The Third O: Passio Dei
The apostle Paul was passionate and soulful in his faith. He emphasized the heights and the depths of knowing Christ. He described faith as “of” this, “through” that, “in” this, “by” that, “for” this, “beyond that” and on and on.
The teachings of Jesus and of Paul and the nature of Christianity itself is all about fullness. Christian tradition and theology tend to underscore orthodoxy and orthopraxy much more than they do orthopathy.
The first “O” — orthodoxy — is often tied by theologians to the nature of God and His image. Thus, orthodoxy is connected to the emphasis on the Imago Dei — the image of God, a human description of God’s character and nature.
Additionally, the Mission Dei — mission of God — is more indicative of the second “O” — orthopraxy. It is focused more on the great work and purpose of God shown in the gospels and in the blessing of Abraham — to become a blessing to the nations of the earth.
This, however, leaves another key component and the third “O” — orthopathy. Perhaps embracing the term Passion Dei — the passion of God — would be a good complementary term to adopt and use more often as soulful Christians.
We are being conformed to the Imago Dei (the image of God) shown by our engagements in the Missio Dei (the mission of God) and energized by the Passio Dei (the passion of God).
How do we celebrate and live out all three in our daily lives? Sometimes in order to find out more of what we need to be doing right we need to consider the things we are doing wrong. Here are seven ways to snuff the passion of your faith:
- Neglecting the person of God and the practices of faith—God, prayer, and worship. Overlooking the simplest aspects of faith develops a shallow soul.
- Centering your life on yourself. This forms a shrinking soul.
- Dependence on natural talents and abilities alone. This leads to a self-sufficient soul.
- Ethnic exclusivity. This creates an isolated soul.
- Overlooking and dishonoring the generations. This yields an unsupported soul.
- Disconnecting from community and relationships. This produces a selfish soul.
- Conforming to the world, one compromise at a time. This leads to a conflicted soul.
However, when our faith catches fire…
- our beliefs turn into boldness.
- our desires turn to desperation.
- our prayers turn into soul cries and intercessions.
- the written Word of God in our minds becomes the spoken Word of God to our hearts.
- we move from knowing about God to becoming intimate with God.
Feed The Fire: How are you living out the image, mission, and passion of God?