Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Who Is God?

Do you ever look back at one period of your life and still blush as you recall something you said?  I remember sitting in Sunday School as a 15 years old teenager.  Feeling very comfortable in my surroundings and confident with my Biblical knowledge I challenged our teacher: "Is there anything you can teach me about the Bible that I don't already know?"

Fourteen years later I'm the one being challenged.  Recently, I've taken an interest in several books written by very different authors from different perspectives.  They share one focus though - that we, as Christians must continue our search for who God is. 

The Challenge of Jesus by N.T. Wright is a quest for the historical Jesus.  Wright shivers at the notion that we - whether Roman Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, or Evangelical - know exactly who Jesus was. 
I believe...that each generation has to wrestle afresh with the question of Jesus, not least its Biblical roots if it is to be truly the church at all - not that we should engage in abstrat dogmatics to the detriment of our engagement with the world, but that we should discover more and more of who Jesus was and is precisely in order to be equipped to engage with the world he came to save.  And this is a task for the whole church especially those appointed to leadership and teaching roles within it. 
Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes was a birthday gift from my dad last year.  I cracked it open 10 months later and have found it to be thought provoking and very helpful.  Kenneth E. Bailey is a theologian who spent the better part of his life teaching in the Middle East.  His goal is to "help the reader...better understand the mind of Christ, and the mind of the Gospel author/editors as the recorded and interpreted the traditions available to them".

Finally, a book I borrowed from a friend, God is Not... challenges our (mis?)conceptions of who God is.  The primary goal of the book is to "suggest that it is harder to think and speak of God than people normally imagine". 

During the season when tradition and religion often sneak their way into faith, I've found it refreshing to be challenged by the mystery of who God is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

now that I call a post.