Monday, December 19, 2022

The Biblical Art of Paradox: A Faith Excursus (1)

Holy Scripture is the primary source of belief and practice, but it is not the only one.* My journey with Scripture is like metamorphic rock or mineral. Over time, the material is not destroyed (igneous), or continually settling (sedimentary), but by the forces of severe heat, pressure and movement, it is transformed.** Minerals are sifted out due to heat and pressure. 

Life has formed and shaped me but so has Scripture. Scripture teaches me new things about myself and  my relationships to God and others. This is serious, because hearing words as God's Word brings new life and possibilities and re-creation, often unexpected if not also unwelcome, by my biases.

My faith journey is not a straight line. The goal is not to make it one. But the jagged lines are not wasted time. I learn lessons that are unforgettable. The faith of my 12th or  or 52nd year has not entirely survived intact. How could it?

Deepening faith does not mean that I check my intellect at the door before studying Scripture. Or that I'm required to suspend asking questions. It does mean that I discover a more authentic faith to share with others. For me, growing faith includes doubt, acceptance of mystery, and, mostly, trust in God as the One and Only, who loves all unconditionally.  The end of faith? To know as I am known, to love as I am loved.

*In the United Methodist tradition, three other guides exist: Tradition, Reason, and Experience. Scripture being primary, it is interpreted, in part, through Tradition, Reason, and Experience.

**Geology has always fascinated me since hunting for rocks, minerals, and fossils in my youth. 

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