The past two nights I talked to a youth group about the “the story we find ourselves in” How this Story is the greatest gift we could ever given. It is our talent. My reading in the “Character of Theology” has messed up my mind. I can not give the answers like I used to give youth. In fact I have not spoken formally to youth in over a year. Thank God. I realize now that I have had so many questions with out a way to organize them in my brain. Reading “the Character of Theology” is giving me some organizational structures.
Reading and talking about “Constants in Context” has given me words for my thoughts. I have not been able to communicate how my Christology, Theology, Ecclesiology, Eschatology, because I have not had any such thing. Sure I might have had thoughts about God, Christ, Church and the point now in relation to the End, but I was lost. I have more questions than I have ever had, but thank God for a map, at least a working map.
Here is the thing I know. I know that we are going to move beyond our thinking about the six constants like Theology, but we have to move. When we sense to move we die. I died. I mean that, my soul was dead, and it is beginning a re-birth. I do not know how God determines who goes to heaven and hell, but I know that it isn’t simply a prayer that converts humanity. It has to be an act of God. Indirect Revelation gave me great insight to the way we know God.
We can not know God the way we know each other. There is too much baggage we bring to the table. We could be the most brilliant person in the world and we are still bankrupt in the economy of knowing God. That is why my good friend who feels like an Agnostic, who has a degree in Religious studies from Villanova still does not claim to know God. He does not even know if he is a Christian.
It is obvious that we all have our own perspectives and contexts that form our hermeneutic, so it is impossible to have a foundation that will last for ever. The foundation will shift with the experiences of life and the cultural shift takes place faster and faster as we progress in this culture.
When I talked at the youth group the first night I was scared. I did not want to share this message I believe. I did not want to share how my story has shaped my belief in God and I did not want to share my perspective on why so many people have a tragic story. My story used to be tragic. I did not see myself as in the Story of God, where the Triune God is the main Character.
I might have even stopped believing in the Triune God, but thanks to our discussions in Theo class and my readings, I see the Triune God as an imperative in the Faith of Christians. I am a follower of the teachings of Jesus as stated in the Bible through my own culturally coded lenses. When I live out beliefs based on this knowledge that penetrates my soul, I am changed. I am different.
For example, during the talk the second night, I stepped out and believed in the Triune God. I believed that it was not on me. I can not make anyone understand or believe it is God. But half way through I could see it, I could feel it. The Spirit was revealing God to the group. This was confirmed later that night, when my friend Aaron and I were sharing a drink and he looked at me with piercing eyes of Hope and said, “That’s the Kingdom”. His eyes filled with passion as he explains two experiences that night. He shared how for 2-5 seconds it all became clear and it was though he saw for the first time.
I will spend the rest of my life in the passionate pursuit of the “Kingdom”. The good news is the “Kingdom” has come. So I say, “May your will be done.”