A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar

Incarnation, Unity, and the Femininity of God: An Interview with C. Baxter Kruger

July 01, 2021 Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker Season 1 Episode 27
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
Incarnation, Unity, and the Femininity of God: An Interview with C. Baxter Kruger
Chapters
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
Incarnation, Unity, and the Femininity of God: An Interview with C. Baxter Kruger
Jul 01, 2021 Season 1 Episode 27
Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker

In this episode, we chat with C. Baxter Kruger, a delightful Trinitarian theologian from Mississippi. Baxter is the perfect mixture of southern grandpa, scotch aficionado, lover of Jesus, and brilliant theologian. Baxter has written a number of books, many essays, and hosts classes and spaces about the nature and wonder of the Incarnation and our mysterious inclusion into the life of the Trinity. Baxter regularly collaborates with former guests such as Brad Jersak and William Paul Young.

The whisky we taste in this episode is the Three Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Auchentoshan.  

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/apastorandaphilosopher)

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we chat with C. Baxter Kruger, a delightful Trinitarian theologian from Mississippi. Baxter is the perfect mixture of southern grandpa, scotch aficionado, lover of Jesus, and brilliant theologian. Baxter has written a number of books, many essays, and hosts classes and spaces about the nature and wonder of the Incarnation and our mysterious inclusion into the life of the Trinity. Baxter regularly collaborates with former guests such as Brad Jersak and William Paul Young.

The whisky we taste in this episode is the Three Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Auchentoshan.  

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/apastorandaphilosopher)

