Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The introduction to Pelikan's book includes a great quote from Tennyson that brought into clear focus my frustration from last Sunday. We visited a local church (still looking for a home) which had good worship, friendly people, and an excellent sermon admonishing us to love Jesus. But looking at their denomination's statement of faith was frankly a little scary: while we're in harmony with their emphasis on the Word, and their interest in evangelism and mission, they have strict positions on things like church organization (include the unwillingness to allow women to serve in leadership positions), and even recognition of Sunday as a continuing day of rest: a few years ago, a minister in this denomination was disciplined for participating in a sports event on Sunday.

At the same time, i have no interest in surrendering orthodoxy simply to achieve more open-mindedness: it's the typical dilemma. Along with solid Biblical commitment, i'd just like to find a humble recognition that, while we do our best to understand what the Bible teaches, all such understandings are limited.

Strong Son of God, immortal Love,
Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove;
Our little systems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be:
They are but broken lights of thee,
And thou, O Lord, art more than they.

Alfred Lord Tennyson - Strong Son of God, Immortal Love


8:19:03 AM #  Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.  comment []  trackback []
A picture named illustratedJesusThroughTheCenturies-thumb.jpg I went searching for this book because of a reference to it from Brennan Manning's Ragamuffin Gospel, and was delighted to find in our local library a later edition, expanded by the inclusion of several hundred works of art. This fascinating book by Jaroslaw Pelikan describes 18 varied perceptions of Jesus through many ages and cultures: the King of Kings, the Monk Who Rules the World, the Son of Man, the Poet of the Spirit, the Liberator, and others. The classic artwork alone is enough to recommend the book, but the exposition is comprehensive and insightful, and provides a wealth of material for reflection on Jesus' question, "Who do you say that I am?" (Matt.16.15)
8:12:49 AM #  Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.  comment []  trackback []