Greg Hubbard and Phil Webster are more than friends. They were (and still are) close parters with me as I have attempted to flesh out Jesus and the Gospel in my life. We spent a few years together in Las Vegas reading too many books and asking too many questions. Others joined us in the effort, but it was the three of us who gravitated as much to "learning" the Kingdom as "experiencing" it. We had friends like Jim, Jeremy, Ernie and Doug who pushed us toward both Spirit power and relational love - or else the three of us may have thought our way out of heaven.
They have both chimed in on the issue of God's economy and I couldn't help but to see a theme in their thinking. As with all other things, it does come back to grace and our own inability to do much of anything apart from God's favor. Here are some quotes to think about:
"The difficulty with all of Jesus' teachings in the gospels is that we can't live up to them. They lead us to utter dependance on God's love to help us in our utter inadequacy. Still, I applaud any effort to teach it for what it really is. I think we all should strive to live up to it. It will only help us experience the Kingdom in a more complete way. But we should also know we'll be safe with God when we fail, because even if we improve, we will fail to live up to these radical standards. That's not a cop out position or an excuse not to try -- that's just reality." -Greg Hubbard (below with Tori)
"You mentioned, being overwhelmed by [God's economy.] I think that is the most appropriate response. If I were preaching on this, I think this would be what I would go for (granted, this is pretty much the only thing I'm going for right now)-getting people overwhelmed by this stuff. It's simply too big for us. It is damning. It is not a simple, "Here's what you can do tomorrow to live biblically;" it is message that damns us (especially as Americans, but probably also everybody who is not destitute). Hence, it is also an opportunity to preach grace. God's economy is gratuitous and we are called to participate in this freedom of God. We cannot muster the energy to act graciously, to live in accordance to a "biblical vision of economy" (or, if we do, it will be full of pride.) The only way we can begin to really participate in God's economy is to first realize that God has forgiven us all. Participation in God's economy is first a response to being incorporated into God's economy. God acts first, not us. I'm rambling now. Anyway, the point is is that this stuff must overwhelm." -Phil Webster (below in Florence)