Life as a Trajectory

This four minute video speaks to the differences between bounded and centered set thinking. These days I am trying more to reject a black and white bounded set mentality.. the centered set paradigm is such a gracious one.. but I think that you do need to accept a lot of grays to embrace it :)

The video reminds me that often life can be described as a trajectory towards or away from God. I wonder if the trajectory simply continues after we die? Maybe heaven and hell are expressions of those trajectories?


  1. Fantastic little video! Thanks for sharing it.

    That is a pretty good articulation of my own change in paradigm (from bounded set to centered set).

  2. It's your fundie friend, Kevin. I track with some of this video, but frankly not a lot of it.

    Imagine a young single lady who wants to be a mother. There may be a lot of guys on a trajectory toward her or away from her. Some guys may be aimed right at her and some may be backpedalling hard. None of that really matters, though. What matters is who eventually joins himself to her.

    It's all well and good to recognize whether people are tracking toward or away from the Lord, but the only thing that matters is whether they are joined with Him. Jesus warned that though seed would be cast into hearts, many hearts would appear to be alive and bear no fruit. Jesus also said many people would claim to have done tremendous works in His Name (presumably their trajectories would be favorable?) but not know Him. I think the trajectory thing is a recipe for misleading optimistic people.

    In the end we're talking about a bounded set. A person is or is not a new creature in Christ. It's not for you or me to know who is a new creature in Christ, but there's no "kind of pregnant" and there's no "kind of a Christian." One is or one is not alive in Christ.

  3. I agree with you Kevin as long as we understand that only Jesus really understands the bounded set and who is in or out. Where we get in trouble is acting like we understand it.

    To me the centered set paradigm works because it acknowledges that we really don't know who is in or out.. and who really knows if you stay in the bounded set once you are in.. unless you are working from a fundamentalist security paradigm :)

  4. I wonder how many gray areas God has.

  5. > I wonder how many gray areas God has.

    Ha! Great question. It demands thought.

    In Jesus' lineage you find incest, adultery, prostitution, and miscegenation. God obviously did not allow Himself to be stopped by any of those things. And yet, I don't believe God is "wondering" whether a thing might be wrong or right. I think the answer is wrapped up in this:

    Pro 16:2 People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives.

  6. (...and Bob, of course Fundies are secure. Everyone knows that. ;-) )

  7. Of course God is the definer of right and wrong.. but I am not sure that some folks who think they know what is right or wrong use God's dictionary.. Pharisees (modern day ones as well) are good examples of religious folks who operate from bounded set thinking.

    Ever wonder why God led Peter to visit Cornelius? Maybe God was trying to get Peter out of that bounded set mentality? Something to ponder.


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