Sunday, January 27, 2013

What do we really believe about God?

One of the things I mentioned in my New Year's Things that I'm tired of was how scholars continue to kick dead horses. It seems that some things cannot be released and allowed to die. I have realized that these folks have been trained to question. They ask and ask and ask. This is, actually, a good thing. Nothing in faith is above questioning. That's how we appropriate and make the faith our own. None of us can accept the word of someone else. We MUST learn how to make it ours. But, in this process I've found that a lot of folks make faith about US. We try so hard to appropriate the text and the tradition that we miss the supernatural, the other, the Godly. Evelyn Underhill got it when she wrote, "The tendency of all worship to decline from adoration to demand, and from the supernatural to the ethical, show how strong a pull is needed to neutralize the anthropocentric trend of the human mind; its intense preoccupation with the world of succession, and its own here-and-now desires and needs...It is the mood of deep admiration, the meek acknowledgement of mystery, the humble and adoring gaze..."
So many scholars and theologians can argue about the text. What it says or doesn't say. But, very few are talking about the work of the Spirit. Where is the mystery? Where is the stuff that cannot be easily explained by historical or literary criticism? I think that the mystics among us are being overshadowed by the scholars. Christ followers are empowered and guided by what is unseen and unfelt. We are experiencers of God, not simply those who can understand some 2,000 year old text. I agree with Underhill. We need to get over ourselves and immersed into the reality of God, who is Spirit.

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