From the X-Files


The LORD will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim, he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon—to do his work, his strange work, and perform his task, his alien task.
—Isaiah 28:21

I don’t get it. The whole God thing—the Jesus died on the cross for our sins raised again Holy Ghost indwelling eternal life belief thing. Seriously. I don’t get it. I’m happy for the religious experts who can explicate, elucidate, pontificate, and generally complicate the matter with impressive certainty—and I do appreciate their sporadic insights. But as for me, I’m pretty much clueless regarding any satisfying unified religious theory.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe the Bible, even with its crazy God, dubious heroes, and schizoid cosmos. I accept its outrageous claims about redemption, judgment, and skin care issues. I’m convinced of its portrayal of the love of God, the human condition, and eternal destiny. I even embrace its quirky sense of humor (Knock, knock. Who’s there? I AM. Oh, right.) and its often mind-numbing randomness. In fact, I rather enjoy the Bible’s patent wackiness and think that church might be more true to form if we passed out kazoos and joy-buzzers in our worship services.

I’m hip to most of the necessary bumper sticker doctrines and catechistic punch lines. I can find the important Bible verses without a concordance or computer program. I’m moderately brushed up on my church history and theology. I’ve even done a fair study of Western philosophy and have read a decent number of titles from the canon of Western literature. I’ve listened to more sermons than I can stomach and have preached more than enough of them myself. I admit that I’m no spiritual Einstein, but I ain’t no slouch either. Yada yada yada.

With my education, both secular and sacred, with my experience in things ecclesiastical, with my skills at interpreting literary texts, with everything in me that remotely counts as passable intelligence, with all that—I confess to a profound ignorance when it comes to the whole God enterprise. What’s more, I’m convinced that all the really important God stuff simply can’t be explained to me at all because it’s—well, because it’s God stuff. The explanations are forever beyond me. Cool.

The real God is way strange and his work is totally alien. Even he can’t really explain it to us lowly dustmeisters. What we do get is the glory of God in the face of the man Jesus Christ, not a reasonable explanation, mind you, but a brain-bending revelation. That’s it. You take it or you leave it. There is no alternative, no matter what anybody tells you. Nietzsche (the celebrated self-destructive nutcase) said that “a casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.” He’s right. Faith proves nothing, but it accesses everything, including the inaccessible. It’s the first-class ticket to the starry dynamo of the eternally strange and alien. You know, to God.

As they say: Roswell that ends well.

.   .   .



One Response

  1. Every lost soul should see this!

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