Humidity is the order of the day. I can’t see it but I can feel it. The consequences of the high humidity? Sweating tile. That’s right the moist warm air hits the cool tile and it feels like it has rained on the floor. Sometimes I wonder if we give any evidence for the reality of God. John, in 1 John 4, insists the reality of the presence of God and the experience of his love is completed when expressed in our love for each other.
2 comments on “Relational Evidence – Thoughts from the Edge”
I think you make a good point, that our love for each other should give evidence to the reality of God. But I wonder if for some Christians that isn’t good enough. I wonder if for some Christians they struggle with the reality of God’s existence themselves. They may have bought into something, but maybe that something is more of a belief system than a way of life. And if it is a belief system then there needs to be more tangible evidence, and that evidence needs to be expressed on a consistent basis. And if it is a belief system then relationships aren’t important, activity and production are important.
I read the following the other day and thought it said some profound things.
“Philosopher Slavoj Zizek has described fundamentalism as a species of neurosis, in which a person keeps demanding proof that he is loved and never finds it sufficient.”
I wonder if this doesn’t hit the mark for some of us, maybe not the neurosis part but certainly the part where we keep demanding proof that God loves us, or maybe that he even exists.
Here is another quote:
“Fundamentalists have become the mirror image of atheists. Unsatisfied with the transcendent and unknowable nature of the Almighty, they’ve stuffed and jammed him into a dinosaur diorama. ”
The last quote was from a columnist from the Times in London named Terry Eagleton. I am a bit uncomfortable with the tone of the statement, but I wonder if what he is saying is, as the British say…”spot on”
I wonder if because God is so knowable, yet unknowable, that just loving each other isn’t enough. We continue to need inerrant truth, or incontrovertable scientific proof. We need to continue to hear stories of the miraculous. We need to have power point presentations emailed to us to remind us of his existence and love for us.
In the Message, when it talks about loving each other he uses the phrase, “loving each other as if your life depended on it.” I wonder if we actually loved each other that way, then not only would the reality of God’s existence become a given in the lives of believers but it would also be obvious to those outside the church as well.
Nice Zizek quote. I would agree with you. Peter Rollins new book has a series of parables wherein he points us to a place “beyond belief.” His point is just this, on some level we have traded belief in some-thing for a relationship with some-one. Belief systems tend to trample people in favor of the rigor of right. Relational faith, centered on Jesus, does not eschew statements of confidence in truth but places the emphasis upon people. That is why I think in a world starving for connections, relationship connections, it seems the core of the way of Jesus makes more sense than Jesus attending to the rigors of the outlying rings of our faith.
Jesus’ prayer in John 17 cannot be minimized – they will know you are my disciples by your love for one another. The religious elite held on the the system of belief over against the needs of people. People lost out. Jesus heaped harsh words on those who neglect people for the letter of the law. We do so today at our peril and the detriment to the Good News.
Eugene Peterson described it this way, paraphrased, “I know my wife better after more than 50 years of marriage. I don’t know my wife better after more than 50 years of marriage.” All our attempts to “nail” God down become idolatrous fantasies of the finite mind. For once we have God “nailed” down he may never behave differently than we have prescribed for him. In that turn of phrase we have made God into an image of our in/ability to apprehend him – a move the Scripture firmly denies possible.
Great thoughts. Glad you stopped by.
Hope you and the family are well.