Friday, April 09, 2010

An analogy

Today's link brings us to one of my favorite authors, and if I may say so, one of my original schoolmasters in Christianity.

The Link can be found here...

Essentially the meat of the article is quoting a piece in Mere Christianity that is a response from a man who says he has no need for doctrine/theology because he encounters God alone on his own:

if a man has once looked at the Atlantic from the beach, and then goes and looks at a map of the Atlantic, he also will be turning from something real to something less real: turning from real waves to a bit of coloured paper. But here comes the point. The map is admittedly only coloured paper, but there are two things you have to remember about it. In the first place, it is based on what hundreds and thousands of people have found out by sailing the real Atlantic. In that way it has behind it masses of experience just as real as the one you could have from the beach; only, while yours would be a single glimpse, the map fits all those different experiences together. In the second place, if you want to go anywhere, the map is absolutely necessary. As long as you are content with walks on the beach, your own glimpses are far more fun than looking at a map. But the map is going to be more use than walks on the beach if you want to get to America.

Essentially, we can't get lost in our own experience with God  as the only means to find God's will as it is like going onto a journey without a map. We need to understand doctrine and theology as our guide. On the same side, we cannot confuse theology/doctrine as our only means towards finding God as it's like looking at a map without actually ever going on a journey for ourselves....

I really do wrestle with kind of a dualism in my self of both these. As a kind of Christian existentialist of sorts, I really do kind of romanticize my spiritual walk and have a hard time caring for theology as it can just be monotonous and repetitive to me at times.

On the flip side, in my darkest of days, I can't even come to find myself facing God in my walk, and find myself racing for the books of theologian as my substitute for my own spirituality.

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