9.12.2006

Living in the Wind

I woke up this morning with the realization that I am not a "lone mind" that can and should sort through reality myself and come to a thorough understanding of "absolute truth" in the way it exists as God Himself looks at this universe throughout space and time. I am a human, and am relational. My analysis and the abstraction and cataloguing of "propositional truth" depends upon what I have been taught and upon how well I have been loved.

(It depends upon how well I have been loved because our brains and souls do not function as they should in the absence of love. We are raised from infancy by a community that offers us love and nurture and protection to a sufficient degree for life, or we fail to survive. In the same way, our minds and souls require that we are surrounded by a sufficient degree of connection and love, or we fail to see reality in any way that resembles something functional.)

So, although I can go back and read philosophy and theology -- and I will, because I have an innate need to slog through it myself and arrive at my own conclusions as I add my analysis to what I read, and so that is part of the role I can play in the community of the Church -- I do not have to suspend an investment in "TRUTH as I know it" until I've done that analysis. My intuition of what is true can inform my daily choices and relationships and affirmations as I go. And all of that intuition is based on relationships -- relationships with those in close friendships to me, and "relationships" with those who are in leadership roles intellectually and spiritually in my community, both in the present and in the whole of our history.

And, of course, the relationship that ties all those relationships together is our devotion to the living CHRIST, who has not left us as orphans but has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in us and among us, and who has taught us how to pray with power to His Father. All the other relationships stand or fall in light of our loyalty to our Triune God.

So my first task is a daily faithfulness to this Triune God, expressed in obedience to learning to love the people He brings into my life. And only as I fulfill that task am I in any position to work with propositional truth to aproximate some sort of abstract representation of our shared reality as I can express it in our shared languages. Systematic theology -- and every variation of philosophy -- is only able to approximate an analysis of "absolute truth" to the degree to which it is based on a perspective lived out in relationship with the only ONE who can actually grasp absolute TRUTH.

And He has given TRUTH to us in a person, so it is Jesus who I must pursue, not my own analysis. My analysis can be useful as His tool in the community He is creating, but not as an end in itself. He must be my purpose -- to know Him and enjoy Him forever.

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