He gets what He wants.
It's weird to talk of "what He wants" because God doesn't have a linear thought process like we do. We think of things one step at a time and how each step affects (or dictates) the rest. God doesn't think that way, at least I don't believe so - "My thoughts are above your thoughts, and my ways above your ways." God's thoughts, and His Will, "what He wants", flow naturally, directly out of who He is. And while God IS love, He is also more than love. He is holy. He is just. He is compassionate. He is all-powerful. He is eternal. Another unique quality - He's the only being in existence that can perfectly contain and express all of those things at the same time. His parts don't make up His whole, He is 100% of each of those attributes.
So back to the idea: He gets what He wants.
He wants to stay Himself. (No disrespect intended, but who else would someone like Him want to be???) He also wants to be with us, His created ones.
But here's the rub: His love for Himself, on it's own, keeps us from Him. (my words here, treading on thin ice.) His love for Himself is precisely the reason that He can't ignore, gloss over, cover up, our offenses. By nature, we are His enemies. I know I am. And by nature, He will destroy His enemies. His Love for Himself requires perfection, it requires justice. His Love wins.
If He is who He says He is, do I really expect Him to be NOT Him (Love) in order to benefit me, His enemy? Do I really think I matter so much that He can go against His nature to make room for mine? Here's another example where my understanding stops and His keeps going; HE DOESN'T HAVE TO CHOOSE. He can love Himself AND love me at the same time. (His words here, treading on solid ground). And it is His immense love for me, that produces a plan where I can be with Him, and where He can continue to love Himself.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son; that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have everlasting life."
Does that make sense? His love for Himself wins. AND His love for me wins. In fact, His love for me causes Him to do exactly what His love for Himself requires. He became man. He lived in flesh. He ate. He slept. He prayed. He talked. He cried. He. Became. Man.
And He died, voluntarily shedding His perfect blood, to satisfy His perfect love. He conquered death so that I can too. If the Cross is only an expression of God's love for us, and in that sense, that love only wins, then God will have compromised His own love for Himself, really, His own nature, removing the whole reason for the Cross in the first place! If God's love for us unilaterally "wins", then there was no reason for the Cross, why put us and Himself through all of that? The Cross is also an expression of God's love for Himself, it has to be.
I have to admit now, that I haven't read the book. I'm not sure I need to. I'm not criticizing the book, or it's author. Frankly, it doesn't matter to me what he thinks or it says. But the title did grab my attention, and I have seen some interviews of him promoting the book. Love does win Rob. But we might just be talking about a different love...
What does this have to do with technology? I'm not sure. Maybe I'll check out the book on iTunes. Or watch the streaming video conference when he starts touring. Or maybe I can justify it under the ministry part of techno-ministry?