Tag s | Theology

How Do You See God?

I love going to the Oregon coast. love the power and beauty and sense of God’s creative genius that surrounds me when I’m there.  Ever since I was little, I’ve looked on the ocean as a friend, even played tag with the water as it came in, daring it to wash over my bare feet, running when it got close, laughing when it caught me. (Yes, I still do this.) Recently, though, while at the coast, I was struck by the fact that not everyone experiences the coast the same way. I know, an obvious thing, but it just never occurred to me before. Some of the folks walking the beaches did so with knee-high boots, willing to let the surf catch them but clearly not wanting to get their feet wet. Others walked high up on the beach, removing any chance of being touched by the salty water. Some walked with brisk steps, as though they were focused on a goal, maybe not even seeing the beauty around them. Others ambled, leaning down to pick up various treasures and slip them into a pocket or bag. Still others didn’t walk at all. They just sat, some in chairs they’d brought, others on driftwood logs.

As I took all this in, I thought about the challenge of writing about the ocean. About sharing my experience of it in a way that can impact readers who don’t view the ocean as I do. And then, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, my thoughts turned to writing about God. My experience of God is colored by my experience of my parents and their love for Him. Because I experienced my parents as loving and tender and just awe-inspiring, I have no trouble seeing and experiencing God in that way as well. All that is good and true and just in God was lived out for me, day by day, in my precious Mom and Dad. And while there are those who share that experience of God with me, just as many—probably even more—don’t.

So the challenge for us as we write, then, is this: how do we write about God, about living for Him and growing in our knowledge of and faith in Him, about loving and trusting in Him, in such a way that reveals Him to those with differing views or experiences? How do we show who God is in ways that will speak even to those who have very different experiences from ours? Is it even possible?

What do you think?

 

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Writing from Weakness

I believe some of the most powerful books ever written by Christians will be published in the coming years. Why? Despite our best efforts, Christians failed to transform culture through the ballot box, boycotts, ministry/church programs and use of the media. Worldwide, Christians are not a moral majority but an …

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Prayer is Not a Transaction

Recently I was teaching on Luke 18:1-5 (verses are below) about the parable of the persistent widow and developed some thoughts that might be pertinent for you today. In our world, commerce is based on the idea of a transaction. I give you something (like money) and you give me something …

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“Do You Love Me?”

Have you heard the one about the elderly woman who heard her friends’ husbands over the years tell them how much they loved them? Oh! How she longed for her husband to do the same. To regale her with the depth and breadth of his enduring love. But…nothing. Finally, as …

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This Is Why We Write

I made a mistake a few days ago: I watched the news. I seldom do that. Yes, I am informed on events. I have notices come to my phone in bite-sized pieces so I can control the onslaught of evil swarming over us. But on that day, I sat there, …

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A Time for Lament

For a while we were able to rattle off the cities or the names of various people and incidents where someone died. Every place from Columbine to Sandy Hook to Ferguson to Fort Hood to Charleston to Orlando to Dallas to Nice. But now the litany has become too long …

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Theological Accountability Partners

Just because an author is a mature Christian, doesn’t mean they are immune from writing something containing shaky theology. In an effort to craft compelling phrases and stories, orthodox theology can sometimes be a casualty of creativity or even carelessness. Most often it is entirely accidental. I referenced this issue …

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Dear World, We Have What You Want

Dear World, Those of us involved in Christian publishing can’t help but notice you are hurting. While our work is to write and publish books, one or more times each week we gather to worship and pray to the Creator God, considering ways we can ease your pain. I hope …

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Satan Speaks to Christian Authors

Throughout our lives, a great number of “voices” compete for our attention. Family, friends, co-workers, marketers, technology, and even your pets are vying for your undivided attention. Christians yearn to hear the voice of God in their lives and succeed because we have his words written down for all to …

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I Hate the Church (?)

Wow. Another year ended, another new year begun. As I considered what to say about 2015, something struck me: I heard more hard words from believers in 2015 than ever before. No, not “hard words” as in hard things the Lord told people to say. Just hard words. Words spiked …

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