The Grace & Truth Matrix - Part 4

Updated: Mar 16

by GravityLeadership -

In a Kairos Cohort we start by exploring 7 paradigms for finding our center. This is the way of seeing the world as Jesus seemed to see it: God is present and at work in the world, calling all creation back into unity with himself is the first one. With this paradigm in place, we move on to the next phase of finding our center: learning to dwell in the posture of Jesus. If paradigm is the big picture, posture is how we embody this paradigm in our everyday lives. If paradigm is a way of “seeing” the world, posture is a way of “being” in the world. We are called to not only see things the way Jesus does but to be in our world the way Jesus is.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

(Part 4) Grace and Truth Together: Call In

We create the first three cultures in our own strength. They are cultures of flesh. (Flesh is a biblical term that simply refers to what we can accomplish through human effort alone.) They are modes of living focused on self, where we use others; and they are devoid of love (as Jesus defines it). What we see in Jesus’ life, however, is a very different posture toward others. It’s full of grace and truth. Out of a deep motivation of selfless love, he is committed to radical grace AND truth-telling, truth-listening, and truth-living. We call it a Call In culture.

What Grace Is

Grace is not just pardon for the poor sinner but “participation in the divine nature.” Grace is God himself, the communication in which he gives himself to man as the divinizing favour which he is himself. Here God’s work is really himself, since it is he who is imparted. – Karl Rahner

Instead of the shadow-grace of Hang Out culture (nervously managing relationships), we express Jesus-grace, which is all about reaching out toward others to connect with them and be with them.

Grace wasn’t invented to deal with sin, although we often talk about it in our churches this way. Grace existed within the Trinity before the world was created because grace is God’s giving of himself in relationship. Grace is God’s empowering presence that reaches out to connect. Grace is God’s desire to be with us. It is the gift of relationship.

Grace has to do with presence. It seeks to connect and be with others in deep, meaningful, covenantal relationships. Grace says, “I see you, I hear you, I am with you, I am glad to be here, you matter.” A Call In culture is marked by increasing connection, joy, and freedom in relationships.

What Truth Is

Likewise, instead of the shadow-truth of Call Out culture (pointing out what’s wrong), we express Jesus-truth, which sees more than what’s wrong and sets people free. Shadow truth (Call Out) uses “truth” as a weapon; its goal is to win, prove oneself right, and divide and conquer. Shadow-truth is experienced as a heavy burden, an “ought” or a “should” that overpowers and controls behavior or compels external conformity in the name of “righteousness.”

Jesus-truth is all about seeing people as God sees them (not just what’s wrong with them), and calling them in love to live out their true identity in Christ. Jesus truth is vision, empowerment, enlivening hope that calls people into God’s kingdom. Truth is about naming and living in reality as God sees it. In a Call In culture, truth is employed as an instrument of salvation, setting others free from the bondage of performance. Jesus-truth calls people into embracing God’s vision for their lives, proclaiming what life under the reign of Jesus looks like.

We connect with others and call them into the divine union in which we ourselves are learning to be centered, encouraging them to embrace their agency in the kingdom. Call In culture empowers others to embrace their God-given identity and join him in his work.

“Just as grace is the relational aspect of God’s character, truth is the structural aspect of his character.” – Henry Cloud
“Love is to be with someone and for someone unto something greater. Or put another way, presence, advocacy, and then direction.” – Scot McKnight
A new kind of culture

Call In is something altogether different from both Call Out and Hang Out. You can’t simply “add some truth” to Hang Out and get Call In, because the “grace” of a Hang-Out Culture isn’t Jesus-grace. Likewise you can’t “add some grace” to Call-Out and get Call In, because the “truth” of Call Out isn’t Jesus-truth.

Instead, it’s like learning a completely new language. A conversion is needed. We need to rethink everything we thought we knew about grace and truth and sit at the feet of Jesus and watch him work. We take his yoke and learn from him how to walk in this new way of life and leadership, the way of love.

Look for joy

This post only scratches the surface of this tool, and much more will get fleshed out in the context of our Kairos Cohort, but let’s end with an observation about joy.

The Apostle Paul said that the kingdom of God is a matter of “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17). This is a good description of Call In, where we experience righteousness and peace together, and because it’s empowered by the Holy Spirit and not our flesh, we experience joy in the midst of it.

The counterfeit cultures, on the other hand, are “flesh” cultures, in which we attempt to bring about something good in our own strength. Call Out seeks righteousness in its own strength, destroying peace in the process, and because it can never achieve this righteousness, it ends in joyless striving. Likewise, Hang Out seeks peace in its own strength, destroying righteousness in the process, and because it can never achieve this peace, it ends in joyless managing. Check Out does not strive for either righteousness or peace because it is too concerned about self-preservation, and it does not deliver either joy or rest. The lack of joy is a defining characteristic of all three non-love cultures.

However, when we give ourselves over to the love of God in Christ, full of grace and truth, we begin to build a kingdom culture of righteousness and peace together, which results in joy in the Holy Spirit because it’s empowered by the Spirit.

So one of the ways to tell if you’re living in a culture that’s not full of grace and truth