Thursday, October 3, 2013

Not the post I intended to write

I've been working for weeks on a massive post. It originally began as two posts—one on "worldview" thinking in the church and overly intellectualized spirituality, and one about "divine restlessness" as a way of maintaining an appropriate level of certainty and epistemological humility in our beliefs—that I decided were similar enough to merge together. Though it covered fairly well-traded ground, it was going to be excellent, brilliant, insightful, and convicting; the usual.

That post will probably never see the light of day.

I still agree with most of the things I said in it, and I may try to work some of them into future posts. But as I was finishing up, it became harder and harder to right. God was convicting me not about what I was writing, but about how and why I was writing it, using the words I was writing. He was pulling a Romans 2:1 on me.

Yesterday I realized that since its renaissance in February through June, I have been taking this blog in the wrong direction, and my output has suffered as a result. A strong theme in my posts this year has been that the Bible is not simply a source of information to make us smarter and should not be read as such, but rather it's supposed to transform us. Once I realized this, I started seeing the misuse of scripture in this way—people simply drawing conclusions they wanted from it to back up their own arguments—everywhere. Everywhere except in my own writing.

The truth is, I've still been mining conclusions I've already drawn out of scripture instead of being informed by it. Too often I've written with my voice instead of seeking to let God speak through my own words. This question of who's really talking is independent of whether I study the Bible with my old logical view or my new Christ-as-Word view. Either can be a high or a low view of scripture. I've changed how I read the Bible, but not how I use it. I still treat it like an object of study to be held up to the light and analyzed for talking points in order to speak to and act on others rather than the Word of God that primarily speaks to and acts on me.

The result of this is that instead of this blog representing a conversation with God and with others, often it has just been the outflow of my train of thought on my solitary quest for truth—a noble delusion! I write about whatever I'm worked up about, annoyed at, or catches my fancy instead of what God is doing in me and saying to me right now. Though my thinking about doubt was this six months ago, He's calling me to move on now, but I keep posting about the same things as a way of staying in my comfort zone and avoiding letting God continue to lead me through my writing. The more I linger, the emptier and more forced my posts feel.

My conclusion (and it's one I still can't hear enough): the Bible is not merely a "text" to be studied, it is the Word of God to be lived. If we do study it, we should do so with the earnestness and immediacy of a man on a sinking ship studying the instructions for a life raft.

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