it’s so weird how everything is changing for me now. And there are so many verses that I stumbled across in the Bible over the last 35 years or so that never made a lot of sense. It was more like I came to them with a preconceived idea, and then I tried to wrestle them into that box. That actually describes a lot of my early Christianity.
And my later Christianity, unfortunately.
And right now I’m listening to Sophie’s world – it’s a book about philosophy and it’s kind of told in a really cool way,it’s sort of like a modern parable. But a super long one.
anyway, as I’m listening to these early philosophers’ viewpoints as told through the mystery tutor in the book, I’m hearing all of these things that are true. Not completely true but like facets of the same diamond. And as I was out for my evening ride tonight just listening to the book as I rode I realize that God has always been trying to talk to us. Each of these philosophers was stumbling on – or at least wrestling with – different facets of the truth. And of course, like all of us, all they had to work with was what they had been given. And there’s almost like this evolution of thought and perspective as you move forward through the different philosophers.
I absolutely believe that Jesus is the truth. There is just no question about that in my mind. I don’t have an argument for you, I’m not going to try to convince you, I’m not even positive that that’s necessary anymore. (At one point in my life I thought it was the only necessity in life). I definitely believe that Jesus revealed the fullness of God. I definitely believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. I definitely believe that the Bible is the word of God.
But I also believe that a child’s laugh is the word of God. I believe that physics is the word of God. I believe that everybody who seeks peace and humility and wisdom seeks the face of God. And God is so incredibly full of grace, that he allows himself to be seen and whichever form we need to see him. This is not universalism in the sense that I’m saying that all truths are equal. This is lifting God up and saying that all of our glimpses of the truth point to the real thing – Jesus. God personified. Love personified. Wisdom and peace and holiness and gentleness personified. The fruit of the spirit personified. Simultaneously the lamb and the lion. Simultaneously a strong father we can stand behind, and a perfect husband we can proudly stand beside. (Being the bride is still weird to me.)
My life is so weird right now. It is so much different than it ever was. I used to think I loved God and believed the truth, but I felt worthless and crappy and dirty, and I didn’t believe that God loved me. If God doesn’t love you more than you can possibly understand, and he doesn’t also love all of your friends (especially the annoying ones) and all of your enemies (especially the horrible ones) – you got the wrong God. You got a God of your own making.
I can already hear my former self arguing with these self-evident truths – trying to make myself separate, trying to make myself special and unique and set apart from the others around me. But there’s no way to feel that way and embrace the Scripture. The Bible seems wildly contradictory when you really face it. But I would argue that it’s beautifully paradoxical instead. And that when you really get it… Everything the used to confuse you about the Bible kinda folds together. The contradictions cooperate rather than clash.
This must be the new minded talked about. The scales must’ve just fallen off my eyes. I want to write so much more consistently and publicly that I am – but there’s always fear around it. I know exactly what my apologetics loving evangelical former self would be saying and it makes me wonder if I’m really right about all of this.
But I know without a shadow of a doubt that I finally get it – and the verse that never felt really true feels totally true right now.
When you know the truth – it set you free.