It’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.