“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 »
If God hadn’t created the world, nobody would have known the difference, and he could have saved himself a lot of trouble.
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.
“Do you then take such pains to seek souls? Well then, go into the city, to every place, to the drunkards, whoremongers, swearers… these are still your brethren; go and seek their souls; Christ has found mine.”
– Hans van Overdam, Martyrs Mirror p. 486-494
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.
Changing your church’s spiritual temperature to match the world outside doesn’t make visitors any more comfortable than changing your church’s thermostat to match the weather outside.
“The early Christians rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the Church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.”
— Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail
In one sense, truth is static, written in heaven, but our understanding of it is imperfect so not static.
In another sense, truth is relational. What is good news will change depending on the needs of the hearer. The broken-hearted need mercy, and the unrepentant need law.