The Kingdom of God is a Fine Automobile
The doctrine of the kingdom of God is like a fine automobile. Some parts of it are lush, and polished, and comfortable, with climate control, and windows that go up and down with the press of a button. Other parts of it are cold and metallic, greasy, heavy and far too . . . doctrinal.
Two men had the same make and model of car, same year, and they each sought to improve it according to their lights. One of them, when he was filling the gas tank up one evening, had a sudden, blinding insight. How much lighter his car would be if he only took out the engine block. He could fly down the road, and he wouldn’t have to worry about gas expenses any more. He could use the space for a second trunk, and he could dispense with all the messy and expensive issues of upkeep. He had once scraped his knuckles badly getting the oil filter off—he remembered that incident particularly.
The other man, the first man’s neighbor, saw him engaged in the task of removing the engine one day after work, and asked him about it. Having heard the explanation, he went home shaking his head. It was appropriate, he thought to take the engine out—in fact he had done the same thing to his car the night before. But the point was always to remember that the engine was the heart of the gosp . . er, car. That was why he planned to ride the engine block to work the next morning. Why mess with all that other stuff when all the horsepower was located right there?
The next morning, of course, found both of them stuck in the driveway. After about ten minutes it got embarrassing, and so they both went inside.
Doctrine, theology, and careful definitions are metallic and clunky. They are sometimes greasy and always heavy. And because they are heavy, the car is light and moves down the road. Application, life, love, and communion are the interior of the car. Because there is a place to sit, and drive, the engine is useful, and the light interior has weight and purpose—and can move down the road.
There are those who want us to give up our emphasis on Reformation doctrine. Think how much lighter your car would be! Your teaching on marriage and family would be greatly appreciated in many circles if you didn’t have that big metal block under the hood. On the other side, there are those who want us to give up all the life and application. They want us to sit on the engine block of doctrine, incessantly gunning the five points of Calvinism for all the neighbors to hear.
Brethren, there is a more excellent way.
Just a thought, which has popped into my head since I'm currently reading the literature on the psychology and biology of sex and gender... I'd love for someone to cast this sort of a parable in a feminine fashion. All these masculine examples are great, but maleness and femaleness are needed to fully express the glory of the image of God.