The Ancient Contemporary


August 17, 2017

Some people think of God as an old man hidden remotely in the sky, with requisite flowing white beard. He may be nice enough, but out of touch with the current flow of history.

Well, yes, He is the Ancient of Days.

But He is also eternally contemporary.

Back in the 80’s, for a couple of years, I was involved with a small Junior High camp. We would drive up a narrow logging road to rustic, remote Sawtooth Camp north of Fairfield, Idaho.

Between camp activities, my friend John Sweeney and I would run a few rounds of Frisbee golf. We had constructed the course ourselves, having hauled nine used tires and dragged them around back of the old lodge to create an unorthodox golf course. To make the hole, the Frisbee (and that means one disc each – not a set of specialized discs) had to at least touch the ground inside the tire circle.

We spent possibly too many hours out there, but the time birthed numerous theological and philosophical conversations. John was smart.

One day we talked about the omnipresence of God Almighty. This is His characteristic of being present every place at the same time. Being Spirit, He is not confined to locale.

John then turned the phrase, and although I knew it was true the moment he said it, I had never considered or articulated it. John said, “God is also present in every time at the same place.” Of course. If He is present everywhere, and is eternal, then in every time He is present everywhere.

That means in your locality, the Almighty has always been present.

So, the Holy One Who is eternal (no beginning, no ending) is quite ancient. But since He is always present everywhere, He is the ultimate Contemporary. You can’t lose Him, even though you may badly want to do so. He’s not going anywhere.

This rings true. His words always have application, wherever the historical point. There is “nothing new under the sun“. Humans have repeatedly decided their generation is the wisest that has ever existed, and that at last we have hope to eliminate the problems of the world.

Nope.

We don’t have the credentials. We don’t have the purity of heart and mind. We don’t have the intellectual firepower. We do not have full knowledge and understanding.

God has spoken eternal (ancient and contemporary) truth. The proud people are unable to get it, because they believe they already know Important Things, and others have not kept up with history. One of the favorite accusations against people who believe what the ancient always contemporary God has declared is that such folks are lagging behind the curve of history. As if the accusers had full knowledge of all things historical, moral, and future.

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There will not be new truth.

There will only be our fuller understanding of what God already knows is true. It is laughable for me to think I have advanced to such a degree that God is now irrelevant. He is eternally relevant, in every age and situation.

He has not missed anything.

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