As we continue on our road trip, we have arrived at the place where we are having a look at the first part of my theory… If you have joined us late, we’re on a road trip for a few days, a journey of discovery examining a theory I posted the other day, and built up to beginning with my posts on Monday the 6th. The theory is:
“Christian theology is not particularly difficult to understand. Its precepts and premises are fairly simple, it was given to “regular” guys to share with the world, and they did it. Yes, of course they had a lot of help from the Holy Spirit, but then so do we. Yet we love to argue, follow tradition and form to avoid spiritual growth and reaching out, because they are counter-intuitive, and the fact that they are counter-intuitive is exactly the point of all things being new, for our human intuition isn’t new, it’s the old thing that Jesus died to free us from.”
What do I mean by “Christian theology?” For the purposes of this journey, I mean the basic principles of the Christian faith, the bare essentials, you might say. This is not an academic definition, this is not “systematic theology” and this is not an exhaustive list, credal statement or any of that, so please don’t say that I failed to mention such and such and call me a heretic! (Or you’ll prove my ultimate point)
Christianity begins with the notion that we have sinned along the way, that we have messed up. If anyone reading this believes that he or she has NOT sinned, please drop me a comment so that I can post your name here tomorrow so we can all send our congratulations! (OK, just kidding. You knew that, right?) In spite of our imperfections, God loved us so very much that He was willing to go to great lengths to redeem us to that relationship with Him for which we were created, so He sent His Son Jesus to pay the price of our sins. (I hope this is sounding familiar) Jesus paid that price to redeem us and by God’s grace has offered us a pardon, and we have accepted that pardon and entered into relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Now, all things are new, for we have been re-born. We no longer live according to our old ways, for we know that God loves us so very much, and we love Him in return, and because God loves all of His children just as much as He loves us, we respond naturally and love the rest of His children, too. Love God, love your neighbor, in other words.
Now, we are trying to figure out how best to do that in a world that is kind of a mess, often confusing and sometimes a little scary… so we have gone on this road trip together.
Now, before you add to this short summary, ask yourself what is complicated about anything I just said. I’ll give you a moment…
Unless you couldn’t help yourself from wanting to add to this, you surely see that this is not hard to grasp, it’s easy, easy, easy! A child can grasp it, in fact a child usually gets it more quickly than an adult! We just can’t help ourselves! Something this important can’t be simple… it must be hard.
But it isn’t, and that is counter-intuitive!
I’m not a young man any more… OK, I’m not that old either! I’ve experienced a lot of things, and one thing I’ve noticed about people is that we love to complicate things. I sometimes suggest to folks that they not overlook the simple solution, because it’s usually the right one to any problem. It is in this case. The basics of the Christian faith are very simple, until we go out of our way to make it complicated.
OK, I think that’s good for now, let’s take a break, and then our road trip will move on to the next stop: Precepts, premises and regular guys.