Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Necessity of Spiritual Encounter

The pattern of scripture is not that men choose God but that men are encountered by God and a relationship ensues. Pelagic theologies frame man's capacity as something capable of initiating a relationship with God, but I think the scriptures are clear that man would never bother with God if God didn't intervene. It's not that we cannot come to an unaided conclusion that God exists or even comprehend his attributes, but in the gap between knowing about someone and knowing him personally, mankind can do none other than chiseling that data to our own liking (idolatry). God, the infinite and transcendent, is never subject to our powers of drawing him out.

Folk bent on discovering God, or knowing the Great Truth--Buddha, Lao-Tzu, or Plato for instance--do not find God the Creator, nor the Son who conquered death. They merely rearrange the particulars of projections of humanity and/or human reasoning. God as he is, God the only all-wise, the self-existent, the maker of heaven and earth, he who sees the end from the beginning, the one who talks, they do not find. Humans cannot find God, he must "find" them.

There is the scriptural command to seek God with one's whole heart with the promise of finding him as a result. However, just a modicum of thought will recognize that it was the word from God to seek and find that was itself the initiator of process in the first place. God "saying" something is how it always begins. God must show up in the places we can perceive (but not necessarily see) and poke us, shake us, call us or we remain apart. If one is ever to truly know God as he truly is, a spiritual encounter initiated by him is absolutely necessary.