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– Include strength or weakness, lingering question, agreement or disagreement, or textual correction. You may also relate personally to the post, include a story, a connection to a present situation, or a current event.
1)Amos had seen the cultural injustice and calls out the elite society for abusing their power. The texts describes social justice is, “where the central issue in the Holiness Tradition-love-meets the road”(166). Some key concepts of justice understood biblically is to love your neighbors and your enemies. Amos relates to this as he wanted to help those around him no matter who they were. Amos was even described that, “he was not a professional prophet whose livelihood depended upon his ministry; he earned his living another way”(153). Amos fought for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves and it wasn’t for selfish gain. God showed Amos visions and these visions of judgement, “shows God’s deep passion for justice in society”(152). You can see the heart of God for justice and the use of Amos to deliver these messages. These challenges are still an occurring them today.We have these ongoing struggles because we have come accustomed to listening to our flesh rather than the word of God. In Matthew 19:24 it states, “again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” There is this belief of self righteousness and that we deserve everything we get or work for. This limits our relationship with God. The more we tend to have the less we tend to lean on God. In return, the outcome is division as the flesh wants more of the things that cannot satisfy our constant needs and desires creating social injustices in our world and cultures.
2) The Holiness Tradition was carried on by two major proponents Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Phoebe Palmer. Both of these individuals were very unique in their own way but also very similar. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was an educated theology student who went on to teach Christian ethics, become an activist for the “Aryan Clause”, a leader for the group “Confessing Church”, a professor of theology, an author, a double agent, and then a prisoner. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was known for his attempt to kill Hitler in July 1944. Though, he used his time in prison to learn more about Christianity and write sophisticated sermons from his prison cell. Sadly, Bonhoeffer died a martyr a year later in April 1945. He was also known as an example of the Holiness Tradition due to his immense courage and compassion that he put into his ministry work. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was set apart for his beliefs in taking Jesus seriously, the call to discipleship seriously, spiritual discipline seriously and by taking free/responsible/obedient action seriously. On the other hand, Phoebe Palmer was a strong woman of faith in the church that went on to host “the Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness”. Phoebe went on to get married and have 6 children. Though, tragically Phoebe lost 3 of her children. Phoebes immense loss was critical turning point for her to turn towards God. From her experience Phoebe went on to develop her beliefs of “alter theology”. Palmer emphasized the idea that, “Christ himself is the alter upon which we rest our sacrifice, and since everything that touches the alter is holy, we are holy when we place everything, we are upon the alter” (Foster, pg. 65). Phoebe also went on to establish “The Five Points Missions” and was the founder of a Methodist church. Foster also wrote that Phoebes work can be traced back to most converts in the Second Evangelical Awakening (Foster, pg. 66). Now, as you can see both Bonhoeffer and Palmer are two strong figures in the Church that are the epitome of holiness. Similar to Phoebe, Bonhoeffer also emphasized the idea that Christ is at the center of everything. Foster writes, “Christ stood at the very center of Bonhoeffer’s vocation and the interpretive key to his understanding of Scripture” (Foster, pg. 76). Both Bonhoeffer and Palmer were spurred on by their hardships but each decided to draw closer to God and preach to others that he truly is at the center of everything. Additionally, both of these individuals went on to write their own books and go against all odds to bring people to God. Palmer was a woman in church leadership “at a time women generally were not accorded positions of authority” (Foster, pg. 67). They were both had different journeys and approaches to the Holiness Tradition but they both made it through their immense passion for God.
3) The Incarnational Tradition focuses on making, “present and visible the real of the invisible spirit”(237). This tradition can be related to Social Justice in the fact of experiencing and recognizing God in all things. Social Justice tends to go outside the boundaries of religion and focuses more on relationship. As the texts states, “the supernatural resources to live appropriately-to live a virtuous life-now extend out into our relationship with people and weigh social structures and even earth itself”(166). The Incarnational Tradition strengthens social justice as it allows us to transition our relationship with God in everything we do rather than confining it to the church. There is a prayer in the text by a woman named Susanna and she expresses this greatly. Susanna prays, “Lord help me remember that religion is not to be confined in the church…but in everywhere I am in thy presence”(238). The weakness of this is that individuals may use God as an excuse for particular behaviors. If one is in constant connection with God and does something that is unjust, it may allow individuals to try and make right from wrong actions by stating it was inspired by God based on their ‘everyday’ connection to him. I believe I identify with the Incarnational Tradition the most. I am nowhere near perfect and don’t even tangibly feel God. However, like Susanna prayed, I don’t want my relationship to be confined to church, in the closet, or by prayer in meditation. These are all good things to practice but I want to tangibly feel God and not the idea of him. I want to see and experience him like those in early History did such as Moses.
Please reply to discussions below (each in 200 words)