“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
I love it when my 89 year young mother decides to start reading the Bible. She’s had some interest for a while now and has been going to church regularly with some friends of hers but that old Rainbow Girls edition of the KJV just wasn’t cutting it when it came time to read the Bible. “I just don’t understand it” she would say. So we got her a New Living Translation, which is the one my wife uses. It’s made all the difference. Continue reading
In a recent Discipleship community class there was a discussion about the difference between faith and unbelief. The scope of the conversation was rather large but one particular vein caught my attention.
It started with a couple of people talking about praying for “prodigal” children for years and waiting on the Lord to work in their life. Continue reading
I’m working on a new post for this week, in the meantime, I thought some of you might enjoy this little piece from Peter Enns.
we talk about God too much (what with the internet and our iPhones and all)
I’m not sure where this came from.
Maybe when I was buttoning my shirt this morning, on the way to teach an adult class at a local church–another among countless other classes where I am, once again, going to talk about God.
God must be bored out of his mind.
We have a lot of free time here in the modern west, a lot of access to information, and many means for communicating that information.
And we religious types have the luxury of time to turn God over and over in our heads. Over and over. Again and again.
Nothing wrong with thinking, of course, but it can become habit-forming–especially thinking about God.
In my experience, the more we think about anything, the more we become viscerally committed to our ideas and the false security we gain for our fragile life-narratives from holding tightly to those ideas.
We actually do become addicted to our thoughts, those beautiful thoughts. We love them so much.
And the more personally meaningful the thoughts, the tighter our grasp, the greater our addiction–and the more we fight to hold on.
I am coming to the conclusion more and more that the most interesting people to listen to when talking about God are those who have suffered enough to know that their thoughts are never meant to be confused with the real thing.
I find it more interesting to listen to a “uneducated” Nigerian father talk about his faith in God after his daughter was kidnapped by Boco Haram than a western educated white male who is genuinely skillful and adept at explaining biblical texts.
The latter is fine, of course. Maybe even quite interesting. But I don’t think I will come face to face with God in the same way as when this Nigeran father opens his mouth to speak, a man with less free time on his hands and a spotty internet connection.
I don’t wish suffering on anyone, and most of us here on this side of the Atlantic don’t suffer the same atrocities as other world citizens.
And that’s O.K.
If we could tap into our own pain, to those places where we suffer (and we all do), we might find ourselves reducing the background noise of our wordy thought-worlds.
Perhaps we would find ourselves talking less, fighting less, embarrassing ourselves less, alienating others less, and finding more peace.
Perhaps. Let me think about it.