Posted by: dacalu | 9 February 2009

Come and See

I’ve been slipping recently, though I still do intend to put something up each Friday. Life is complicated at the moment: among other things, I went down to Tucson last week to interview for a position as college chaplain at U of A. I hope to find out this week whether or not they’ll offer me the job. But back to Monday’s Christian.

“Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.” Psalm 66.5

“‘Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?’” John 4:29

Christianity as I have presented it so far has leaned heavily on relationships. The things that concern us most are souls and God, and the best interaction between them is love. This model of Christianity, indeed this model of the world, has profound consequences for how we think about God, religion, and that particular intellectual pursuit–theology. Theology comes from the Greek for word(s) about God and it attempts to show God by way of words, and occasionally practices.

I try to avoid the word “theology” sometimes, because I think it scares people. It sounds like something difficult or heady or academic, and, while it can be that way, it need not. Theology means talking about God and talking about the reality God has created. So, what I write in Monday’s Christian must be theology. It is intellectual, and it is about God and reality. Having said that, I want you to know that I do not claim perfect (or even optimal) knowledge of these topics.

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
I Corinthians 13.12

I particularly like this passage, because it speaks of four things

1) We know something.
2) We don’t know everything.
3) We will know more.
4) That knowledge, like “being known,” is relational. It has to do with love between souls and God.

Christians look forward to knowing in full–as we are known in full–face to face. We encounter the world with profound humility, not just with regard to things like science and politics, but with regard to God. We await a fuller, deeper, and more meaningful relationship. We know that our theology is incomplete, imperfect, and improvable. Scary, isn’t it? It means that we must await God’s revelation and God has been remarkably unpredictable.

The relationship between God and souls provides us with both confidence–in what little we can say–and hope–for how we might know more. I have confidence, not only in my own relationship with God, but in all those Christians who have gone before and who stand beside me. >We< have a relationship with God. And, though I might have trouble understanding the doctrine of the Trinity or the Sacraments, I can say with confidence that we are all children of the one God and brothers and sisters of Jesus. We have a relationship. It can be as complicated as my relationships with parents and siblings; it can be healthy or unhealthy; it can be simple or convoluted; but it is always and irrevocably a place to start.

As I talk about theology for the rest of the year, I want you to know this. I cannot give you the truth. I cannot own or give to others the definitive “word” about God. What I can do is introduce you to the one who is my constant companion (“a very present help in trouble”). God willing, I can help your soul to connect to God in love.

Good theology will always be an invitation. It is not an end in and of itself, but rather an opportunity to fall in love with God. Come and see

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