“Doing theology” often implies that we understand God better than the apostles or their disciples, and Jesus would really have benefited from a background in textual criticism. But has everything orthodox already been taught? Read the rest of this entry »
I once rehearsed a play in which I served as the “voice of God” replying to a delightful little girl saying her bedtime prayers. I frustrated the director. “No, say that line more majestically.” “No, say it more warmly.”
I never got it right. I should have retorted, “What do you want me to be: both God and man?”
It’s rare to find someone who can do that successfully.
“True prayer must be aflame.”
– E. M. Bounds
The whole matter of finding the true foundation is made all the more difficult because these defiant weeds which have sprung upon it are called the true foundation by many; they, pulling to themselves the growth on top of the house ruins, declare, “This is the foundation and the way, all should follow it.” And with many of them we see that their new foundation sinks into soft ground, the floor settling at different levels. This shows the difficulty of finding the true foundation…
— Peter Chelčický, The Net of Faith, 1440-1443
Missionaries to Muslims (few though they be) sometimes argue over whether “Allah” is different from God. However…
- “Allah” comes from the same Semitic root words as “elohim,” “El Elyon,” and “El Shaddai.”
- Even before Muhammed came along, Arabic Christians (and they were not few) called God “Allah. They still do. I’ve heard them do it myself.
- The Qu’ran says, “We believe in what has been sent down to us and in that which was sent down to you; our God and your God is One; and we are submitted to him”. Surah 29.46
- To Muslims, “Allah” means the Creator of the universe. There is only one of those.
The problem is that Muslims talk about God in ways that we disagree with. But so do other Christians.
The deconstructionist philosophy says you can’t know what’s true because everybody who talks to you about truth is biased. Well, that’s equally true of deconstructionists. They are also biased. Hence we can’t trust them either. Thank you for your time.
However, I know someone whom you can trust. Who? That’s for me to know and you to find out. Except that he says, “The heart is deceitfully wicked, who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). Hmm, he must be a deconstructionist, you think?
In the 19th century, newspapers would sometimes flag articles “Important If True” when their information was potentially urgent but they didn’t have time to verify it before press-time. One wag wrote that churches should put the same sign over their doors.
Even when we don’t fully understand the truth about God and the world he created, even when we’re frustrated when we try to talk about these subjects (“No, that’s not it… what I meant to say was…”), we ought to know that truth really does exist. We might even find that it’s specific, practical, and relevant. And it’s not just important, it’s tantalizing, because it’s so different from the way we’ve been living all our lives. Is the Good News too good to be true? Not hardly.
Unlike most bloggers, I find myself constantly editing and re-editing my earlier posts, sharpening the point I want to make. We need to wake up. We’ve been dreaming.