18 March 2010

On truth and the search for it

In my previous life as student-of-the-liberal-church, I spent a lot of my time figuring out what I didn't have to believe about the Bible. Historical, social, or economic contexts, textual errors, authorship disputes, interpretive lenses and so on and so forth, blah blah blah.
I have mentioned before that when I was in seminary, I won an award for a very tight, well-constructed theology project. It was incredible, if I do say so myself. Everything in that paper fit together like puzzle pieces in a well-crafted frame.
It was crap.
When it came down to it, that which I had constructed was just...me. There wasn't any real depth or substance, wonder, mystery, etc. There was a small box and I filled all of it. No room for Jesus. No room for the Spirit. No room for the Creator-of-all-things.
Just. me.
I am at the point now where I no longer want to think about what may or may not be believable. I just believe that the Word is True. All of it.
I know some will think that is feeble-minded or that it is the "easy" way out. I would have thought that.
But I hadn't actually read the words then. And I hadn't had a real glimpse of the power of Jesus.
It's True. I don't know how, but it is.
That's all.
That's enough.

"If you believe in the Gospel what you like, and reject what you don't like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself." ~Augustine (a pretty smart guy)
Thanks, Roo, for the quote.


-M said...


Holly said...


Again, I would love to sit down and talk with you, would love to know more of your processes, would love to know what you think deep inside and where you think you are headed from here. (Can we really know that?) :)

Privately, I'd love to know - do you think that women can still be in ministry? That wives are to be under their husband's authority in all things? That women can't speak in the church?

This is no challenge, so please, friend, don't read it as such. :) These are just quiet wonderings from one has been your friend over several years now. I'd love a private letter, if you don't feel comfortable writing here.

As for me, I think I have gone the other way. No extreme moves, really - just realizing how small and angry my fundamentalism was - and not wanting that degree for you. I don't want to know what I don't have to believe - I want to believe what God intended for us to believe. Sometimes, that just doesn't seem so clear, on certain issues. I am trying to find a consistent view of God - one that seems in keeping with one who would create.

I've had a few (unwanted) conversations recently with some people who think God is a very angry and ugly fellow - commanding death and destruction and deceit - and they drew their conclusions from straight scriptural OT readings. (IMO, they didn't take into account Jesus as the full expression of God...but still, a flat and one dimensional reading of God seems to leave SO much out of the final picture we draw of Him. I just don't want that. I've experienced more, now, and I think it is a more life-filled, more exciting, enlarged view of God rather than a small and ugly view.)

Hmmm. Guess I'd better hop off. While I try to sort out the entire essence of God, my kiddos are hungry. :) Drop me a line? :)

Oh. One more thing. My kids and I were talking about making up t-shirts with sayings. My oldest kid, Jake, said, "How 'bout this one? 'Does this theology make my head look big?'

HaHa. I loved it. :)

Amalee Issa said...

You are a gifted academic and a natural at recognising the spiritual element to life - rather well balanced, I'd have thought?


Tonya said...

I love this post. I can relate even though I was never liberal. I probably erred on the other side- using the Bible as a text book. Learning to read the Word of God and just to love it, to feed on it- if you will- allowing it to transform me, has been such a wonderful thing to me. I hope God continues to pour a hunger for Him and for real, REAL Love into me.

Anonymous said...

always holding the "prized theologian award" over our heads... :)

i wonder if jane were still alive what kind of conversation you and she would have. i think it would have been a good one...i can see her smile at what things were 10 years ago and what they are now... hummmm.


April said...

:), Roo and James.

Holly, I wrote you back.

Amalee, thank you. I'm never balanced. :)

Tonya -- yes, that's it. Exactly. Real hunger. And finding that the food is delicious without any special sauces. :)