00:03

well welcome friends to another episode

00:04

of a pastor and a philosopher walk into

00:06

a bar

00:07

we're excited to share this time with

00:08

you today and we're excited about a

00:10

number of things excited about our guest

00:13

our guest his name is baxter kruger he

00:15

is a

00:16

phd he got his phd in at the university

00:18

of saint andrews in

00:19

scotland and he is a theologian

00:22

and i particularly think he's brilliant

00:25

i love

00:26

the way baxter krueger thinks he's an

00:28

author he's wrote written several

00:30

books he is a teacher he does seminars

00:33

with people like william paul young

00:34

and brad gersek who you remember from a

00:37

prior episode

00:38

collaborates with a lot of really

00:40

incredible people and the way he thinks

00:42

about god the way he thinks about the

00:43

trinity

00:44

the way he thinks about jesus and our

00:46

inclusion

00:47

into the life of christ and into the

00:49

life of the trinity

00:50

is just beautiful it's it's pretty

00:53

stunning so

00:54

we get to talk to baxter who is a scotch

00:56

fan here's the second thing i'm excited

00:58

about tonight

00:59

we get to taste some scotch nice

01:02

so our friends at story heel bkc in

01:04

milwaukee

01:05

supplied us with this really really

01:07

wonderful scotch called and i'm gonna

01:09

do my best here akintoshin nice

01:12

would you say yeah i seem right all

01:14

right it is an old distillery

01:16

an urban setting in scotland since 1823

01:19

is what they say

01:20

yeah crafted in glasgow yeah glasgow

01:22

there you go here it is

01:24

awesome in this particular offering by

01:26

ocontocian is their three wood

01:28

offering and it's a single malt three

01:30

wood they um age it

01:32

in a bourbon barrel for i think about 12

01:34

years did you say elliott yeah

01:36

and then it moves on to something i

01:37

don't know sherry cask well i know that

01:40

yep and then another type of cherry cask

01:42

oh it's another type of cherry

01:43

yeah so so the real test here is can we

01:45

taste the third barrel

01:46

right whoever offers that note is really

01:49

good you can discern between the second

01:51

and third

01:51

for sure and i will confess i'm not a

01:54

scotch

01:55

i'm not a scotch connoisseur i the

01:58

peadiness scares me away it's just

02:00

too much for me now do we know if this

02:02

is a peated scotch today

02:03

this is unpeated so i i don't know

02:05

anything about scotch either and i was

02:06

insecure enough that i was googling this

02:08

and that's how i actually know what i'm

02:09

talking about this week

02:10

this is unpeated uh and i haven't tried

02:13

it obviously but it's

02:14

i'm looking forward to after reading

02:16

about it and hearing about it especially

02:18

the unpeated part because that's usually

02:19

what puts me off mm-hmm and that's too

02:21

bad same here

02:22

scotch is repeated but i'm looking

02:23

forward to this yeah you're you're the

02:26

the wise old practice yeah right no this

02:29

is yeah this will probably be a good

02:30

introduction although i've only had

02:32

oakland ocean like one or

02:33

two times before and never this version

02:35

i don't think i've ever had a cherry

02:36

finished one so

02:37

oh man i could just smell this all night

02:39

and be happy oh

02:40

man oh there's so much to say already

02:42

and i've just smelled it

02:43

oh so much fruit in that nose

02:48

yeah dark dark fruit plum

02:51

mm-hmm almost like cooked fruit

02:55

yeah because it's sweet yeah a little

02:57

bit and yet

02:58

yeah that you get that sherry in there

03:00

major sherry nose you can tell it's

03:02

gonna be sweet

03:03

all right i'm just i'm just gonna take a

03:04

sip of this

03:09

yeah now have you guys had any scotch

03:13

before is this your first

03:15

of course yeah yeah some just i it's

03:18

always

03:20

i don't know i don't know what i'm

03:21

drinking and yeah i've had really cheap

03:22

stuff

03:23

yeah i've had scotch a number of times

03:24

pretty good stuff too

03:26

and um i'm gonna say this is my favorite

03:28

scotch i've had

03:29

because yeah this would be an unusual

03:31

introduction so i'm glad you've had

03:32

other stuff

03:33

first this is really good

03:37

this is a lowland scotch which just

03:38

means it comes from the southern part of

03:40

scotland

03:40

and i want to say it's the only or one

03:42

of the only distilleries in that area

03:45

most scotches are in the highlands or in

03:47

the space side which is along a river in

03:49

the east

03:50

or there's a big island off the western

03:52

coast that's

03:53

makes all my favorite stuff and that's

03:55

the really heavily peated really smoky

03:57

stuff

03:58

so each each region kind of has its own

04:00

distinctives about it

04:01

but lowland i'm not sure that it has any

04:04

distinctives

04:05

but this is a really delicious sweet

04:09

uh complex in all the right ways

04:13

not smokey at all oh man it actually

04:16

reminds me of

04:17

certain honey like clover honey the

04:19

really dark kind of honey

04:21

where it's got those deeper flavors i

04:23

get that all over here

04:25

floral it's rich there is but it does

04:28

have that little leather

04:29

kentucky chew with it there's a thing

04:31

that scotch has

04:32

when you do that that bourbon doesn't

04:34

have i can't quite put my finger on it

04:36

it reminds me of leather

04:39

a little bit yeah i mean part of it's

04:41

just being barley instead of corn it's

04:42

delicious

04:43

um if you are in the milwaukee area

04:47

anywhere around it go to star hill bkc

04:49

and grab

04:50

this oakentochen 3 wood it's if you're

04:52

not a scotch drinker this is the gateway

04:54

drug i'm telling you this is

04:56

this is the thing to get thumbs up for

04:57

okintoshin huh thank you

05:03

it's part of the trinitarian tradition

05:05

you understand scotch

05:10

because in scotland you play golf in the

05:12

in the wind and the rain and the cold

05:14

and you come in

05:15

and you refresh yourself

05:18

and then and then you study theology all

05:20

night

05:22

perfect perfect well baxter thank you so

05:25

much for joining us we're super excited

05:27

to chat with you tonight

05:28

my pleasure i love it uh it's a

05:30

beautiful time

05:31

uh right now in history not withstanding

05:33

all the stuff that's going on with covet

05:35

and all the breakdowns and all of that

05:37

but looking at this from a

05:39

historical and spiritual perspective i

05:41

am very excited

05:44

about what's happening can you for our

05:46

listeners who might not

05:48

know who you are baxter can you just

05:49

give them a little bit of background

05:51

where you're from your education

05:52

your your work well i grew up in south

05:55

mississippi in a

05:56

little town called apprentice a thousand

05:58

people um

06:00

and we loved uh we we we hung with

06:02

everybody there wasn't enough people to

06:04

have any kind of social gradation or

06:05

thing we just

06:06

hung out with everybody which has proven

06:08

to be really helpful to me because

06:10

and my dad pointed this out to me not

06:12

long i mean three or four years ago he

06:14

said

06:15

your capacity to communicate comes out

06:18

of that

06:19

where you were you were talking to

06:21

everybody so you'd learn to communicate

06:22

with everybody so

06:24

you're never ever content to just go you

06:26

know

06:27

and stay up in the lofty ideas which is

06:29

important but that's

06:30

the point is to bring those ideas down

06:33

to where people live

06:35

so that from there i went to university

06:36

of mississippi i grew up in a calvinist

06:39

church

06:40

memorized the catechism 13-year perfect

06:43

sunday school attendance pen

06:44

brother and our pastor i mean he's still

06:48

the pastor of the church

06:49

he's been there for 50 years and he's a

06:52

a wonderful man

06:53

uh faithful um in terms of his

06:57

commitment to his community and family

06:58

and all that and i am very grateful to

07:00

him

07:01

i disagree with him in his calvinism but

07:04

i am very grateful to him because every

07:06

single sermon every bible study

07:08

everything he ever did

07:10

was very theologically informed and

07:12

challenging and uh

07:13

they really just you know called us

07:15

forth and we had to think and of course

07:17

my dad being a lawyer and then the judge

07:19

and

07:20

both my older brother my younger brother

07:22

turned out to be lawyers and

07:23

my mother was the smartest one in the

07:25

whole room um

07:27

it was a thinking environment and a

07:30

biblical

07:31

and we learned the bible and i knew the

07:33

bible was taught in sunday school in

07:35

church and

07:36

and then it went off to college the

07:37

university of mississippi and have and

07:39

had what we would call a large time

07:42

and ran aground

07:45

uh in terms of um i mean at the end of

07:48

every party i knew

07:50

i would be walking in this little field

07:52

behind the dormitory which is now

07:54

um a parking lot but i would walk back

07:57

behind the dormitory crying out to god

07:59

this this

08:00

there's more there's got to be more

08:02

jesus you're more i

08:03

i knew i knew it i just didn't know how

08:05

to get to it and

08:06

one thing led to another and i got

08:08

involved in in campus ministries and

08:10

then

08:11

ended up getting married and went with

08:13

seminary and then i

08:14

you know really discovered theology in

08:16

earnest

08:17

uh uh not not

08:20

the reform stuff uh the conservative

08:24

uh narrow conform stuff but the broader

08:26

reform tradition which is bart and the

08:28

torrance brothers and

08:30

uh that larger conversation and just

08:33

blew my mind but

08:34

by then i was pretty pretty well steeped

08:36

in athanasius

08:38

a funny story when i was a senior in

08:40

college at ole miss

08:41

and um took me forever to realize how

08:44

everybody knew who athanasius was

08:46

because nobody ever talked about that

08:47

but

08:48

uh i went to the library at the

08:49

university of mississippi and checked

08:51

out

08:51

um athanasius's little book it's right

08:54

out there above everything i do

08:55

called on the incarnation of the word of

08:57

god and they had a copy and it never

08:59

been checked out

09:00

of course i read it but it just man he

09:04

he in in chat in section six this is

09:08

the quote um what then was god

09:12

being good to do when his creation was

09:15

on the road to ruin

09:17

and i i just oh my goodness and he

09:21

sees god not as good on monday

09:24

but as good and his intentions for us

09:27

are

09:27

um almost unimaginable and we botched it

09:31

and he's not he's not throwing up his

09:33

hands going man i knew

09:34

he's what in it this character this god

09:38

who

09:38

flung the worlds into existence and

09:40

loved us from eternity what's he to do

09:42

when we box

09:43

he throws all in and then earlier or not

09:46

earlier but

09:47

in a equal uh companion book that goes

09:50

along with that which athanasius wrote

09:52

when he was in his 20s

09:54

um and um he was called against the

09:58

gentiles

10:00

and in that he says the god of all is

10:04

good

10:06

and supremely noble by nature

10:10

now this again this is not on monday and

10:12

tuesday this is who god

10:14

is noble good therefore the god of all

10:18

is good and supremely noble by nature

10:20

therefore he is the lover of the human

10:23

race

10:24

and it just i was so eager to find a way

10:27

around or out of the the abuses of

10:31

calvinism

10:32

um but honestly armenianism is no

10:36

no comparison so what do you do well i

10:39

didn't even know there was this thing

10:40

called the trinitarian tradition and lo

10:42

and behold

10:43

i became a fan of athanasius and read

10:45

everything and eventually ended up in

10:47

scotland to study with jb

10:48

torrance at the university of aberdeen

10:51

and to study

10:53

by then i had discovered j.b torrance's

10:55

older brother who

10:56

thomas f torrance and that's the two

10:59

rows of books there

11:00

um and the father's church fathers

11:03

they're up on top they kind of oversee

11:04

everything

11:05

bart and calvin are over there and

11:07

george mcdonald and c.s lewis and uh

11:10

but um t.f torrance

11:13

wrote 30 books 300 articles reviews

11:15

essays and things a very

11:17

uh prolific writer but when i read him

11:19

for the first time it's the same spirit

11:21

the same

11:22

song it lit up the song in my heart

11:25

that i had learned from athanasius and

11:29

one thing led me to another so i ended

11:30

up doing my doctoral dissertation

11:32

in the 80s mid 80s on the theology of

11:36

theory of thorns and particularly on his

11:38

his understanding of knowing god the way

11:41

in which we know god is that we actually

11:43

share in god's knowledge of himself

11:46

that's

11:47

one of the points of the significance of

11:48

the trinity that the one who is face to

11:51

face with his father from all eternity

11:54

this is the beginning of john's gospel

11:56

in the beginning was the word and the

11:57

word was face to face with god

11:59

and the word was god well he became

12:01

human in order to share with us

12:03

what he knows and not only what he knows

12:06

intellectually but his spirit so the

12:09

whole thing was about

12:10

sharing in jesus's eternal relationship

12:13

with his father and spirit which blew my

12:15

mind i'm like this is the coolest thing

12:16

in the world so

12:17

i look back now um and

12:20

when i was 10 years old i had some

12:22

experiences in church that rocked me

12:24

pretty good and i didn't know what they

12:25

were but that was all about this

12:26

it was just the lord the lord saying to

12:28

me um

12:31

you shall know the truth and the truth

12:33

shall set you free and don't

12:34

don't settle don't settle for anything

12:37

other than authentic freedom and

12:39

i'm like a deer in headlights i don't

12:42

know what to do but eventually i look

12:43

back now and i see how the lord led me

12:45

to these great

12:46

figures and leaders and they led me back

12:47

to the early church and to the apostles

12:49

and

12:50

and seeing uh the heart of the new

12:53

testament the relationship between

12:54

father son and spirit

12:56

it's the center of the cosmos you know

12:58

that's great what does it mean

13:00

like so my life is essentially the

13:03

unpacking of the significance of that

13:05

that's what i've written

13:06

on you know nine books later um

13:09

essays where i'm trying to dig

13:12

into and say this is we've got atonement

13:15

backwards

13:16

i'm sorry we just got it backwards this

13:18

has never been about an angry god this

13:20

is always about a father that loved us

13:22

and we lost our mind

13:23

the purpose of the incarnation is that

13:25

everything that jesus knows and has with

13:27

his father and spirit

13:28

he could bring to us and share it with

13:32

us and it could be as much ours

13:34

as it is he is by experience and i

13:37

i grapple with that because that's a

13:39

hard concept to get your brain around

13:41

if you grew up as i did it you know in

13:43

the bible bell in mississippi in the

13:46

western tradition and after scotland i'm

13:49

back in the united states

13:50

my son is probably seven years old

13:55

uh oldest daughter laura's five and

13:58

catherine's a baby

13:59

and on a saturday morning i'm sitting

14:01

there getting ready to

14:02

to uh i'm sorting through junk mail

14:04

getting ready to watch a football game

14:06

on my couch in my den and up to my right

14:08

i see movement

14:09

down toward the floor and i turned and i

14:11

looked and there were two

14:12

camouflaged faces with the hat

14:14

camouflage

14:15

hats on looking at me and before i could

14:18

move they just jumped in the air

14:20

like cannonballs and dove in and we

14:22

started this mock

14:24

fight for and they had you know all the

14:26

camouflage on and their boots and

14:29

plastic grenades and all the politically

14:31

incorrect stuff that we anyway

14:33

and we ended up in this mock battle and

14:36

then we ended up in a ball of laughter

14:38

on the floor

14:39

and i'm i get up and i'm i got my hands

14:42

resting on my

14:44

on my knees and i'm breathing heavy and

14:46

i look at them the two of them just

14:47

laughing

14:49

and a ticker tape flies across my brain

14:52

in my mind it says baxter pay attention

14:55

this is important and i'm like well

14:58

okay it's important you know dad's

15:00

horsing around with his son and his

15:02

buddy you know on saturday afternoon i

15:03

mean what's the

15:05

it's got to be going on one form or

15:06

another with mothers and daughters

15:08

all over the world and i didn't get it

15:10

and it took me a while but then i began

15:12

to realize that i actually didn't know

15:14

this other little boy

15:16

i didn't i didn't even know he was in my

15:18

house i

15:19

didn't know his name um and i thought

15:23

what would have happened if he would

15:25

have walked into my den

15:28

turned and seen me on the couch by

15:30

himself

15:32

because he doesn't know me doesn't know

15:34

what i'm like he doesn't know how i'm

15:35

gonna respond but the last thing is

15:36

gonna happen

15:36

for him to come flying through the air

15:38

on his own and engaged me in that kind

15:39

of familiarity and play and

15:42

and then then it began to really dawn on

15:44

me but my son knows me

15:46

he was there my son knows that i not

15:49

only love him

15:50

but i like him and i want to be with him

15:52

just today i was with

15:54

my son and his his own son james edward

15:56

baxter kruger jr he's about

15:58

you know seven months old and i'm like

16:01

who

16:02

who saw this coming and but i that day i

16:05

was there and

16:06

and i thought i watched

16:09

my son's knowledge of

16:12

me of my heart of my good will toward

16:16

him

16:17

i saw that go inside that other little

16:19

boy and he got to taste and play in

16:23

our fellowship and our freedom and it

16:26

became in that moment as much he

16:28

as much his as it was ours and i just

16:31

i just thought that's

16:34

that's the gospel there's only one

16:37

person who knows

16:38

the the father and that's jesus and

16:41

what's he to do

16:43

when his bride has lost her mind and

16:45

runs from him

16:47

i'm going in papa i won't get to the

16:50

bottom

16:51

and i'm not having this in my creation

16:54

i'm not having my children not

16:56

my brothers and sisters my bride think

16:58

this of you

16:59

we're going in and papa said i got you

17:02

back in the holy spirit like you know

17:04

i'm not missing that old [ __ ]

