Thursday, May 26, 2005

chart God?

Found this on a the journey blog recently. I know I am guilty of trying to chart God, layout a plan, create a formula. I guess that's why on our journey to our call, a transformation takes place that is a mystery to us. I think it's how we get from knowing the call to living the call.

"...for so long religion was my false gospel. But there was no magic in it, no wonder, no awe, no kingdom life burning in my chest. And when I get tempted by that same stupid Christian religion, I go back to the beginning of the Gospels and am comforted that there is something more than the emptiness of ritual. God will ignite the kingdom life within me, the Bible says. That’s mysticism. It isn’t a formula that I am figuring out. It is something God does.

I think we have two choices...terror or awe. And this is precisely why we attempt to chart God, because we want to be able to predict Him, to dissect Him, to carry Him around in our dog and pony show. We are too proud to feel awe and too fearful to feel terror. We reduce Him to math so we don’t have to fear Him, and yet the Bible tells us fear is the appropriate response, that it is the beginning of wisdom. Does that mean God is going to hurt us? No. But I stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon once, behind a railing, and though I was never going to fall off the edge, I feared the thought of it. It is that big of a place, that wonderful of a landscape...

Too much time is spent trying to chart God on a grid, and too little is spent allowing our hearts to feel awe. By reducing Christian spirituality to a formula, we deprive our hearts of wonder."

Source: Blue Like Jazz, pp. 203-205.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

the fundamentals of a liberal

I just found this blog and this post jumped out at me -
excerpts from "The Fundamentals Of A Liberal" by D.L. Dykes, Jr. posted @

Now, I don't like labels, and especially when they are put on me by somebody I don’t particularly take to … of course, labels are not important, but what we believe is terribly important. Therefore, when a label is used to express a doctrine or a belief, then that label becomes very important. If some kind of decree were sent out and we all had to have a label of either fundamentalist or liberal, or if I were going to be stood up against the wall and shot if I didn't choose one or the other, then in spite of my dislike for labels, I would have to be called a liberal. But I would immediately insist that I have a right to my "fundamentals" as a liberal. In the light of this introduction and from this particular point of view, what are some fundamentals of a liberal?

  • First of all, the first fundamental of a liberal is that God is all goodness and total love; and therefore, he never punishes or rewards.

  • The second fundamental of one liberal is that all of God's creation is good, and evil is the misuse of that good.

  • The third fundamental of a liberal is that Jesus is what all men are meant to be.

  • Another fundamental of a liberal is that the Bible is a book of truth, not magic.

  • The fifth fundamental of a liberal is that every person is entitled to experience God in his own way. The only God I have is the God I have experienced.

  • Another fundamental of a liberal is that the kingdom will come with Christ in the hearts of men, and not on "clouds of glory."

  • Finally, another fundamental of a liberal is that salvation is accepting the grace and the unconditional love of God as revealed in Christ on the cross.

Let me also hasten to say that no one person, no group of people, no large gathering of people can go to an auditorium somewhere and vote "yes" or "no" and determine the fundamentals for all of us. Sooner or later, we all must determine our own fundamentals. Nobody can do it for us.