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ben overby

Quick comment. Fundamental reality, or the Holy Trinity is at the center. Just outside it, is God's glory. And just outside that is the cross. You could probably reverse the order and it would be OK with me, too. Those are little zip files that all need unpacking, but most everything that matters to me is there. I don't see other issues outside the center in a neat series of concentric circles, but flowing from the center, being cast from the center; so for me the dart board doesn't work terribly well. The sun probably works better for me as an analogy. What's at the core (as you say)? Everything else is a beam shinning out, but bringing glory to the core. Light beams are self defining. Either we see them or we don't. Unfortunately we all tend to look at the beams with a prism that bends the light here and there.

Maybe this sounds like I'm dodging the hard stuff, but I think if we can stop drawing attention to the beams and focus on the source, then we'll be more likely to agree as to the shape of the beam.

Ben Overby

Aaron Harvey

Good thoughts Wade. I also like what Ben said. I am interested in your follow-up.


Looking foward to the next post.


Your blogs are becoming quite the discussion piece around here! We are looking forward to your next post.

Bobby Valentine

I agree that the Holy Trinity is at the center. However I would argue that what we know about God is fundamentally altered at the Cross. The Cross becomes the "prism" (if you allow me an analogy) that bends, shapes and refocuses those glorious beams of glory from the Trinity.

Now by Cross we also mean more than simply "six hours one friday." Rather we mean the entire revelation of God that is contained in the self sacrifice of the Lord of Glory. This extends through Good Friday to Easter morning. But God is redefined at Golgotha. I do not think we can get any closer to the "core" than this.

Woodroof's book is was pointing us in the right direction, as did the Core Gospel by Bill Love. There are some nuances that need some tweaking but what they pointed us to was better spiritial food than what we had before. By a long way.

Bobby Valentine
Stoned-Campbell Disciple

Wade Tannehill


Thanks so much for your comment. I like your sun analogy so much that I’m using a solar system image on my next post.

But I still like my dartboard. Yes, it falls short as an analogy for ultimate reality, but I intend it more as a diagnostic tool for linear thinkers to evaluate whether something that doesn’t belong at center has been put there. The dart board illustrates more a subjective belief system and not necessarily the ideal—but hopefully a tool to help us move toward a more ideal perspective.

As far as issues outside the center in a neat series of concentric circles—this may overly compartmentalize. But on the other hand, Jesus did some of his own compartmentalization when he identified some matters as being weightier than others. My dart board is merely intended to help identify those weightier matters.

But it’s an analogy. And all analogies break down at some point. Scripture says God is a rock, but we know that he isn’t like a rock in every way. Nor can a belief system (and I recognize the weaknesses inherent in the term “system”) be adequately summarized with either a dart board or a solar system analogy.

As far as our need to stop drawing attention to the beams in order to focus on the source—that is exactly what I’m endorsing. I think that was really my whole point.

Thanks again for commenting. As usual, you challenge my thinking and stretch my mind until it hurts. I received at least a couple of responses applauding your comments.

Wade Tannehill

Aaron and Darin,

Thanks for stopping by.

Wade Tannehill


Cool! Glad I could stimulate some discussion.

Wade Tannehill


Excellent comments! You have articulated so well exactly what I am trying to communicate.


I like the bull's eye too. Another concept on it: The closer we get to the center, (towards Christ) the less people offend us and hurt us. Just like pain is so severe close to the outside...like a finger prick...and it hurts pretty badly. But something can be growing deep within us and cause no pain at all. The closer to the outside the pain the more it hurts.

When we get into Christ and stay "too close to where we came in" instead of growing and getting to the center, we get offended too easily and it is easy for us to just quit the church because of hurt feelings. Getting towards the center means we forget self and think of others more.

John Alan Turner

I've taught this principle before, but I phrase it this way:

All of the Bible is equally inspired, but it's not all equally important.


All of the Bible is equally inspired, but it's not all equally applicable to every stage of life.

How would it change a church's educational strategy if we identified the "can't do without" age-appropriate irreducible minimums and taught those?

Wade Tannehill


Thanks for your insightful comments. I think what you said also implies that the more we focus on the center the less we'll fight. We Christ-followers have a lot more in common than we do things that divide us.

By the way, I checked out your blog. Love the old pictures. Read your profile. My wife and I have enjoyed many Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper movies together. Love those guys.

Wade Tannehill

John Alan,

Thanks for stopping by. Great comments! Your principles on the age appropriate irreducible minimums were among some of the most impressive things I heard during your talks at this year's Tulsa Workshop (but it was all impressive). You may, or may not, recall that I met you briefly when I brought my wife by your booth. I've since had her listen to the cds.

If memory serves me, you said something about a lot of people knowing the names of the apostles and the books of the Bible but they don't know Jesus loves them or how to love their neighbor as themselves. I wish the whole church would have an educational revolution in which we stopped majoring in trivia and began to teach those can't live without principles consistently.

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