Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Limp, part 2

From the best that I can determine, neither the Evangelical approach - which gives priority to Paul - nor the Pentecostal approach - which gives priority to Luke/Acts - can answer all the questions. It is neither either, nor neither or. So many of the teachings of scripture can only be parsed so far and then they appear to lose coherency. I doubt if it really does lose coherency, it is just that our presuppositions are more likely to interfere the more finely we chop the meaning of words. This is because by finely chopping we get into areas where we cannot triangulate our position without depending on conjecture. It is like building a tall tower with a tiny flaw in the foundation. After a while the tower will tip over as inaccuracy after inaccuracy is piled on top of one another.

The scripture makes it very clear that the world in it's wisdom cannot know God. Cannot is the operative word. One reason is that worldly wisdom teaches that truth is perceived through doubt. By doubting we test the veracity of something or someone. We doubt until we are convinced. But when doubt ends we do not have the truth, but faith. Only by faith is truth perceived. Doubt left to itself will continue to doubt. Doubt cannot recognize truth because it can always come up with another reason to doubt. Whatever someone believes can always be doubted by another. Only faith can end doubt.

So this is why I limp. My natural self, my worldly wisdom, cannot find for me a stable position. I can always find more things to question. And so can you. Yet my encounter with God has given me a staff of faith to lean upon.

I accept both Paul and Luke's testimony regarding the Spirit. I have some ideas as to how their differences can be reconciled, but nothing that is a sure thing. My experience with the Holy Spirit has taught me of it's reality and the reality of Jesus.

I invite one and all to set aside doubt and by faith receive the truth. Will all you questions be answered? No. But how can doubt be set aside? By believing that God indeed loves you and has reconciled himself to you. Be reconciled to him.