Rev. Dr. J. Dwight Stinnett, Executive Minister, ABC/GRR
3940 Pintail Drive
Springfield IL 62711
As a second-career seminarian, I claimed this passage, "God was in Christ reconciling the cosmos to God's Self" as a satisfying (at least to me) confession of the Incarnation. Later, I saw a description of reality that begins and ends with God. God's "interest" in the cosmos is reconciliation, effected through Christ. The need for reconciliation implies a state of alienation, separation, inconsistency that is rooted in the stories from Eden. The Gospel, in a nutshell.
While inconsistencies abound (as does grace!), one which most compels me was also addressed by Paul: In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. I have found the reconciling work of God, with respect to this inconsistency, alive and well among American Baptists.