“This emphasis on scriptural teaching is, of course, a fundamental aspect of the Christian religion. All varieties of Christians, in spite of all their differences, agree on this point in some form or other. Yet it is necessary to stress it again with reference to the question of our worldview because almost all branches of the Christian church also agree that the teaching of Scripture is basically a matter of theology and personal morality, a private sector labeled “sacred” and “religious,” marked off from the much broader range of human affairs labeled “secular.” The Scriptures, according to this view, should certainly shape our theology (including our “theological ethics”) but are at best only indirectly and tangentially related to such secular affairs as politics, art, and scholarship: the Bible teaches us a church-view and a God-view, not a worldview.
This is a dangerous error. To be sure, we must be taught by Scripture on such matters as baptism, prayer, election, and the church, but Scripture speaks centrally to everything in our life and world, including technology and economics and science.” —Creation Regained, by Albert M. Wolters.
I am currently reading five books at one time. I’m not sure how this happened. I specifically went one book at a time, but I’ve somehow managed to get myself caught up in reading five at once. I’m reading Jesus>Religion by Jefferson Bethke, Knowing God by J.I. Packer, North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell, Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey, and Creation Regained by Albert M. Wolters.
Why is this important? Well, some of what I’m reading is…eye opening.
I got up early, took a shower, got dressed, and sat down with God. Lately, there have been moments in my life where I realized how hard-hearted and unfeeling I can be, how mean and sort of stubborn I can be. Being stubborn isn’t always a bad thing, but for me, in more ways than one, it’s become a handicap. Anyway, I prayed for God to help me be vulnerable in a world where vulnerability is a weakness…or maybe not a weakness, but people can definitely be vulnerable in an impure way, where they grow to depend on another person to fulfill them. That’s not what I’m going for. God has freed me from the past, now I just have to remember to trust God with the future each and every day.
I left for church, walking through sunshine and wind. It was beautiful yet again, a little chilly, but beautiful nonetheless :). On the subway ride to church, I pulled Knowing God out of my purse and began to read.
As I read, I came upon this statement: “He (God) knows, and foreknows, all things, and His foreknowledge is foreordination; He, therefore, will have the last word, both in world history and in the destiny of every man; His kingdom and righteousness will triumph in the end, for neither men nor angels will be able to thwart Him.”
Wow. Okay. Yeah.
I had to read the statement over about five or six times before I truly believed that’s what I read. God will have the last word. Period. I never thought about that. It’s weird, I always think about the grand scheme, how everything will end eventually, the Rapture will happen, the antichrist will come, etc., but I never thought about the fact that God would have the last word. I thought about how He’d win, how there was no doubt about His victory, but the thought of God having the final word, the thought of Him being an uncompromisable, unstoppable, unchangeable, forward driving force that will triumph all fallacy, all lie, all darkness, all fear, never crossed my mind, at least not in that way. And reading it was mind blowing.
Walking into the church building, I was still a little shaken, my world still vibrating with aftershocks inside my head.
This morning in Sunday school, Sam had us do something a little different. We all offered up praises and prayer requests, then he split us up into groups and we spent the entire time praying for the different requests. Each of us took time to pray over our brothers and sisters in Christ. It was…refreshing.
The power of prayer is not to be underestimated. It’s weird, whenever someone is going through a problem or a trial, and you ask them if you can do anything, and they often reply with something along the lines of “Just pray.”
I know I’ve said this before, but there’s nothing “just” about “pray.” Praying is the most powerful thing we can do in times of stress, in times of darkness, in times of frustration, and even in times of small issues. So, when we were all praying, call it spooky or supernatural, but I felt powerful and strong and excited about the connection of the Holy Spirit emanating from the Christians.
For breakfast, Arial had brought in blueberry cobbler and whipped cream, and she didn’t want the can of whipped cream. So…I took the can and put it in my purse…because it’s totally normal to carry a half-full can of whipped cream in your purse.
After church, Jenny gave me two empty printer paper boxes (I’ve been collecting boxes to pack all of my books…how nerdy does that sound? :D). Then Grace and I walked to the subway together 🙂
When I returned to my dorm, I did my homework and continued to read Creation Regained. While I was reading, I read the passage that I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
Now, it’s a doctrinal truth that the Scriptures, for the Christian, are applicable to all areas of life, that everything in God’s bestseller is made for our instruction and the furtherance of our understanding of this world. Even though I conceptualizer this truth, I never quite got what it meant. I was still putting that line between me and the rest of the world, putting the world at arm’s length and coming very close to preaching at it.
The Scriptures, however, apply to ALL of the world, ALL of life, ALL of heart and soul, not just to church, or to relationships, or God. Yes, the Bible is written by God and is its sole subject of importance, but the Bible in its entirety is so that we have an instruction manual (which is not at all cold-hearted or unfeeling as that might sound) to go through life knowing the truth of God and understanding that this truth is the only way to really get life.
Some of what I’m reading, however, I’m not sure I agree with. In the area of doctrine and what’s biblical and unbiblical, offered concepts and views have to be carefully considered, and because I’m so impressionable as a person it’s important to check, double check, and then triple check these views against Scripture.
And while this truth is profound and overwhelming, and it does check out biblically so far as I can tell, something feels weird…I’m not sure what it is though. Something just doesn’t feel right…hm.
So today was kind of amazing. Sure, my entire thinking process has been flipped upside down and my view of God and how amazing He is has been infinitely expanded, so I’m a little disoriented, but it was still a great day 🙂
Yeah…it was great 🙂