17:06

me and kyle in the last few weeks or the

17:08

last couple of days read

17:10

one of baxter's books called patmos

17:12

which is a

17:14

fascinating concept where you wrote

17:17

about

17:17

a theologian a just pretty average

17:21

religious guy who gets kind of we would

17:24

say revelation style beamed

17:26

into the isle of patmos 2000 years ago

17:28

and just gets to spend three days with

17:29

the apostle john john the revelator

17:32

no less and some fascinating

17:34

conversations and it's just a really fun

17:36

creative way

17:37

to introduce john's theology and

17:40

introduce maybe a different way of

17:41

of seeing uh the gospel in a more

17:44

original

17:45

early church sort of way right so you

17:48

did a number of things that we've got

17:49

some questions for you in that book

17:51

but it's a really fun just theological

17:55

uh it's it's a put together a

17:59

theology in story form so it's pretty

18:01

fun kyle you had the first question i

18:02

think right

18:03

yeah there's several things you do in

18:05

the book that i'd like to ask you about

18:06

one thing that occurs kind of early on

18:08

is john refers to the holy spirit as she

18:13

which is a practice i've been i've

18:14

adopted several years ago when i read my

18:17

first

18:17

feminist theologians and

18:21

i think it has changed the the way i

18:23

view god just just that simple little

18:25

tweak

18:26

but the the character in the book that's

18:27

the theologian is like shocked by it or

18:29

whatever

18:30

um so why did you choose to put that in

18:33

there was there a personal experience

18:34

that was behind that decision to include

18:36

that in the book tell us about

18:38

tell us about why that's in there well

18:41

yes there's there's a lot there's a lot

18:43

to it when i was growing up the holy

18:45

spirit was referred to as the holy ghost

18:48

uh that's the way it's used in the king

18:50

james bible it's that's the way it was

18:52

used in the

18:53

apostles and the nicene creed that we

18:56

used

18:57

in most of the hymns

19:00

and if you just stop and think about it

19:03

a 12 year old little boy doesn't want to

19:05

hang around with a ghost let alone a

19:06

holy one

19:08

so there's a real disconnect from me

19:10

personally from the holy spirit

19:12

um and i'm functioning from memory here

19:16

but i think that there are 200

19:17

references

19:19

in the hebrew bible to ruach

19:23

or uh which can be translated breath

19:26

wind or spirit and of the 289

19:34

uh generally there's always scholarly

19:36

debate about these things but

19:38

generally 89 times refers to the holy

19:41

spirit

19:42

of the 89 80 times

19:45

is feminine and followed

19:49

i think 45 44 times something like that

19:52

by

19:52

feminine verbs so the very second verse

19:55

in the

19:56

in the bible rule feminine

19:59

spirit uh all through one of the ones

20:01

that blew my mind was all through the

20:02

book of judges when the spirit of the

20:04

lord came

20:05

mightily upon you know it's all feminine

20:09

i wasn't taught that i didn't learn that

20:11

until i started studying hebrew but even

20:13

then nobody made anything of it

20:14

and then there's the fact that jesus

20:16

spoke aramaic in both hebrew and in

20:19

aramaic to this day

20:21

ruach is feminine so

20:26

you know my question is why haven't we

20:28

ever been told this

20:31

um because it seems to me to be a rather

20:33

large thing and

20:34

it's really when you discover the

20:36

trinity and the importance of it that

20:38

you begin to see

20:39

that and i don't want to say that the

20:41

spirit is

20:43

the feminine part of god and god the

20:44

father's masculine

20:46

i think masculinity and femininity are

20:48

part of the divine being

20:50

all the way around but i do think that

20:52

the holy spirit

20:53

um is um is referred to in feminine ways

20:57

on purpose um and i think there's

21:00

something

21:01

beautifully healing about that and to

21:03

discover

21:04

that this has been a part of the

21:06

tradition all the way through the church

21:08

it didn't it didn't

21:09

become the big thing but it's always

21:12

been there

21:13

yeah i love um the extensive

21:16

use in in the book referring to

21:20

the holy spirit as she and her um for

21:23

two reasons two main reasons one

21:24

it personalizes the holy spirit because

21:26

i if if i have to hear another person

21:28

call the holy spirit it

21:30

i'm going to lose my mind it's i

21:33

when when the spirit is it's it doesn't

21:35

mean a whole lot and you can't get to

21:36

knowing it

21:37

but when you personalize the spirit then

21:40

all of a sudden you can have a

21:40

relationship with that person

21:42

and then i desperately met a point in my

21:44

life where i

21:45

need to see the feminine life within the

21:49

godhead

21:49

um i can't i can't deal with all the

21:52

male pronouns anymore

21:53

i can't deal with the the overly um

21:57

masculinized version of god that we have

22:00

and

22:00

this is a beautiful way in to see it's

22:03

it's not only like

22:04

it's not wishful thinking it's right

22:06

there in the scriptures the holy spirit

22:07

is referred to as a she

22:09

it's you're not doing any any crazy

22:11

liberal

22:12

jumping jacks to get there and jumping

22:14

through hoops it's just there

22:16

we didn't see it for whatever reason

22:18

probably intentional right

22:20

um and now we could get to see this

22:22

beautiful femininity within the godhead

22:24

which was already there

22:26

but when you open yourself to that

22:27

there's something deeply healing and i

22:29

think that's where you said where you

22:30

were spot on when he said particularly

22:32

for men

22:33

i know for women in different ways but i

22:36

just need to see

22:37

the beautiful feminine life within the

22:40

divine

22:40

godhead and this is a beautiful way to

22:43

do that

22:43

i was driving down the road one day on

22:45

my way to nashville tennessee and i was

22:47

right outside of jackson tennessee

22:49

on the interstate just me i was by

22:52

myself driving and

22:53

and this sense came over me and i was

22:58

like what what's going on

23:00

and i couldn't quite make it out and i'd

23:03

wrestle with it

23:04

i drove up the road and i finally it

23:06

finally dawned on me

23:07

that i was not only in that moment

23:09

experiencing

23:11

the holy spirit's joy

23:15

i always experienced the holy spirit's

23:17

enjoyment of me

23:19

which is like what

23:22

i'm broken i'm a mess

23:25

[Music]

