Thursday, January 29, 2009

Next Question

I realized years ago that there are various expressions of Christ which are authentic before God, and yet in our understanding appear ... somewhat a kilter with each other. Is that a fair statement? I am naive enough to believe that these various expressions all boil down to two unlike perspectives on the same idea, which is the view of Truth. Yet, I do not call either view a false view of Truth.

(I am not suggesting this dichotomy involves other belief systems which are actually in opposition to the revelation of the living God, the Father and Creator of the Universe, come to earth as the Son, Jesus Christ, and upon whom all the redemptive work of the Holy Spirit stands.)

However, if that first line seems a fair and true statement, then it begs the question, "Why is this so?" and a corollary question, "Should Christians attempt to remove these boundaries?" Is ecumenism among all Christian beliefs needed?

My next post will explore my position on these questions. In the mean time, what are your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Well, I would say that Christianity could most generally be broken down into three huge classifications: (1) Roman Catholicism, (2) Greek or Eastern Orthodoxy, and (3) Protestantism. These three expressions have many stark and varied differences and, furthermore, within each of the three classes (especially Protestantism!) we find a bewildering variety of religious expression. I have always been perplexed by the ecumenical movements who try and "reconcile" these radically different elements of the Christian faith into a kind of "bland, lowest common denominator" kind of thing. At the same time, I do believe dialogue across the party lines of the faith can have value - but as long as the differences are celebrated rather than ignored.

Anyway, I'm not sure if this is the direction of your post!


postmodern redneck said...

I don't know yet where you're going with this either, but I have a hunch the apparent "out of kilter" (that's the way I've always heard the expression) has to do with the limitations of our finite human minds, even more impaired by the effects of sin on the human organism since Eden (aside: when you think about the amount of basic stuff that Adam and the rest of the pre-Flood generations had to figure out from scratch--stuff that we take for granted like food, fire, the wheel, and on and on--they had to be very much smarter than we are now, by a major factor. But even being smart didn't keep them from sinning.) There was a line in C.S. Lewis' science fiction book "Perelandra" that I have always loved. Ransom, the protagonist, asked a question of the eldils (angelic beings in charge of planets, in the book) and was told, "There are no receiving places in your mind for the answer to that." There are some things we cannot get our minds wrapped around on this side of Heaven, because our minds aren't up to the job yet. I think the whole dichotomy about predestination/free will arose because Augustine, and even Calvin later, assumed God was inside time just as we are. Having grown up on science fiction that included time-travel stories, I can see time, as Schaeffer did (one of his books was titled "Genesis in Space and Time), as a fourth dimension along with the three dimensions of space--and the possibility that God could be outside of time, as its creator, rather than bound inside it as we are in this life.

Anyway, I'll be watching to see where you go with this.

Carey said...

our God is outside time as Creator, inside time as Savior.
There's the rub; can't get my mind around it.

ded said...


Thanks very much for your comment. In the construct I am about to blog, Your three classifications are the fruit of one perspective.

For the uninitiated, Greg's blog is always interesting. And he keeps more than one. In addition to the web address he lists, there is a link from my page listed as Pura Vida! (Only since I couldn't get the upside-down exclamation point, I used a lower-case i.) Probably ought to change that; it looks like a hybrid of Spanish and an advertisement from Apple.)

postmodern redneck, I have read a lot of science fiction, too. The "fourth dimension" of time you mention is a distinct part of one of the perspectives. As Carey has already "Ayed."