Liquid vs. Solid

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s easy (in some respects) to throw around big words — predestination, complimentarian, Arminian, patriarchal, sovereignty , omnipotence… — like candy at a parade, and (in some respects) they are equally insubstantial. I can argue theology all I want, but by it’s very definition faith isn’t based on reason. Faith is based on impossibilities, simplicity, and paradoxes. I am mortal and finite. I do not understand the immortal and infinite, but I do understand that the “My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty there’s nothing my God cannot do.” And, in reality, that’s all I need to understand, though it’s fun to dig a little deeper once in a while.

But how can there be a deeper? I will never fully comprehend the grace of the gospel or know God’s power in this lifetime. This I know, but need to keep in mind as I engage in my beloved theological debates and discoveries. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” , and (in some respects), on nothing more. I need nothing more than to (a) acknowledge my sin problem,(b) ask Christ in His grace to clean the slate, and (c) to grow spiritually and continually in Him. I don’t need my debates if they sidetrack me from that journey and that purpose, but if they build… Philosophy and theology are pointless as ideas. As N. D. Wilson says “Christianity is no good at all as an idea. Stop thinking that asserted proposition is the same thing as faith.” It’s easy to fall into thinking that, you know?

So I write this, as a reminder to myself of the things I already know but tend to forget, as an incentive to put into practice the things I am writing here, as a record of where I am on this journey –attempting to abandon high minded ideas for concrete, lived out faith. It’s not as easy as it seems like it should be.

Too often numbness seeps in unnoticed, and I don’t react in wonder to the awesomeness of the world around me until someone points it out. Too often my hope grows thin, and I become stuck in routine and ritual, forgetting the joy of Heaven, and somehow immune to it’s foretastes here on earth. Perhaps it’s lack of faith, or overexposure to the amazing. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is not discussing the incomprehensible mind of God ’til I have worn out the topic. If it’s as big as my Bible, and the natural world says it is then no one can define it anyways. But we will try valiantly to box God. (Does He laugh or cry at that?)

Mind you, I am not leaving the land of ideas, far from it. I am just taking a short hiatus to plant my feet firmly on the ground, and to remind myself of what is really important. Then, and only then, with my priorities in order, will I march back into the place of liquid thought, and dabble in big words and concepts. Faith first, and then philosophy.

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Categories: Journey Prologues., My Life, Ponderings | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Liquid vs. Solid

  1. I have been meaning to leave a comment on this post for awhile but my days keep running out before I get around to it. So, taking a moment before I go put out the garbage for the night:

    There are pitfalls in many extremes, that is for certain. And, while debates may come I don’t think they should be the focus in a Christian walk. Debates (in the context of a Christian walk) only serve a useful purpose if they drive us to seek to know God more. If it becomes all about winning the debate then we have certainly gone astray. It should be about using all things to grow in the knowledge and likeness of Christ.

    Two particular snares invovled when debating/studying the Bible are intellectualism (a reliance on one’s own mind) and bibliolotary (worshipping the Bible text instead of its Author), and I guess a third being simply pride. When faced with those possible stumbling blocks it is easy to pull back and say “rather than risk such things I will do nothing” but that is simply embracing the alternate snare of apathy. When things seem overwhelming it is good to remember the words of encouragement, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) In the midst of difficult study, it is good to savor that. God has breathed out these things for our profit in teaching, reproof, correction, and training in rightousness to completely equip us for every good work. So it is good and worthwhile to study these things–even in the times when we feel overwhelmed.

    But it must always be remembered that the tension in all our weakness and frailities are resolved and covered in God’s grace. That is always our only hope, and that must always be our hope and confidence in going forward in these things: God’s grace.

    P.S. I hope to have the email sent out to your tomorrow. Unless something comes up. But I hope tomorrow.

  2. All wise words, and things I am considering as I work (slowly) on replying to your opinions.

    Also, I may be a bit late with the e-mail this week as I selfishly devoured two large books yesterday, ignoring pressing responsibilities. πŸ™‚

  3. I suspect those two large books were a needed break for you πŸ˜€ The email can wait.

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