23:26

i'm not yet earned a spot and

23:29

once you see how god really is

23:33

that he never designed us to be perfect

23:37

he never designed the father-son spirit

23:39

never designed us to be

23:41

wise never designed us to be righteous

23:46

never made us to be good they made us

23:50

to participate in their perfection

23:53

in their goodness in their righteousness

23:57

in their wisdom we're the ones that turn

24:00

from that to try to create our own

24:02

but they are the ones who meet us as

24:05

their children

24:06

broken and you know sometimes i just

24:09

think

24:10

stupid as i am meet us

24:13

in that and delight in perfecting it

24:18

transforming it into something beautiful

24:20

and good

24:21

and right even when we're trying to

24:25

pretend that we already are

24:26

we got bible verses and we're part of

24:28

the right church to prove that you know

24:31

so there's a tremendous freedom uh in

24:34

that i

24:35

i like to tell a story about a carpet

24:38

weaver

24:39

and his six-year-old granddaughter that

24:41

he adores

24:42

and she adores him and she he's like the

24:46

best carpet

24:47

weaver in the world and she's pestering

24:49

him for a year

24:50

you know pops when are you when are you

24:52

gonna let me make a carpet with

24:54

and so on it's on her seventh birthday

24:57

he presents to her two of his own

24:59

favorite needles and shows her how to

25:02

make

25:02

two or three stitches and sets her up

25:05

on one end and off she goes and she's

25:08

making the carpet

25:10

doesn't even know what a carpet is and

25:12

doesn't make a single

25:14

correct stitch not one

25:18

and he so loves her and so adores her

25:20

and so wise and experienced

25:22

that he's steadily watching all of her

25:24

mistakes and he's weaving that in

25:26

so that when they meet in the middle it

25:28

is again a masterpiece

25:30

because he has woven her mistakes into

25:32

the overall pattern

25:35

and that that is the father son and

25:36

spirit

25:38

they're not standing off waiting for us

25:40

to figure out how to get it right

25:42

they're in the middle of the mess and

25:44

they're perfecting it

25:46

it's just like goodness and so

25:49

i i just think it it's in their times

25:52

you know in your in your journey where

25:54

you realize

25:56

lord i hadn't got a single stitch right

25:58

and i've been so self-righteous

26:01

and condemning others and that's when

26:05

you need

26:05

the holy spirit as mama and you need to

26:09

feel her joy

26:10

um because when we return from

26:13

our um escape from our own heart because

26:18

it can be painful in the light

26:20

but when we return to our own soul

26:24

the holy spirit is just like she's like

26:28

a mother who is

26:30

whose sons and daughters are coming home

26:32

from college

26:33

spend the weekend she can't wait

26:38

you know and that that that is so

26:40

foreign it was to me

26:42

it i didn't know but i now see that it's

26:44

foreign to most people's understanding

26:47

of the holy spirit and um i didn't

26:49

intentionally set out to

26:51

say as much about the spirit in the book

26:53

as it

26:54

came out and i love it i love it

26:57

matter of fact one of my charismatic

26:58

friends called me up and says baxter

27:00

you're going to be known as a theologian

27:02

the holy spirit go figure that

27:04

i said i said yeah and you read the book

27:06

didn't you

27:08

go figure it called to mind some sayings

27:12

of the desert fathers that i'm a big fan

27:13

of

27:14

about what we would call theosis or what

27:16

the eastern christians would call

27:18

theosis

27:19

which seems to be kind of a big theme in

27:21

your book you don't use that terminology

27:22

but it seems to be something you're

27:24

after with that

27:25

irene and johanna and tradition um

27:28

so what can you explain in

27:32

a little more concrete terms what it

27:34

means to become what god is in his

27:36

essence

27:38

you know the technical term that they

27:39

used was theosis

27:41

um that scares the jebus out of most

27:44

western christians but

27:45

if you go back to the story of my son

27:47

and his buddy in the den

27:48

that's it it is the experiential life of

27:52

god

27:52

it's the love which is unspeakable in

27:56

its beauty

27:58

but that love that life that sharedness

28:01

that oneness that paracritic

28:03

unity without loss of personhood um that

28:06

creativity

28:08

is in us and and nothing you just used a

28:10

big word there

28:11

pericaretic can you define that that's

28:14

the the name of our ministry it's my

28:16

favorite theological word

28:18

because once jesus said or once

28:21

john wrote in his gospel

28:25

and jesus says i'm in the father the

28:27

father is in me

28:29

then from that moment forward the search

28:31

zone for a way of talking about that

28:34

without emerging so that

28:38

well jesus is the father the same person

28:40

but

28:41

there is two distinct persons of course

28:45

the holy spirit's right there

28:46

so how do we talk about that in a way

28:49

that we guard

28:50

the distinction and yet we honor the

28:54

oneness

28:56

which is what we're all searching for in

28:57

every relationship and especially our

28:59

marriages

29:00

uh to maintain distinction

29:04

within oneness most of the time we end

29:06

up failing and it's

29:08

someone dominates the other and the

29:09

other disappears

29:12

or it gets enmeshed where you lose

29:15

yourself so

29:16

um they were searching for that word in

29:18

nicaea they used the word

29:20

hamauciostopatri of phrase which means

29:22

of one being

29:23

of the same being with the father and

29:25

then eventually

29:28

they took up a word uh periquerasis

29:31

is the proper pronunciation or

29:32

pericardius as they would say

29:36

and it means mutual indwelling

29:40

without loss of personhood um

29:44

and and that became this the one word

29:47

summary of the

29:49

of the doctrine of the trinity if you

29:51

want to put it that way which is

29:52

almost stupid to even say but uh it

29:55

maintains

29:57

it's i create space for you in all of my

30:00

life

30:01

and you don't get lost and neither do i

30:03

but our

30:05

togetherness is such

30:09

that togetherness of the father and the

30:11

son is so unclouded

30:13

it's so non-religious there's no fear

30:16

there's no darkness

30:18

there's light they're turned toward

30:20

their face to face they share all

30:22

things and the more you try to describe

30:24

the nature of their togetherness you

30:26

just end up

30:27

with the word one and then you

30:30

comma but they don't merge so that

30:33

they're

30:34

the same person so that's the the beauty

30:37

of it the whole creation

30:39

is created in this paracritic

30:42

relationship of oneness without loss

30:44

everything is wired that way uh we're

30:47

all searching for it

30:48

and it's really fascinating to me i

30:50

don't keep up with

30:52

physics like i wish i could i mean it's

30:54

just too much to do

30:56

too many things but um it's very clear

30:59

that the whole world of physics is

31:01

searching for the concept of paraphrases

31:03

because they they very they they see

31:05

that everything is of a peace

31:08

and yet i'm not you you're not me you're

31:11

not a rock

31:12

i'm not a tree i mean but there's a deep

31:16

and

31:16

profound connectedness with creation um

31:20

and a union there without loss so

31:23

that's the main the main theological

31:26

point in the story is union

31:28

as john is raised in question again

31:29

again union or separation you either

31:31

assume that you're

31:32

separated from god the father-son spirit

31:34

and therefore we've got to get back so

31:35

somebody tell me how to do it

31:37

the birth of religion or you understand

31:39

separate

31:40

union and now you're trying to

31:42

experience this

31:43

so john is helping aiden sort through

31:46

that because

31:47

the point of the theological clarity is

31:49

not that john

31:50

that aiden would get a gold star in

31:52

theology the point is he would begin to

31:54

suspect that jesus

31:55

is in him so that's the main story of

31:58

the book is that jesus

32:01

the aidan is going to discover and

32:03

encounter

32:04

jesus and the holy spirit and the father

32:07

because they're indivisibly one

32:09

inside of his own scuba

32:12

he's never looked there because he was

32:14

always told he tried

32:16

he had to he had to become accepted by

32:19

cleaning himself up

32:21

and what lo and behold he discovers that

32:23

that they love

32:24

him as he is in his brokenness so he

32:27

gets to meet

32:28

the father son of spirit in the things

32:31

and in the places in his old

32:32

soul where he's most ashamed of himself

32:36

so i had a friend one time that that

32:39

came to me

32:40

and said that he was struggling with

32:41

panic attacks

32:43

and we were sitting on my back patio and

32:45

he said i don't know what to do he said

32:47

i quote the bible verses i pray

32:49

i just don't i don't i can't beat it and

32:52

i said well

32:53

i'm panicked i'm the holy spirit you've

32:55

got to give me something because i don't

32:56

i don't want to make anything up not

32:59

here

32:59

not at this point not with this problem

33:02

and he

33:03

and so the holy spirit he told me said

33:06

well

33:06

when you drive because this would come

33:07

to him mainly when he would get driving

33:09

when he would drive his car

33:11

um and i said so when you leave here

33:13

going back home

33:14

and this happens i want you to pull over

33:18

all the way as far as you can on the

33:20

right side road hit park

33:22

take the keys out and throw them in the

33:23

floorboard on the passenger side and say

33:25

all right bring it home

33:27

bring it on i want to see your teeth

33:28

what you got

33:30

we're going to duke it out right here

33:31

we're going to get to the bottom of this

33:33

and he said he called me back on the

33:34

phone

33:35

10 15 minutes after he left he said it

33:37

happened i pulled over he told me where

33:39

he was i knew exactly where he was i

33:40

could see it

33:41

with him and he said man the whole world

33:43

went dark actually i'm falling back in a

33:45

pit

33:45

i think was a pit it was just dark i

33:47

couldn't see my hands

33:49

i just felt that i was falling backwards

33:51

in in

33:52

unimaginable abyss and i was gone

33:55

forever

33:56

and he said suddenly i kind of stopped

33:58

at least i

33:59

felt like i stopped i wasn't on the

34:01

ground

34:02

but i didn't feel like i was moving but

34:04

it was pitch black dark

34:06

and he said you're not going to believe

34:09

what happened

34:10

i said what happened

34:13

he said i turned to my right and there

34:16

sat jesus

34:20

i said yeah that's the gospel we we're

34:23

trying to perform to get in by being

34:25

good which is [ __ ]

34:27

excuse me scubala he's met

34:30

us he's met us in our crap

34:33

and we're performing you got to meet him

34:36

at the place that scared you to death

34:37

your whole life

34:39

and that's what's called and knowing the

34:41

truth shall set you free

34:43

who gets a vote in that place your mom

34:46

your dad your church

34:47

who gets it nobody gets a vote in that

34:49

place jesus

34:50

is yeah this i i am what's at the bottom

34:53

of your being

34:54

in the bottom of your crap help us

34:57

understand that so one of the questions

34:58

i put on the outline was

35:00

um what does it mean to say that jesus

35:02

dwells

35:03

in our sin so use the word flesh a lot

35:06

in the book but you do eventually get

35:07

around to using the word sin too

35:09

um how how is that possible and i'm

35:13

asking in two senses i'm asking it in

35:15

the spiritual formation

35:16

sense but also in like the metaphysics

35:20

like what does it mean to say that the

35:22

holy spirit indwells

35:25

my flesh or jesus okay

35:28

this is this is basic christology

35:32

and this is really important because

35:34

you're asking a question

35:36

that is answered on two levels one is

35:38

the conceptual and the other is the

35:41

experiential so

35:42

at the conceptual level the the brothers

35:46

and sisters of the early church realized

35:48

that we are staring a mystery in the

35:50

face

35:51

we cannot explain it we cannot define it

35:54

but we're going to defend it

35:55

the mystery is this the one who is face

35:58

to face with his father from all

35:59

eternity which is a mystery

36:01

and is god but not the father which is a

36:04

mystery

36:05

this one who is anointed in the holy

36:06

spirit became a real human being without

36:08

ceasing to be

36:09

divine don't know how to explain that

36:11

that's a mystery we're holding it

36:12

together

36:13

this happened we believe it we know that

36:15

jesus is god we know that he's human

36:17

and lo and behold john

36:20

says matthew says immanuel which means

36:24

god with us

36:26

john says the word became not anthropos

36:29

which is human man but sarx

36:33

which is flesh which is not good

36:36

it's our humanity twisted so word

36:40

becomes flesh

36:41

no way to explain how that can be how

36:43

can the one who is face to face with his

36:45

father entering into the place where he

36:46

can't see his father's face

36:49

don't have an answer but that happened

36:51

that's what we hold on to this is the

36:53

mystery

36:54

of the faith it's what the apostle paul

36:56

you know calls the mystery of godliness

36:58

well the apostle paul goes even further

37:02

he not only says that that the son

37:04

became

37:05

anthropos human or sarks flesh

37:09

ii corinthians 5 21 he who knew no sin

37:12

he made to be sin how

37:16

how does that don't know but the logic

37:20

of it is

37:22

identified and stated by gregory

37:24

nazianzen when he said

37:26

that the unassumed is the unhealed

37:30

so if all he became was human

37:33

that's beautiful but that doesn't help

37:35

me or you

37:36

because we're more than human we're

37:37

twisted human but if all he can't became

37:40

his

37:41

twitter human that helps but that

37:43

doesn't get to the root

37:44

the root is what the apostle paul is

37:46

saying so i liken it to

37:49

um miners that are down in the earth

37:53

and the mine collapses so they bring in

37:56

a surface

37:57

rescue team that sets up shop on the

37:59

surface

38:00

but suppose the rescue team never goes

38:02

down and makes contact with

38:05

the the miners that are in the collapsed

38:07

mine there's no rescue

38:10

or suppose that they get all the way

38:12

down to the bottom and they see them

38:14

embrace them and they give them oxygen

38:16

and food but then they

38:18

get trapped they lose contact with the

38:20

surface crew

38:22

so they're just as lo so it's necessary

38:25

that both mysteries be held

38:26

all this is held together in the person

38:28

of christ and this is what we adore and

38:30

hillary said that the the heretics

38:33

force us to scale perilous heights to

38:35

strain

38:36

the poor resources of language to say

38:39

what cannot be said with words

38:41

when faith is perfectly content to sit

38:43

and wonder at this

38:45

but we have to talk about it because of

38:47

the heretics

38:48

so they're saying that this is the

38:50

mystery christ in you

38:53

not just anthropos not just sarcs

38:57

but christ in you the sinner christ in

38:59

you at your deepest worst

39:01

and he brought his father the holy

39:03

spirit with him how

39:05

don't know we'll never figure that out

39:06

that's just the mystery of the

39:08

the goodness and the overflowing love of

39:10

god

39:12

but the closest i know to come to that

39:14

in human terms is

39:16

as a father um

39:20

i can't think of anything i would do for

39:22

my children

39:23

and now that i have grandchildren i'm

39:25

like just you know

39:26

take me um and i know that that

39:30

that has to be the love of god inside of

39:32

me that pales in comparison to the

39:35

fullness so the mystery of godliness

39:38

is there how can god become human

39:41

without ceasing to be god

39:43

don't know aries you know well it can't

39:46

be

39:46

can't happen so nicodemus says how can

39:49

these things be

39:50

aries is how can these things be

39:52

athanasius

39:53

is the aryans are like the sadducees of

39:56

old when they hear that the son

39:58

is the wisdom and the radiance and the

39:59

word of the father

40:01

they are accustomed to rejoin how can

40:04

this

40:05

be as though nothing can be

40:08

unless they understand it so

40:11

there you see it is that you have people

40:14

with mindsets that want to clamp it down

40:16

and say god whatever you are you got to

40:18

fit inside my mind says

40:20

the early church is saying you got to

40:21

blow them blow my mindsets

40:23

i know this i've met jesus and he's the

40:26

father's eternal son

40:28

how do i explain that i don't know i

40:31

worship

40:32

i love i adore it i'm safe there and so

40:35

that's the theological significance of

40:37

what you're saying on a practical

40:39

you know experiential level

40:43

when jesus says after he fed the 5000 in

40:46

john chapter 6

40:48

he says gather up the fragments see that

40:51

nothing is lost

40:54

and john typically speaks on multi

40:56

levels but that's one of them

40:59

i want all of baxter i don't want just a

41:02

sunday version

41:04

i want all of him and all of you and all

41:07

my cheap

41:07

all my my bride so i'm going into the

41:10

very bottom where there is nothing

41:11

beyond that

41:13

and to me the very power of the gospel

41:16

is when you can

41:17

look at i don't care if it's ten

41:18

thousand people or five or one

41:20

when you can look at a human being and

41:21

say let me let me tell you and this

41:23

happened in the story of patmos

41:26

uh hayden had already met jesus he'd

41:28

already encountered jesus and the father

41:30

the holy spirit he still didn't know

41:31

that that encounter was inside of

41:33

himself

41:33

and he still didn't know it was inside

41:35

of his crap

41:37

there is no freedom from your bondage

41:39

until you meet the father son and spirit

41:41

in it

41:42

because it's like i don't have to hide i

41:44

don't have to pretend i

41:46

perform they love me and they're content

41:48

for you to park right there and

41:50

and just be loved so the experiential

41:53

side of this

41:53

is there is not a place in the dark

41:56

world of sin

42:00

there is not a pla there is not a thing

42:02

you could do

42:03

wrong that jesus hasn't entered into

42:07

there with his father in the holy spirit

42:09

and he can meet you there and you can

42:12

have a new life

42:13

right there this is not about cleaning

42:15

yourself up

42:17

i get so bored and tired with that you

42:21

you know somebody give me a bible let me

42:23

walk in the church and act like

42:24

everything's just like no

42:26

man we're a mess we're just a broken

42:29

mess i don't even know how to spell

42:31

life i used to tell you how to live it

42:36

i don't even know i don't even know what

42:37

eternal life is except knowing the

42:39

father

42:40

well i don't know how to get there from

42:41

where i am jesus does

42:43

and he says take sides with me back i'm

42:45

leading you i'll lead you

42:47

i'm doing so both of those together

42:51

without the mystery without taking the

42:54

mystery to its dirtiest place

42:56

this is offensive to the to the fallen

42:59

mind but nevertheless the word of god

43:01

became

43:02

flesh he who knew no sin became sin

43:06

praise god for the apostles testicular

43:09

fortitude to write that down

43:11

for us because it means that there's no

43:15

part of me that's left out

43:17

and i don't have to hide that part and

43:18

pretend it's not there

43:20

i can bring that to jesus and say

43:23

can you fix this can you

43:27

can you i can't i don't even know how

43:29

jesus my my inner world is like a box of

43:31

loose coat hangers

43:33

and i used to be sure i could fix it i

43:35

don't even know which one to move first

43:37

now

43:37

and i'm done with religion can you fix

43:39

it he's the he's

43:41

actually you're still looking for me up

43:43

at the top of the box we're down here

43:46

come on come on down here you see it

43:48

frees

43:49

the the human person uh if you

43:52

in in most people that go to therapy

43:56

go to therapy to find out what's wrong

43:58

with their partner

44:01

and most people refuse to go to

44:04

something like that because they're

44:06

terrified to look inside the garbage can

44:08

stuck over in the corner of their soul

