Writing to two postmodern Christians I –

_____ and _____,

You know, being a recuperating fundamentalist, my first inclination is to pick apart your passionate discourses. It is to find fault. O how I hate that inclination. There is so much beauty in your words and their meanings.

So, I will glory in that instead. They are the things that draw me to worship in your words. First, and foremost, it is the longing after the God who is real. I do not classify myself as a ‘postmodern Christian’ and I suspect that you would say the same of yourselves. Yet, I do love the spirit that looks outside of men (and their hierarchical constructs) for authority.

Moreover, I delight in and am quite satisfied to join your struggle against the institutionalization of spirituality. The body that presumes to be the visible manifestation of the Church universal in the west is, I believe with you, little more than empty human religion. Indeed, they negate God in their very preaching, liturgy, and endless methodologies.

The attempt to systematize the spiritual disciplines results in little more than Christ-less legalism.

The somewhat blasphemous hypothetical illustrates this wonderfully:

“If God did not exist, what would change in your church?”

Far too often the answer comes back… “nothing”.

The church that does not need God for its every movement is utterly bankrupt and has nothing to offer a dying world. Rather, it is, itself, in want of a savior.

Fundamentalists find their certainty in the authority of Scripture. Well, that’s what they say. However, with a concept of priesthood tragically and unwittingly adopted from Romanism, they far too often place the authority in the interpretation of a man (the senior pastor) – rather than that of God.

How to say – – – certainty is possible. It is the essence of the gospel. It is who God is. However, it will never be dependant on any interpretation of man. Yet, it is found – in varying degrees – in the heart of every man.

I believe in common grace, and in general revelation. I also believe that it often manifests itself strikingly in the things we cannot deny. Every culture gets some of it right and some of it wrong. Culture can be seen as the corporate personality. So, as a microcosm each individual gets some things right and some things wrong which are intrinsic in their personality.

That which is most undeniable to a man is often that part of reality that God, in his mercy, has allowed him to see most. These are the sweetest and most beautiful things in life – they become the basis for philosophies and countless, more tangible, works of creativity.

The tragedy is, I believe, that we often see them as significant in and of themselves – not recognizing that they are the reflected glory of God – and we are meant to enjoy (worship) Him in them. We are called not to love the world to the exclusion of God, but rather, God to the inclusion of the world.

It is left for God to reveal, by grace and through faith, what is real. It is not an accident that He always starts with Himself. For, He is that which is most real.

In this way, Jesus is not some icon – or even – just some profoundly important and genuinely perfect person – He is, in the words of (for my money) Apollos:

“The radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature…”

– Hebrews 1:3

“At many times and in many ways,” we read before the above statement, “God spoke to our fathers by the prophets but in these last days he has spoken to us by his son.”

God is real. It is no happy accident that faith in Christ is the only faith that reveals that which is most real (God) and by his light, all that is such.

It is in these things, my brother and sister, that we part ways. And may I be damned if I speak of them out of arrogance or with a haughty spirit. For I own none of it – save from God lavishing it upon me as a gift.

To give up the only legitimate epistemology (or theory of knowledge) in the name of love – is to destroy the very possibility of love.

I love you all,

C. W.

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