Sunday, February 2, 2014

Subverting my premises

It was after John’s arrest that Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of God, saying, “The time has come at last—the kingdom of God has arrived. You must change your hearts and minds and believe the good news.” Mark 1:1-15

I must change my heart and mind and believe the good news.

NT Wright talked about this and reading the Psalms: It’s not exactly a matter of removing one (worldview) entirely and doing something 100 percent different, because the reason why all the great worldviews are great worldviews is that they all contain elements of true insight. So it’s a matter of adjusting or subverting or transforming rather than simply throw away everything you’ve ever known and get something totally different.
I mean, to put it over-simplistically, today’s basic Western worldview is still as it’s been for the last 250 years or so—a variant of the old philosophy called Epicureanism, where if there is a God or if there are gods, they’re a long way away; they don’t interfere with us. And the Biblical worldview ... says “no, actually God’s domain and our domain interact and interlock and mesh and blend and bounce off each other in a whole variety of ways. And that’s why life is often so confusing and exciting.” And so it’s not a matter of saying that everything you’ve known is completely wrong, because it’s still true that God is transcendent and God is other and God is different.
But, you know, this is complicated and many people find it confusing, but that’s because any time you start jiggling around with people’s worldviews they feel a bit sort of mentally or emotionally sea sick. But this is why the Psalms are so important—they will help us gain stability in that process and help us to inhabit a truer and biblical worldview which will transform the one we’ve all grown up with.

Each of us have been gathering up our worldview like so many puzzle pieces sprinkled along the path of life. Little mismatched bits of beliefs that certainly don’t fit together nicely, and bump and jiggle against each other in our little brain baskets. Some of them are innocuous enough, such as “pink is YOUR color,” and some are pretty much downright evil, “How much is enough? Just a little bit more.” And mostly we really cling to them pretty tightly without even noticing. And sometimes we even scoop up ideas and words and concepts that we hang onto more tightly than The Word.

Because our worldviews make us feel safe. And every now and then the scaffold that we have hammered together wobbles a little and we try not to notice too much. Maybe we just get really busy. Or turn on the radio so we don’t have to think about it. It’s nice to have everything all figured out.  In a little brain basket.

And this is the good news. Dumping this basket upside down into His lap. Letting Him sift and sort freely. The Spirit of truth within will guide me into all truth. But I must chose to dump the basket upside down, and bang on the bottom a few times to make sure some piece has not been caught in the weaving and is stuck. 

Because God is transcendent and God is other and God is different. And He doesn’t fit inside our basket. And the story is much bigger and much more joy and much more not-about-me than we ever imagined.


This is the good news.