44:11

because if they look in there they're

44:12

convinced they're gonna find nothing

44:14

but irrefutable proof that they are no

44:17

damn good

44:18

that as my dad used to say to me born

44:20

trash you die

44:21

trash as my church used to say to me

44:23

you're totally depraved

44:25

if i look in that garbage can i'm gonna

44:27

find irrefutable proof

44:28

and now i'm standing before god with my

44:30

garbage can open and nowhere to hide

44:32

so i'm gonna pretend somebody showed me

44:34

how to be religious

44:36

or somebody show me how to but when you

44:38

hear

44:39

that the father in the sun and the

44:41

spirit in the sun

44:43

have submitted to us has submitted to me

44:46

and gotten inside of my darkness down to

44:48

the bottom and they they

44:50

they they built their tents their

44:53

tent inside of the bottom of my garbage

44:57

can

44:58

which means to me now for the first time

45:00

you mean that's not the deepest truth in

45:02

my being the deepest truth of my being

45:03

is the father son of spirits union with

45:05

me

45:06

and i can look in there and i can begin

45:09

to build from that place

45:10

then nobody gets a vote shame doesn't

45:12

get a vote evil doesn't get a vote

45:14

husband wives divorce finances nothing

45:17

gets a vote on how

45:18

we feel about ourselves we now know how

45:20

god feels about us

45:22

and we discovered it in that place

45:25

or you can live your entire life up here

45:27

on this level pretending none of this is

45:29

going on

45:30

and we're just going to go to church and

45:31

smile

45:33

and unfortunately we've come to a place

45:35

in human history where that doesn't work

45:36

anymore

45:38

and the gospel is being proclaimed it's

45:40

being recovered and proclaimed

45:42

wow probably the major theme in the book

45:44

is union and separation

45:46

the apostle john is getting after that

45:48

all the time in your book and

45:50

you talk about how the in the

45:51

incarnation the incarnation happened to

45:54

bring us into union with god and that

45:55

that union

45:56

with a divine life is what everything is

45:58

always about

45:59

and everything everything around us is

46:03

all about union with god and so

46:04

how has this idea of union with god and

46:06

all things being connected

46:08

change the way you see and interact with

46:10

the world

46:12

it changes the way i see every person

46:14

the recognition

46:16

let me give you one of my little mantras

46:20

the recognition of the sacred presence

46:25

of the father son and holy spirit

46:29

in every person moment and place

46:33

is the beginning of wisdom it's the

46:36

beginning of freedom

46:37

to embrace people and life

46:40

in their union with the father-son

46:42

spirit whether they know it yet or not

46:45

so it's radically altering the way i see

46:48

myself

46:49

the way i see every person

46:53

especially those that are unlike me that

46:56

i would

46:56

probably be you know called enemies

47:00

before

47:01

so that's it begins with the trinity and

47:05

our inclusion

47:06

i want to be clear and this is a place

47:08

of development for me

47:09

in in my journey um the incarnation

47:13

doesn't mean that jesus is coming to

47:15

establish a relationship with you

47:17

or the human race he has that

47:21

you create you're created in him you

47:24

live and move and have your being

47:26

in jesus all things came into being

47:29

through him

47:30

and apart from him not one thing came

47:31

into being he's not coming to establish

47:34

a union with you or

47:35

relationship he's coming to establish

47:37

that existing union relationship

47:40

inside of our delusion

47:44

that is a huge difference in point

47:47

yeah entering into relationship with god

47:49

is not something that we can do because

47:50

it's already there

47:52

so good conversely then baxter speaking

47:55

of separation

47:56

um you obviously have some issues with

47:58

augustine and his theology

48:00

and where where western uh the western

48:03

church went in

48:04

because of augustine give us your

48:06

snapshot of

48:08

separation and how it entered into the

48:09

church and perhaps through augustine

48:12

it didn't enter through augustine it

48:13

came really from

48:15

adam it's there in genesis

48:18

when uh the evil one says god knows that

48:21

you will become wise

48:24

well whoever told them there would be

48:26

wise and and

48:27

he said you will be like god well i

48:30

thought they would create an image and

48:31

likeness of god

48:32

so he's suggesting assume a separation

48:36

then take action to fix it

48:38

that's the fall that's also built into

48:41

the fabric of the greek philosophical

48:43

mind

48:44

which in augustine inherited

48:48

through neoplatonism and he was not able

48:51

to extricate himself and even calvin

48:53

says that

48:54

that augustine was excessively addicted

48:57

to the philosophy

48:58

of plato or neoplatonism so there's so

49:02

much that i have great respect for

49:03

augustine but man

49:05

when you boil it all down it comes to

49:06

this you either assume you're separated

49:08

from god and have to get back

49:10

or you assume union and i start seeing

49:12

everything different

49:14

let me let me uh let me throw in an

49:16

interjection here just real quick so

49:18

um in interpreting genesis in in the way

49:21

that you just did and attributing

49:23

something similar to augustine and

49:24

saying that's what the fall is

49:26

reminds me of a philosopher of religion

49:30

that i respected a guy named john hick

49:33

and he he wrote a book in which he

49:36

argued that

49:37

you could trace two lines of thought

49:40

from

49:41

early christianity one through augustine

49:43

and one through irenaeus

49:45

and he actually argued for a reading of

49:47

genesis that didn't include a fall

49:50

he called it an irony in reading so i'm

49:53

curious what your thoughts about that

49:54

are is it actually an augustinian

49:56

reading to see a fall in genesis

49:58

yeah yes you're right i'm with iron ass

50:00

and read in

50:02

this book he deal up

50:05

thoughts about you know it's beautiful

50:06

um

50:08

so it's it's not a a of

50:11

a fall in the sense that you became

50:13

sinful by nature

50:15

because if you are by nature sinful

50:19

broken by nature then that's an

50:22

ontological statement

50:24

good luck on fixing yourself um

50:27

so iron ass is more in the world of

50:29

blindness

50:31

and assumptions and not seeing

50:35

and how we respond and react to not

50:37

seeing in our blindness and

50:39

um so adam and eve

50:43

hid they hid

50:46

themselves in the bush in the tree

50:49

of knowledge of good and evil from god

50:54

who had created them and given them with

50:56

all this and

50:57

and it's like and they thought they were

50:59

right

51:01

and they thought they needed to hide and

51:02

they needed to run

51:04

and they had already invented a false

51:06

deity it's got nothing to do with the

51:08

father-son spirit not really

51:10

but it's true to them and by god they're

51:13

going to create a religion and go with

51:14

it

51:15

and pilfer and destroy the earth and

51:16

we're going to follow in suit because we

51:18

grow up in that darkness without knowing

51:19

any better

51:20

the light of the gospel shines and is at

51:23

work

51:23

to overcome that that's not a by nature

51:27

uh problem and it's very dangerous to

51:30

tell people

51:31

like when my gran my first grandchild

51:34

caroline was

51:34

was born and i got to baptize her

51:38

um i quoted that statement at the

51:40

beginning of um

51:42

that the recognition of the sacred

51:44

presence of the father son and spirit

51:46

in every person moment place is the

51:48

beginning wisdom

51:49

and i said my point is that caroline

51:51

does not have her family of origin

51:55

in the union of kyle and laura

51:58

that's the proximate cause of her being

52:01

her family of origin is the father son

52:03

of spirit

52:05

and they don't do trash this is good

52:09

it gets twisted but it's good

52:13

we are good um and we're good with the

52:16

goodness of the

52:17

son and spirit and jesus has come to

52:18

find us in the place where we

52:21

he's come to find leah and give her a

52:24

new interpretation on the dress

52:25

on her mom and everything else and lead

52:28

her out of her darkness into the

52:29

experience of her father

52:31

her true father

52:34

oh yeah that's a big big

52:37

you know you already know the answer to

52:38

the question but it's a big

52:41

problem i mean i grew up in calvin's

52:43

church man it was a matter of doctrine

52:45

we're totally praying to every one of us

52:47

i mean you you tell a 10 year old little

52:50

boy he's totally

52:50

praised and hope he's going to turn out

52:52

doing anything right he's just going to

52:54

live out of it well

52:55

i can't fix that i mean no you tell

52:59

you tell a child that they belong to the

53:01

father someone spirit they always

53:02

haven't always will

53:03

and they're being told lies and they're

53:06

free to live out those lies but they

53:07

don't have to

53:09

let's live in the truth it's so that

53:12

that's a that's a huge

53:14

western issue there and

53:17

the orthodox which is which irenaeus

53:19

represents of course

53:21

they don't have that same vision

53:25

and they look at us i one time i asked

53:27

an orthodox

53:28

leader i said how do how do orthodox

53:31

christians look at

53:32

quote unquote north american

53:33

evangelicals and he said

53:36

he said we see you as a christian sect

53:40

and we we hurt for you because you

53:43

believed that the father had to be

53:44

bought off

53:46

[Music]

