TMOC: Epilogue (Updated)
The Mind of Christ is much more than simply classical Hebrew.
Jesus was a real person, not some two-dimensional figure of mythology. He could be warm and gentle, or prickly and even violent as in cleansing the Temple. Most of us are likely to interpret his personality from the text in light of our experiences, but He was complex and challenging as any real human is.
Classical Hebrew intellectual culture was simply the starting point for God’s revelation, and Jesus was the final living expression of it. We who follow Him today are participants in His revelation. The Hebrew mind, and the entire message of the Old Testament, was a contextual manifestation of God’s revelation. Those who have the mind of Christ, transplanted to live among that people, in that land, at that time in history, would find the Law of Moses a very fitting human frame of reference for that divine mind.
It doesn’t permit us to escape our humanity, but recreates what humanity was supposed to be. The Garden isn’t gone, but there is a price getting back into it. That price is committing to shedding the insecurity, blindness and weakness of the Fall. All those miracles from the beginning of the narrative were part and parcel of His revelation. That apparent disruption of natural limits was meant to show the natural limits were a lie in the first place. We live for a time with a foot in both worlds. We are aware what we see is generally false, even as we make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the limitations of this broken world.
Miracles remind us we cannot trust human capabilities. Mere reason alone will not take you where God wants you. For example, the proper attitude toward stuff: God owns it all. The mind of Christ dumps the conservative instinct and remains wide open, morally sensitive. Sometimes extravagance is right, particularly when giving your stuff away for His glory. Sometimes He wants you to be a tightwad. It always depends on His glory in the context. You can’t learn this in the flesh, only learn to subject the flesh, until you develop a sense of God’s Justice. It’s not “give more to get more;” it’s give anything and everything His glory demands, and consequences be damned. Spiritual maturity means being less worldly, not less human.
The New Testament writers refer to a human nature which has flesh, soul and a potential spirit. We are born with dead spirits. In that condition, human senses, talent and reason are all we have. When the spirit awakens, God creates a link to Himself, plants His very real Presence into our spirits. The intellect cannot grasp any part of this, only some vague notion of how it works. The Spirit of God implants His divine will in our spirits, rather like an unshakable bedrock, a foundation of moral imperative by which our human existence expresses something of His divine nature. We call this bedrock conviction, and it resides in the heart — the Hebrew culture considered the heart the seat of the will, of our essential commitments, not our feelings as it is for Western culture. The mind becomes aware of conviction in the form of conscience. The conscience changes as our moral commitment matures, but those convictions are as eternal as God Himself.
Those convictions are the Mind of Christ. We come to know the will of God by obeying our conscience until it grows and clarifies by trusting properly what’s planted outside our conscious minds in our spirits. The starting place for the mind is to learn Hebrew intellectual culture, a dramatic shift away from our Western culture. We sincerely hope you can get free of false restraints to claim the full heritage of God’s revelation through His people on this earth. The Mind of Christ is well within reach of anyone who desires it.
We offer here our best understanding of how you can begin that journey. We are not a movement, nor are we starting one. All of us who contributed to this project are acquaintances, perhaps even friends, but most of us have never met face to face. We share only this message, and any organization is purely ad hoc for the task at hand. We come from all sorts of sectarian affiliation and non-affiliation.
We aren’t interested in donations, only the message and your response. We are also not interested in personal credit or copyrights. If this message appeals to you enough you want to use it, then it becomes your message, too. Use it as you see fit.
This is the end of the book for now. It’s not too late for your suggestions. What follows is…
I am inclined to make this book semi-anonymous. For publication purposes, I was thinking we might list as “author” something like “TMOC Team.” In the interests of accountability on some level, I was thinking we might list names or nicknames as contributors and collaborators, and put them in alphabetical order without listing who did what. While I wrote most of it, and a few folks contributed to the content by way of questions and suggestions, the project is not the book itself, but the message which appears on the pages. If you intend to participate in promoting this message, and want to be a point of contact for helping others get it, I’ll need to know that. You can always operate fully independent as a volunteer distributor. You can also rewrite the whole thing to suit you, but you can’t put anyone else’s name on it without their consent.
Update: If we go with Smashwords to publish this in multiple formats for free, they demand we have a single author. I can always list others as significant contributors, but going with my original plan above kills the shortcut to publication. Apparently they don’t want any nasty business with people fighting over copyright. I need to hear from you on this if you want to be involved.
For now, I’m thinking I’ll create a throw-away webmail account, something with decent spam filtering, to place here at the end of the book. I’ll gladly share login with anyone who wants it. Once this starts getting into peoples’ hands, I find it hard to imagine we won’t get some sort of feedback. I’m altogether willing to face hostility on your behalf, because it just does not get under my skin.
Let me know our thoughts either by comment here or by email at the eddie account on my soulkiln.org domain.
For those who wish to see the advance draft copy in simple HTML, go here.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
I moderate comments. Take a moment to scan the "Readers Note" tab on the menu bar at the top of the page.
As a minister of God, I do accept donations. Please click the "Donate" tab above.