Why does Agape exist?

How can you say what is beyond words? How can you place within time what is infinite? How can you describe what is indescribable?

In seeking to understand and come near to the God that is beyond everything that we can imagine, it can be difficult to put words to this God. Certainly, God is love. But isn’t our understanding of love limited to what we can see and experience and isn’t God likely beyond that?

At times it can be helpful to describe what something isn’t in order to more fully understand what it is. In speaking of God, this is called apophatic theology or negative theology. For the Latin inclined, the via negativa.

An example would be to say that God is not mean. Sure, this sets the bar really low but it also opens wide the possibilities of what God is. And, I sure hope that this is something that we can say with absolute confidence.

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In this new year, we, as a church family, are beginning a conversation. We are asking some big questions about the purpose or vision of Agape, where we’re headed, and what it’s all going to look like along the way.

Through this, my hope is that we will be drawn together as a family and that on the other side of what will likely be a messy and complex conversation, we will have a stunning clarity of vision, that we will know who we are and we will know where we’re headed.

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One of the first questions that we’re throwing out onto the table is this: Why does Agape exist? As good Baptists, if you ask ten of us, you’ll likely get at least eleven different answers. And that’s okay…for now.

But I wonder if we might ask this question in another way, in the via negativa:

What if Agape didn’t exist?

Imagine that for a moment with me.

What if Agape didn’t exist? How would your life be different? Who would you call when a pipe burst in your house in the middle of the night? What would you do with yourself on Sunday mornings? What would you not have experienced or not have learned?

What about our city? Would Fort Worth be different if Agape didn’t exist? Would our neighbors in Bomber Heights and Ridglea Hills be affected? Would our beloved kiddos from Luella Merritt be any different? What would our ESL and Job Corps participants have missed?

What about our world? If Agape didn’t exist, who would be affected around the world? Would our Bisu friends in Thailand have access to God’s story? Would our beloved CBF field personnel all around the world have the support they need?

What if Agape didn’t exist?

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Ponder that this week. Write some thoughts down. Share them with a friend. Engage in the conversation and invite God into it. Let’s see where it takes us.

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Peace to you,

 

MM

Why does Agape exist?
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