So, I know this is a long time since the last post and this won’t have near the impact on you, dear reader, as it did me simply because of timing. When I wrote the last blog (Happy Easter), I finished, shut down the computer, and got into bed to read before going to sleep. Since I was between novels that interested me at the time, I decided to get caught up on The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren that the Elders at NS are reading. The serendipity will also be lost if you don’t know what I posted in the last blog. I’ll pause here for you to go back and read the previous entry because I’m not going to rehash what I said…
Right where I pick up reading, McLaren explains and basically rejects both ideas that I just put forth in that blog, and if didn’t address them specifically, they are the basis for the things that I did say about questioning how much God intervenes in our everyday lives. McLaren is talking specifically about signs and wonders and says this:
“Some scholars see stories of signs and wonders as fictions– parables, if you will composed by the early church. Although i respect their differing viewpoint, I am not among them. I believe that signs and wonders actually, factually clustered around jesus and his secret message of the kingdom of God–just as we might expect if Jesus and his message were truly from God. (this is the interesting part) But I don’t believe they occurred in the way of a billiard player reading in to flick a few balls on the table with his finger. Rather, I have become convinced that Jesus’ worldview is better than ours. It’s not that an external intruder is fiddling with the laws of nature. Rather, it’s that the universe isn’t a machine at all; it’s more like a family, a community, or a kingdom. And God isn’t positioned outside of the universe, reaching in occasionally, but rather God is here, in it with us, present, near.” (McLaren, 2006)
I really dislike labels and being labeled. I don’t like to group myself completely with any group or ideology. But, as much as I’d like to claim skepticism in spite of occasional agreement, I’m a McLarenite. I’ve read things from him that challenge me and my thinking. But, I have hard time coming up with anything I’ve read that I don’t end up agreeing with. Here is an example of him deconstructing my modernist trappings and providing a new way to frame my own dilemma.
I’m still grappling with this. I’m not sure get it or buy it or can understand the repercussions of accepting it. But, it is easily a better idea of God and the way he works than the conflicting strictures I was using before.