Then William Paul Young spoke:

WPY: My background is modern evangelical fundamentalist. I wrote a story for my kids and made fifteen copies at Office Depot and gave a few to my friends and they gave it away and that started the chain reaction.

We’ve had the shock losses in our lives. Kim  and I were married a year and a half or so when her mother went in for routine surgery and she died. Three months before that my eighteen your old brother was killed and three months after that my five year old niece was killed.

We all know about loss. In the context of tragedy I grew up with a God who was like my Dad who did not have the necessary father chip. He was an angry young man. He was part of a generation that didn’t know they had baggage and wouldn’t have known what to do with it if they’d known they had baggage. He did not know how to be a father. As a child you don’t know that. So the fury of a parent becomes your image of God and the absence of a parent would do the same thing.

This evangelical God is a distant God watching from the infinite distance of a disapproving heart. God was the darkness behind Jesus that needed to be appeased and sacrificed to, the darkness Jesus came to save me from. In my understanding Jesus came to save me from God the father.

So when your heart is broken as a child, where do you run to? To your head. If you want to look at broken heart as a culture, look at the west. When the west runs to the head, you know that the hearts are all broken. And when our hearts are broken, we all run into our heads.

So my view of God was this distant disapproving deity – Gandalf with a really bad attitude.

We talked about the Trinity. We had analogies for it, like three parts of an egg, or three parts of time, or water in three stages; we had all these analogies, none of which are relational. Then we put it back on our systematic theology shelf.

The introduction to the conversation about the Trinity for me was opened up by the introduction of women, because most of the damage in my life was caused by men. So, what do you do? You begin to be a performer and you hide inside your head, and you try to appease a god who is like your dad.

Missy, in The Shack represents something murdered in me as a child.

My journey into the Trinity came from asking, “Is there a hierarchy in the Trinity?” Cause that’s the only way I could legitimize the way we related to women.

It was women who showed up in my life and threw me some kind of a lifeline. And the more I looked around the planet, it was the men who were creating the wars, who were fighting over territory and property; they were the ones that were dominating inside the prison system because it was all about territory and property. Women were there largely because of relationships.

I mean how many brothels exist on the planet for women. Something is wrong. And then you look at Scripture and it says sin entered the world through one man sin entered the world and it says it eight times.

Part of why the Word who is God incarnates in male form is that he has to go to the greatest point of loss to recover us all. This is about a second Adam.

Throughout Christian history, every Christian tradition agreed about this one thing, that the idea of the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father was heresy – there is no hierarchy in the Trinity.

But if there is a big God behind the little God that is Jesus, then he’s the real God. And now you’ve got a problem, all kinds of problems actually.

But that monad, that one solitary being, if God has ever been only alone, if God has ever been only one, then that God does not by nature love, because love is defined as the presence of an other. There is no legitimate basis in the being of God for hierarchy. If God is alone there is no basis for relationship.

 

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