Monday, July 30, 2007

Dialogue's Not Over ~ Nicaea Revisited

Maybe that's not the final word. Maybe God's not done
speaking to humanity.

It's still a developing communication between God and man.
It didn't end at the council of Nicaea.
~ Curt

I like this idea that Curt talks about – this idea that God wasn't done speaking at the council of Nicaea. I like the idea that there is still a developing communication – that the conversation isn't over between man and God.

Firstly, it makes sense. Why would God have 2 testaments written and then leave us hanging for the next few thousand years? It doesn't seem consistent with His character. From the beginning of time, God is with man – speaking and guiding and walking with man. All through the Old Testament, He continues in this walk and this dialogue with us. He walks with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He speaks to Abraham, he speaks to Moses. David knows Him intimately and He gives the prophets words to pass along. Then Jesus comes. And you know what? He does the same thing – continues on the dialogue. He speaks to us and heals us and lives in relationship with us. This man who is called the Son of God shows up as human and does the same thing God's been doing with us through the ages all along. And when He dies, the conversation doesn't stop. He comes back and not only appears to us, but speaks with us and dines with us. After He ascends, God continues to speak to the disciples and even sends visions.

Why do we think this stops after Revelations? All through the Bible we keep seeing God get hurt and jealous and pissed off when people won't be a part of this conversation with Him, yet for some reason we think He's done talking. Why would he all-of-the-sudden stop? It doesn't make sense.

There are people who say that God never changes – that He is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever. These same people say that the Bible is the final answer. Well, pick one, because you can't have them both. Either God has changed – He's gotten tired of this conversation or He's given up on us or He just doesn't care anymore – or the Bible isn't the end. Because if the Bible is the end – if God doesn't have anything else He wants to say – then He has changed. He has gone from vocal to mute, from a teacher to an observer.

I think the conversation is still going on. Why wouldn't it be? If we can take Jesus, the One whom God called His Son, and we can string Him up on a cross to die and we can put His lifeless body in a tomb, and that still doesn't have the power to end the dialogue between God and man, how does a group of guys with status voting on Bible book inductees at the council of Nicaea get the final word? I just don't think it's over. I don't think God's said His final words to humanity.

Secondly, this idea that God's not done speaking to humanity awakens my soul. It suggests that God is still there – still working, still walking with us, still telling us His secrets and daring us to live them out. This is a God I can dig. This is a God I can be in love with. I cannot be in love with a God who was something big and beautiful, once upon a time, but who no longer has the time or the patience or the ability to show us His majesty. I cannot be in love with a God who isn't interested in furthering the conversation – who wants to drop it and hand me an ancient puzzle to put together and walk away. What a boring, f@!*ing god! What a cold, disinterested god! I want to love a God who is not content to walk away – who wants to do the puzzle with me and whisper into my ear with His wisdom when I can't quite fit the next piece in. I want a God who is not content to sit back and watch me sort through what He's told everybody else – who realizes that those old love letters are beautiful, but that I am a new love and it's time to give me the stanza He's written for my soul – the stanza that He wrote before time began but has waited patiently for the right moment to read. It is not a stanza that rules the rest of the verse null and void. Rather, it adds to the beauty of the song and the glory of His being.

This is the God I want to love. Does this mean this is God? No. It just means this is what my soul longs for. But I suspect that the deepest desires of our hearts – to know and be known personally, intimately, and uniquely, not from afar – were put there to complement what God is. I think these deepest desires are notched out in us like puzzle pieces, specifically made to fit with the piece that He is. And so it is hard for me to imagine that God has given humanity this one great desire – to know and be known, here in the present – yet is unprepared to fulfill it with all of Himself.

I don't know what this does to my belief in the Bible. Do I believe it? Yes, absolutely. Do I believe it's the end? Not at all. What, exactly, does that mean

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