Archive for May 30th, 2008

Comments on have recently gotten a little frustrating for many of us. I believe that heads bashing against random hard surfaces have been brought up repeatedly. If you aren’t familiar with it on this site, then I’m sure you can relate at some point in your life.

You see, communication is difficult. Not only does everybody have to agree on what words and symbols mean, but they have to understand concepts and ideas that are often larger than any word. This especially causes problems when we try to label a particular concept or idea with a single word.

All of this was made humorously obvious to me this evening at dinner. My wife and eldest daughter (she’s only 3) had chicken noodle soup. My daughter dribbled, as small children are inclined to do, and so my wife firmly reminded her to lean over her bowl as she ate. My daughter immediately and repeatedly responded, “No, lean over my SOUP.”

Please remember, you are eating soup here, but it’s served in a bowl.

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I recently came across a wonderful tool called visuword.
Which is in their words a “online graphical dictionary”. They have this to say about it:

Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.

Having a little fun with it I decided to check out some words about the Christian faith. First I checked Jesus. Then I checked Christianity, theology and doctrine. It was interesting that Jesus was a very simple non-complex diagram but Christianity, theology, and doctrine were a convoluted mess. It was even more interesting that there were some negative connections made to Christianity, theology, and doctrine but none to Jesus. So all of this got me thinking about our faith (which also had some negative connotations).

Jesus in his earthly ministry used parables and stories to illustrate the nature, character, and make-up of the kingdom of God. There were no deep theological discourses explaining the complex concepts of truth. Rather he used simple and common, yet powerful, illustrations of Gods desire for all of humanity. For Jesus if you wanted to study God (theology) he simply said “follow me”. Jesus’ life was the only theology necessary to understand the kingdom of God.

There is no seminary degree required to understand “be a servant” or “feed my sheep” or “what you have done unto the least of these you’ve done unto me”. Nor do you need a PhD to grasp the concept of being “Born Again”. In fact Jesus says to Nicodemus in John 3:

10″You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

If we are honest with ourselves it is often a fruitless (pun intended; Galatians 5) endeavor to engage in debate about theology. Sure we have lots of opinions about what is the best way to follow God but aren’t we all called to walk our own path? Are we not all called to walk the way of Christ? To die to ourselves?

If so then should we not spend more time focused on what he means to “follow me” then nailing down our eschatology or our doctrinally viewpoints. There is no Arminianism in “follow me” nor is there any Calvinism.

Friends the way of Christ is simple yet profound. I’ve yet to understand or fully grasp “If you want to live then die” but this is the way of Christ; the way of the cross. A path made clear for all that answer the call to “follow me”.

Grace and Peace

HT to marko

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