Thursday, September 25, 2008

limitations to understanding

So, I just started taking this "course" through my church that's about leadership development and spiritual formation. I'm excited about it. It's looking at the biblical foundations of leadership and at how what has happened in your life to-date has shaped you to be the person you are today and how that influences your leadership. So, yeah, at least to me, a very interesting course.

Anyways, as I was getting started on the reading last night I was drawn in by something on like the second page. (I love it when things I read just jump right into the good stuff.) One of the points made really got me thinking.

"Many of those who think they are dissatisfied with Christianity are really dissatisfied with something else - their own grasp of Christianity. For most of us, we have scraped the surface and nothing more, yet we mistakenly believe our superficial encounter represents the gospel in its totality." (by Alister McGrath)

I've been thinking about it since I read that last night. And it's been making a lot of sense as I do that. I mean, really, who hasn't been dissatisfied with what they understand about Christianity? When things happen that just don't seem fair or right, it's very easy to begin to question. (I know, I've been there in the last few weeks.) But, yet, as I've thought about it I've come to see a lot of truth in the statement.

I think if we really began to understand - really understand - the depths of it all we would never cease to be amazed or have those doubting questions. But, we so easily get caught up in our own little world and think that we know it all and understand it all, when in reality we don't. When we begin to think we know it all and then have questions that our knowledge cannot answer or make sense of, it's very easy to become dissatisfied.

Yet, all of the understanding we could possibly have can never even begin to grasp all the truth about the gospel. It is so much more than we understand with our human limitations. We really have only scratched the surface of it! Therefore, we must be careful that we don't get caught up in assuming that we know all and that our understanding is everything there is to know.

Not only does realizing we have barely scratched the surface help when we're wrestling with the hard questions in trials, it can also help to keep us from growing bored with Christianity in the rest of our lives. When we acknowledge that we have only scratched the surface, we always have more to learn and understand. This leaves us with no reason to become bored with Christianity!

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