Wednesday, June 25, 2003
This was an email I sent out in response to a series of "questions" from my good friend D on the NKOC email list. Basically, this seems to be what she's seeing as "our story" as told by Neo & Co. in Brian McLaren's New Kind Of Christian series of novels:
God...well, I dunno. Who can say?
Creation...well, I dunno. Who can say?
Scriptures...well, I dunno. Who can say? One thing for sure: we better not
believe the bible literally.
The church....well, it's not for everyone.
Theology...nah. It's a human creation.
Here's my "answers" for the above (as I read them coming from these books):
* God... well, here's what I've experienced firsthand and stories I've heard from others, but I don't want to box Him in to just my experience/training/listening
* Creation... well, why argue about the HOW? let's dig into the WHY, because that might make the HOW make more sense later on
* Scriptures... well, they're alot deeper than we often give them credit, so let's not get stuck on ideals and absolutism that might make the overall picture less grand than it was intended
* The church... well, while it's not for everyone, it is right to join up with other like-minded and like-hearted folks to pursue God together, and that might not always take the same form and shape
* Theology... well, there's a problem if the -ology part - our understanding - overtakes the Theo- part - God's revelation of Himself to us through all of this
That's just my take. The only thing I might have question on is my use of "absolutism", and here's what I mean by that. We take the ideals of anything and make them absolutes that can't be reached. In reality, we might be better to have them as standards to be met by grace, joyfully choosing to obey, rather than a means for judgment and condemnation that lacks the fruit of real conviction by the Spirit and repentance in the heart. Yes, there are absolutes - but our ability to know and understand them "absolutely" is flawed by our own short-comings - so let the Holy Spirit show us what He means.
I don't necessarily flow 100% with these "answers," but that's how I read the book/s going. And it makes me stop to think about what's really important in sharing the good news, the Story, with others looking for themselves, too.