Monday, November 10, 2003


I have to admit, I often feel like an idiot here. I mean, here I am, a graduate student in religious studies, with absolutely no knowledge of religion from a scholarly perspective. Everything I know about religion I learned in Sunday school and on my numerous mission trips. Until now, my religion has been based on my own experiences, my own interpretations of scripture, and what I've read from Christian books that can (sadly) be described as somewhat-less-than intellectual. It has been far more personal than anything else.

The point is that I thought I knew a lot, and, as it turns out, I don't. I know next to nothing of this religion I profess, and even less of the religion that gave birth to it. I sit in these classes, and everyone's discussing pseudepigripha and Maimonedes and Shekhinah, and they all know what they're talking about, and it's taken for granted that I should know too. And I suppose I should, but this is all new to me. Nobody talks about how they feel about God. That's what I'm used to--warm fuzzies and unconditional love, not the transformation of the Ein Sof--or invisible, unknowable, infinite nothingness--into the personal God that interacts and creates.

But this, after all, is why I came. This is exactly what I want, as far behind as I am and as ignorant as I feel. I can no longer satisfy the questions of my intellect with the rhetoric of Wednesday Night Bible Studies or Vacation Bible School. If I am really, truly going to believe what I have always believed, then I need to challenge it, scrutinize it--detach from it even. It's too close for me to see clearly. And here, every day, I feel like I'm taking a step or two back. Whether this will lead to a more focused picture or a more confusing maze I can't yet say.


Frank Warner said...

In the end, God is truth.

All other philosophical explanations are cold, artificial, too sterile to apply to life.


Jef said...

In the end, God may be truth, but not because the other philisophical explanations of our existence are "cold, artificial, [and] too sterile to apply to life."

Momma said...

There is nothing more true, nor more simple, than the Gospel of Jesus. Biblical scholars for thousands of years have dissected and bissected God's Word and have failed to find "...the Way, the Truth and the Life..." The Word says that God chose the simple to impart His truths, and I am proud to be counted among "the simple". I wouldn't trade the many times He has spoken personally to me for all the Ph.D.'s and all the power on earth. The Word says that "His sheep hear His voice, and they follow Him." The myriad of miracles I have personally witnessed are worth all of the knowledge in the world to me, and I would readily lay down my life to protect and defend His Word.

I am happy that you are learning all you need to learn to get your masters degree. Make sure you realize that all you will ever need to learn in this life is that God came to earth in human form to offer Himself as a living sacrifice to atone once and for all for the shortcomings of mankind.

Make sure while you are listening to all of the other voices that you stop and listen to His voice first and foremost.