53:49

it helps to read widely and

53:52

have conversations outside of your own

53:54

little club amen

53:57

so i saw a quote i think two days ago by

54:00

saint bonaventure that made me think of

54:02

you

54:02

and in this quote bonaventure in the

54:05

13th century he spoke of the eternal

54:07

generation of the sun

54:09

as the eternal art of the father here's

54:12

the quote

54:12

he said it is the in the eternal art

54:16

from which and through which and in

54:19

accordance with which

54:20

all beautiful things are formed i'm

54:23

going to say that again

54:24

bonaventure said and he's referring to

54:26

the eternal generation of the sun

54:27

it is the in the eternal art from which

54:30

and through which

54:31

in accordance with which all beautiful

54:34

things are formed

54:36

can you just give us your brief snapshot

54:38

of what you think bonaventure was

54:39

getting at there

54:40

the the difference between being

54:42

begotten and created is the begotten is

54:44

an eternal

54:45

generation thing there's no time it's

54:47

the best that they could do it's the

54:49

best anybody's ever been able to

54:50

there was never a time when the father

54:52

was alone

54:54

and just god and not father so this is

54:57

eternal relationship point two is that

55:00

this eternal

55:01

relationship of the father and son and

55:04

holy spirit is the womb

55:06

you said of all good things bonaventure

55:08

said of all good things it's the womb of

55:09

everything

55:11

everything comes out of this and it's

55:14

baptized in the logic of that love with

55:16

father son and spirit

55:17

and you add darkness to that would get

55:20

twisted

55:21

but this is the truth of our being and

55:23

we're learning now in the gospel to

55:25

learn to

55:26

to begin to recognize that

55:29

when you when you lose the trinity and

55:31

carl rauner said this back in the 80s

55:34

roman catholic theologian he said we

55:36

must be willing to admit

55:39

that should the doctrine of the trinity

55:41

have to be dropped as

55:42

false the vast majority

55:46

of religious writing would would remain

55:48

virtually intact

55:50

bonaventures he's trying to to say no no

55:53

everything must be trinitarian

55:56

it must have this this beautiful vision

55:59

of it

56:00

of this love and other centered

56:02

self-giving love

56:03

um or else it's not christian

56:06

yep so last quick question here for you

56:09

baxter um in the chapter in which you

56:11

talk about george mcdonald which is

56:12

really fun

56:13

um you're pretty hard on calvinism which

56:16

i don't mind

56:17

i'm gonna be honest with you it's okay

56:18

with me but um

56:20

you're clearly come out swinging against

56:22

some of the doctrine

56:24

in theology of calvinism give us just

56:26

snapshots of

56:27

the issues you have with calvinism okay

56:29

here it is

56:31

father son and spirit is either eternal

56:33

relationship or it's not

56:36

if it is eternal relationship which it

56:38

is

56:39

then everything that they think

56:42

do act flows out of their love for one

56:46

another

56:47

calvinism teaches that before the

56:48

creation of the world

56:50

a vast majority of human beings were

56:52

rejected by god the father

56:54

and some were loved and jesus agreed to

56:57

save that psalm

56:59

and that the rest of them are going to

57:00

be on the eternal rotisserie

57:03

magnifying the justice of god and i'm

57:04

like wait a minute

57:07

there's no split in the father's being

57:11

unless you can explain to me how

57:15

the doctrine and this is a doctrine of

57:17

reprobation

57:18

of rejection of which is worse than

57:21

premeditated abortion

57:23

but where is that flowing out of the

57:25

relationship of the father son and

57:26

spirit

57:27

is there a fourth member a second son

57:31

that the father hates from all eternity

57:32

and so you know this is reflected this

57:35

no this this is the failure to take the

57:38

trinity seriously

57:39

so in the west one of our habitual

57:42

problems

57:43

is that we talk about the trinity but we

57:45

all know that there's something deeper

57:46

about god than the father-son spirit

57:48

relationship you with me

57:51

what is that deeper than that's what

57:53

causes shots

57:54

because it's deeper than the trinity

57:56

well in augustine

57:58

that deeper was the absolute

57:59

mathematical sovereignty of god which

58:01

got into all kinds of trouble

58:03

in the west in general it's holiness of

58:05

god but notice that holiness is now not

58:07

even trinitarian holy it's not it's not

58:09

talking about

58:10

the magisterial love of the father son

58:12

of spirit and there's nothing like it in

58:14

the universe it's talking about

58:15

something else

58:17

so that's what calvinism has done to us

58:19

is split the trinity

58:21

from the being of god and and

58:24

now we've got to think about the being

58:25

of god in the trinity that's why i kept

58:27

saying at the beginning of our

58:28

discussion

58:29

the god of all is good not on monday not

58:32

sometimes towards some this is character

58:36

this is the deepest truth of the divine

58:38

being is the trinitarian fellowship and

58:41

oneness and love of the father son and

58:42

spirit

58:43

out of that they do towards us exactly

58:45

what they

58:46

do towards one another which is

58:48

self-giving love

58:51

the doctrine of god and to think

58:54

to think and i was taught this and i

58:57

probably even taught it myself at some

58:58

point

58:59

i blocked it from my memory but to think

59:02

that you would teach

59:03

that god the father loves some

59:07

um come on i mean for real

59:10

and we don't throw up and to think that

59:13

he turned his back on his own son

59:15

and we don't puke in the church pew when

59:18

we hear that

59:19

that's just foreign to the character of

59:22

the eternal being of god which is back

59:24

to bonaventure's point of body

59:25

eternal begottenness this relationship

59:28

is the womb of the creation there is no

59:30

god behind the back

59:31

of the trinity so where is all this come

59:34

from it's coming straight out of adam

59:36

through greece through rome write to us

59:38

and we we preach it on sunday

59:40

we don't i don't you guys but it's

59:42

preached on sunday as the gospel

59:44

it's not the gospel is blasphemy there

59:47

is

59:48

no way that you can have a rupture in

59:51

the relationship of the father son and

59:53

spirit it's the most stable reality in

59:55

the cosmos

59:56

always has been always will be to quote

59:58

george mcdonald as long as the father

60:00

loves the son and the son loves the

60:02

father all is well with the little ones

60:05

you break that relationship good luck

60:08

with your religion getting that part of

60:10

god to love you

60:11

god the father is not split towards you

60:15

when he looks at his son he says you are

60:17

my beloved that

60:18

echoes throughout the entire cosmos

60:21

that's what jesus came to teach us

60:25

all right i love it so much last

60:27

question baxter and this is a doozy it's

60:29

a

60:30

it's a good one we we actually recorded

60:32

an episode on the atonement and um in

60:34

your penultimate chapter in

60:36

patmos you do some really really good

60:39

work on the atonement i mean some

60:41

some really really beautiful concepts

60:43

and ideas that define the atonement in a

60:45

way that

60:46

um doesn't make you scared for your

60:48

existence doesn't make you scared of god

60:50

it it shows that the atonement the cross

60:53

needed to happen where god needed to to

60:56

dive into the depths of the human

60:57

experience and human

60:59

human brokenness and failure and sin and

61:01

all of the ugliness

61:03

in order to inhabit it and in in and

61:06

heal it

61:07

give us your picture of the we we have

61:10

the penal substitutionary theory of

61:11

atonement we have

61:12

others we have we have a number of

61:14

others but what you wrote in there needs

61:17

to be

61:18

made public and and preached in the

61:20

pulpit on sunday mornings

61:22

lord willing it will be um two quick

61:25

things there's an

61:26

essay that i wrote called god in the

61:27

hands of anger sinners

61:30

and a new one that just come out called

61:33

um

61:34

the mediation of jesus christ where

61:36

these

61:37

my understanding is developed and i'm

61:40

working on a third one

61:42

on the death of jesus in the gospel of

61:44

john

61:46

i want to be crystal clear on this

61:50

father son of the spirit had a

61:51

discussion before creation the father

61:53

says i want them with me in my house

61:55

face to face and not ashamed

61:56

jesus says i'll take care of it the holy

61:58

spirit says i'm in

62:00

so that's the beginning of the whole

62:02

concept of the incarnation

62:04

and of that uh but the cross is not

62:07

about jesus doing anything from the

62:09

father

62:10

where was god when jesus was being

62:13

crucified

62:14

god was in christ

62:17

reconciling the cosmos he wasn't up

62:20

there pouring

62:21

wrath out on the sun and the holy

62:23

spirit's not freaking out thinking which

62:25

side am i going to take

62:27

this is an act of an indivisible

62:30

peripheral

62:31

oneness and love from the foundation of

62:33

the world in which they

62:34

sacrifice themselves to get inside of

62:37

our delusion

62:39

and the only way to get inside of our

62:41

delusion is for jesus to submit himself

62:44

to the pharisees religion to the empire

62:47

politics i will submit myself and you're

62:50

going to beat me to death

62:52

and you're going to curse me you are

62:54

going to damn the eternal word of god in

62:56

whom you live and move and have your

62:57

being

62:58

and i will let you do it and my father

63:00

will let you do it the holy spirit will

63:01

let me

63:02

let you do it and in so doing in my and

63:05

our submission to you we are now

63:07

inside of your delusion and the holy

63:09

spirit's turning the lights on and you

63:10

can't kill them

63:11

kill me again and so this is about the

