I believe that God is found at the cross and I believe that the work of the cross affects us all. I find experience both troubling and problematic, when it defines theology. Currently, I’m reading a book called, It’s Really All About God: Reflections of a Muslim-Atheist-Jewish-Christian – it’s an experiential conversation illuminating interfaith dialogue. More accurately, how do we understand the other? Personally, experience has shown me that a faith defined by experience can be dangerous and destructive (irony intended).
From drug addicts on Welfare Reform, to Fundamentalist Christians, I see the revelation of a divine God in the brokenness of humanity. From the quasi-Zen, to the atheist, I see the revelation of a redeeming God in doubt and disbelief. From the homophobe, to the G. L. B. T. Q., I see the revelation of a patient and gracious
God – in our hatred, fear, misunderstanding, guilt, condemnation, and self-loathing. From a premature birth, to disability, to nine surgeries, to grieving death, to shattering expectations, to accepting limitations, to suffering injuries, to questioning everything, to loving, to being heartbroken, to ministering, to broken sexual purity, to intellectualism, to resignation, to going bankrupt, to a flicker of hope – I see the revelation of an active resurrection, of unmerited gifts, of present and future promises, and of the mysteries of God. Experience contributes to the definition of belief, but it is not the definition of belief – or the definition of God.
Ask questions, challenge religious precepts, allow your worldview to expand and grow, but don’t let experience lead you to relativism. All gods are not created equal, all truths do not tell the truth, all minds are not open, all worldviews do not see, all experiences do not hold experience, and all conversations are not a dialogue. Listen, learn, show respect, exude compassion, but for the love God – reconstruct what you deconstruct – and stand for something.
A hilarious and clever pitch for the book mentioned above: