Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Push Me Pull Me

Blogging has reignited a tension I've felt almost since coming to Christ all those years ago. I was saved during my time in a secular college, and immediately involved myself in campus ministries. There I was taught it was of utmost importance to know what I believed and why. I appreciated the perspective but realized early on that a body of knowledge was not the same as Christianity. Jesus is not our Headmaster, and Christianity is not gotten by degree.

The things most important about Christianity cannot be reduced to curricular study. Christianity is not knowledge to master, it's a master to know, and experience. The truth is that it's not what you know that counts, but who. A quick read of Jesus' high priestly prayer in John 17 should clear up any doubts on the matter! It wasn't a textbook (not even the Bible) that Jesus handed out to those first followers, it was the Holy Spirit. Christianity at its heart is a mystical experience, not an academic exercise.

Please understand me, I'm not saying that study and academics have no benefit to the Christian community. What I am saying is that study and academics are not the means by which someone knows God and is made one with him. We must be born of the Spirit to see the Kingdom of God, and walk in that Spirit in order to truly live.

I thoroughly subscribe to the tenet that the Bible is our only rule of faith and conduct, that's it's the very word of God, and indespensible to learning about God. On the otherhand, I thorougly realize that knowing what's in a book is not the same as knowing God. I suppose when it comes to this tension between knowledge and knowing, we're destined to look a bit like Push Me Pull Me.