63:14

obliteration

63:15

of the power of death this is about the

63:17

defeat of

63:18

evil's deception and this is about the

63:21

light

63:21

of the love of the father son and spirit

63:23

foreign shining in us in our deepest

63:25

place

63:26

and to me saul of tarsus i just love

63:28

this because three times

63:31

in acts it's narrated

63:34

uh saul's conversion is narrated all

63:37

three times it's like a light shining

63:40

external to him knocks him down to the

63:42

ground and he has scales and

63:45

you know you know the story but in

63:47

galatians

63:49

chapter one he says but god

63:52

who set me apart from my mother's womb

63:55

when he was pleased to reveal his son

63:58

in me not to me as it's translated in

64:02

several english but not all

64:06

but he was revealed in me

64:09

saul of tarsus met jesus christ not

64:12

external

64:13

that would have been a theological

64:14

argument he met jesus

64:16

inside of his own soul

64:19

while he was trying to murder jesus's

64:22

people

64:24

and that blew his mind took him three

64:26

years to sort through

64:27

that's the way this works uh i'm not

64:30

going to leave

64:31

adam and eve in the bushes and stand

64:34

outside and try to convince them

64:35

theologically i'm going to get inside of

64:37

their mind

64:39

i'm going to get inside of leah's mind

64:41

i'm going to get inside of my bride's

64:43

mind

64:44

she hates me she runs from cover for my

64:46

life she doesn't want me she don't want

64:48

anything to do with me

64:49

i'm going in papa and paul says i got

64:52

you back forever you know that

64:53

so jesus knows what it's like to go to

64:56

the place where he cannot see his father

64:58

and he cannot feel the holy spirit but

65:00

he knows that they're real and love him

65:02

and he commits himself to them and they

65:04

can do

65:05

and he's doing the same thing inside of

65:07

us

65:08

he's not saying over here theologically

65:11

baxter you've got to memorize this verse

65:12

he's saying dude i'm turning the lights

65:14

on and you're seeing my father with my

65:16

eyes

65:16

and that doesn't make sense to you what

65:18

are you going to do about that

65:19

walk with me so the the whole idea

65:23

of god needing to be a peace of the

65:26

father needing to be appeased or

65:28

sacrificed already

65:29

implies the separation between the

65:31

father and the son which is

65:32

just first order blasphemy i mean just

65:36

come on i please write write down baxter

65:39

call it blasphemy

65:40

it is it may be what we grew up with

65:43

penal substitution has got nothing to do

65:45

with blessed father son and spirit

65:47

and our creator and redeemer they've

65:50

come to find us

65:51

in our delusion i don't know if you've

65:53

ever dealt with anybody

65:54

that was delusional i i've been to a

65:57

psych ward

65:59

and i walked in the room and there were

66:00

three nurses in this person

66:02

and this person recognized me and that

66:05

was it

66:06

and then started throwing stuff at me

66:08

because i would participate

66:10

in her way of seeing things

66:14

and i didn't know what to do and i left

66:16

there

66:17

praying and i thought oh my god jesus

66:19

says yeah

66:21

yeah that's what happened adam

66:25

he began to think of me and my father

66:26

like that and i tried to talk to him

66:29

i tried to talk to all his people for

66:31

thousands a couple thousand years we've

66:33

had conversation they wouldn't listen

66:35

so i'm not gonna go and stand up and be

66:37

a prophet one more time and speak to

66:39

them i'm gonna go

66:40

enter into their delusion so that i can

66:43

be on the inside shining the light so in

66:45

john 5

66:46

i know we're running out of time but

66:48

this is so john 5

66:50

jesus squares off with the sanhedrin

66:53

and he says you have never

66:56

heard the voice of god ever you have

66:59

never

67:00

seen his form you do not have the word

67:02

of god abiding in your heart

67:05

you do not have the love of god in your

67:07

heart you seek the glory that comes from

67:09

your fellows and you

67:10

you do not seek the glory that comes

67:12

from the one tr and true god

67:14

and you are unwilling to come to me and

67:16

i think in that

67:17

little paragraph in john 5 jesus is

67:20

saying this is the fall

67:22

and i am not a prophet who's come to

67:24

point this out

67:26

i am the word of god in whom you live

67:28

and move and have your being

67:29

and you've lost your mind and i have

67:31

come to deal with this

67:33

you are unwilling to me i have come to

67:35

deal with this you don't have the love

67:37

of god in your heart i've come to deal

67:38

with this

67:39

you don't have the word of god abiding

67:41

i've come to do you've never heard the

67:42

voice of god i've come to deal with this

67:44

so you john 5 go to john 17 father

67:47

i have made you known

67:50

to them and i will make you known in

67:53

order that

67:53

get this the love with which you love me

67:57

may be in them

67:58

and i in them he's addressing the

68:01

problems

68:02

and he does it by submission to us the

68:05

word becomes

68:06

flesh he doesn't become flesh by

68:09

by sinning he becomes flesh by

68:12

submitting to us

68:13

in our delusion and the father turns our

68:17

apostate rejection of his son into the

68:20

mercy seat

68:20

where he embraces us and says let me

68:23

tell you who i am and i've always

68:25

been always will be i am your father and

68:27

i'm doing what fathers do which is

68:29

affirm their children in their mess in

68:32

the holy spirit saying

68:33

i'm transforming your temple the temple

68:36

of your shack

68:37

to use paul young's metaphor

68:41

or of your apostasy and rejection into

68:44

the mercy seat into the temple where i

68:46

dwell with all my gifts and we're gonna

68:47

dance

68:49

it's gonna take a while because you

68:51

really got some bizarre things you

68:52

believe about

68:53

the father and about me holy spirit says

68:56

and about jesus

68:57

so i'm i feel like my life um

69:01

i didn't intend to live it this way this

69:03

is what happened but it's like

69:05

when i was 10 years old the lord's was

69:06

taking my hand through an old sock

69:09

the sock of western theology all the way

69:11

to the end and it just turned and pulled

69:13

it inside

69:13

out that's it

69:17

we've been backwards that's good it's

69:18

okay it's not surprising

69:21

to the father son of the spirit but

69:22

now's the new day with new light shining

69:25

and the day will come and i'll end with

69:27

this a quotation from

69:29

our beloved george mcdonald fellow

69:31

graduate of the university of aberdeen

69:36

good souls many will one day be

69:40

horrified

69:41

by the things they now believe of god

69:44

[Music]

69:46

that's coming at the beginning you

69:49

alluded to this being

69:51

a remarkable moment uh even exciting

69:54

can you elaborate on that we can't just

69:56

leave that

69:57

well it's a moment where people are

69:59

scared to death and they realize their

70:01

powerlessness

70:02

there's an invisible force at work that

70:04

could kill us

70:06

and we have a bunch of politicians on

70:07

both sides that have lost their minds

70:09

and that makes it all the worse and we

70:10

don't know

70:12

but uh that's one layer another layer is

70:14

that um

70:16

the western tradition has been locked in

70:18

its head

70:19

um disassociated from its heart as

70:22

a rule and the the gig was who can

70:26

produce the best theological argument

70:29

with the most

70:29

bible proofs and win the day and that's

70:33

what denominationalism

70:35

is basically just arguing back and forth

70:37

with

70:38

uh and so we're whatever else we are as

70:41

a denomination

70:42

we're out to prove we're right and

70:43

you're wrong and that's been the whole

70:45

gig and

70:46

and it's you know left us all bored and

70:48

sad but the holy spirit

70:51

has been steadily changing the question

70:53

for within the last 500 years and

70:56

the question is is this rid across our

70:59

culture

70:59

and this pandemic and other things just

71:02

fuels it

71:04

uh this is the good part of all that i'm

71:06

talking about are seeing in our culture

71:08

um the question is not who can produce

71:11

the best theological argument and win

71:14

the the victory the question is who can

71:17

lead us

71:19

to experience the life that jesus christ

71:21

promised to us

71:23

so you mentioned classes that you're

71:24

teaching you mentioned uh

71:26

seminars you mentioned uh

71:29

essays that you've written you've

71:31

mentioned books you've got even

71:32

extensive and beautiful prayers that

71:35

you've written

71:36

where can people find your work basket

71:37

baxter this go to pericreases.org and if

71:40

you can't spell that just

71:42

google baxter kruger you can get to the

71:45

mothership that way

71:46

there's a lot of stuff going on there's

71:47

400 hours of teaching material

71:49

on our website there's essays there's

71:53

lots of free stuff

71:54

and i'm working on the sequel to the

71:56

patmos right now

71:57

well baxter krueger it's been a pleasure

72:00

serious pleasure thank you so much for

72:01

joining us

72:02

welcome bless you boys

72:08

thanks for listening to a pastor and a

72:09

floss for walk into a bar we hope you

72:11

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72:12

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72:14

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72:16

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72:17

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72:19

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72:22

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72:23

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72:26

pastor and a philosopher

72:27

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72:29

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72:30

until next time this is ben a pastor and

72:32

a philosopher walk into a bar

72:36

[Music]