Tuesday, February 5, 2008

No Modernity

Wows, I am up by 7:00am today, but then again, I did decide to go to breakfast.

It seems to me that my mindset is changing ever so slowly from what it used to be. Things I use to consider firmly set in stone, no longer seem to make sense. Well no, they do make sense, but only if you look onto the surface of the issue and not how it pertains to me personally. For the concept I am trying to communicate I would even go as far as to say that my mindset is becoming less fundamentally rooted in modernity, and the beliefs that follow it. Not to say that if someone is a "modernist" that they are wrong, but merely that I am beginning to see something that is beyond these theological presuppositions. At the same time, I don't think that "postmodernism" would fit this mindset either, not because I don't like postmodernism, in fact, I encourage it to those who would wish to have that mindset, but because I do not think I have reached that point. Of course, using titles is, in actuality, silly and pointless, because titles merely helps our ability to judge one for their "beliefs" before we even get to know that person and learn what it is they really believe.

So again I present the biggest question that I keep coming back to. Is the Bible really the "Word of God" and the sole authority on everything, or is it a stepping stone into the deeper knowledge of the true Word of God which is Jesus? Isn't the Bible really just here to help us in our understanding of who God is, and how He loves us? I'm beginning to think so, and with that comes the understanding that though the Bible is good, and is beneficial for understanding God, that it is not, as it is too often coined, "the Word of God." I've even heard people refer to it as the living Word of God, and if that was true, that would make our Bible, Jesus, and in turn, God. So if Bible = God, doesn't that equal idolatry? Do we worship a "Magic Book" instead of the God who spoke the words in it?

As a friend recently pointed out, John 1 talks about the Living Word of God. It talks about the Word being with God, the Word was God, and that this Word was there in the beginning. Afterwards it states that the Word became flesh, etc. You guys have all heard these verses too many times for me to need to quote it to you verbatim. The point is, the Word is Christ, and if the Word is Christ, wouldn't that make him the Living Word of God? And if the Word of God is truth, that would make Jesus "Truth", and that the Bible is only a recording of what Truth has said to us throughout history. Which if it was pulled together in a nutshell would be, "I love you."

And what does that love look like? The cross? Yes, I think it is represented very well in the Christ, but God's love is spoken about long before the cross comes into play in the Bible. He had a chosen people, and He made a covenant with them. A covenant, that if you looked at it the way the Hebrews do, or at least they should, then you would see that this covenant was very much like our "vows" in a wedding. All throughout Scripture we see that God relates our relationship with Him as a marriage, and it is one of intimacy, passion, love, and desire. God's love is so much more than the cross, and yet it is all wrapped up in it too because people are worth dying for, and Christ makes that abundantly clear to us through His own sacrifice. So then, why are we worth dying for? I do not think this answer can be answered satisfactory. In my experience, humans are not perfect, and in fact we are quite a mess. We rarely do things right, we keep screwing up our lives, but God still brings us out of the darkness we set ourselves in and continuously guides us to this greater thing. So, the only answer I can really come up with to this question is that, we are worthy of love only because God decides that it is so. Not by our own means, but because He deems it to be so. And who can dispute with that? I mean, it's God, He does whatever he stinkin' wants to do!

I am still learning, and growing, and coming to my conclusions about a lot of things. I know I will never know something to the absolute because Truth is infinite because Truth is God. And this is also where I am really having to stretch myself. I need to change my world of bricks to a world of springs (for all of you who don't get this reference, read Rob Bell's book Velvet Elvis it's a good read in my opinion, though apparently he seems to be among the many things that are widely disputed among denominations and the Christians therein).

One day the wall won't be there, and the springboard to the higher understanding will. I know I will never stop growing, and I probably will have to go through this whole mindset mess at least 30 times every decade (I'm being positive, it will probably be more) but that is OK because my opinion on aspects of Christianity does not affect what I have learned about God, and my perception of who He is through that learning.





1 comment:

Erik said...

I think the bible IS the word of God inasmuch as I believe it was divinely inspired. If you look at how Jesus treated scripture, it was authoritative but mysterious.

I think when some people refer to the Bible as God's "word." They come at it from a systematic and incredibly methodical perspective. They dissect, re-dissect, exegete and squeeze every word of every verse for every ounce of truth possible.

Just like a painting is made up of many different strokes, the scriptures have a variety of strokes as well.

The mistake of some of those in Modernism is that they focus on the strokes and not the portrait. The portrait is Jesus. It's God's intimate work with humanity. It's love.

If Jesus took the word of God seriously, we must as well. But in our struggle to gain truth from the scriptures, we need to take a higher perspective of the scriptures.

Instead of raping the bible for truth, we need to step back and see the big ideas, the narrative and story that is being told. We need to wrestle with the truth, but we need to also recognize that the Holy Spirit was sent to us by Jesus to help us to discern and know the truth and how to live out our lives in the Kingdom.

If you're interested in reading a pretty heady paper on this subject, send me an email and I'll give you the link.

Glad to see your wrestling :)