Monday, March 31, 2008

The mystery of God found in the fathomability of Creation.

A popular apologetic idea is that creation is not-fathomable, but mysterious. Thus there must be a God. - The easy response to this is 'we'll figure it out' thus God-of-the-gaps philosophy comes in, academia fills in the gaps and squeezes God out of the picture. Needless to say its not a very good apologetic to start with. The apologetic should run, creation is fathomable, thus God is not, therefore God *is* God.

The very mystery of life itself is not that its mysterious, but that it is fathomable. Its fathomable because it is revealed. A revelation from the divine creator. In every hum and whistle, branch and bark there is the imprint of the eternal attributes of God. Mystery does not stop with creation (nor ideally should it start there), the magni-finitude of creation all bears the fingerprints of the magni-infinitude of another, and thats where mystery exists in its true form; the being, nature, person, and character of God.

Creation (contra to popular belief) is exhaustible, because its exists in time and space, it has bounds and contexts. It of course is not exhaustible or even attainable apart from revelation, but the fact remains that all is revelation. God however is not created, all things were made through him, thus, He is not made.

This is what sets Christianity apart from all other eastern religion, and new-age westernism. We don't stop at creation. As much as life, and essence flows through all things and connects all things, that is not an impersonal 'Soul of the World.' The very essence is not creation itself - it is creator. Behind every finite piece, there is infinite person. The eternal God.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Eugene Peterson on the Nature of Language + Creation (Forming)

This is a quick quote from the intro to Ch.3 of 'Eat this book' (found HERE) by Eugene Peterson, the Author of The Message. The quote happens to happily agree with my last post. :)

"It is the very nature of language to form rather than inform. When language is personal, which it is at best, it reveals; and revelation is always formative - we don't know more, we become more. Our best users of language, poets and lovers and children and saints, use words to make - make intimacies, make character, make beauty, make goodness, make truth."

So it just goes to show... theres always someone who says it first, and they normally say it better. ;) Praise God for Eugene Peterson!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Language In Its Purity: Creational/Communicative?

As a believer in Sola Scriptura, I love Words, the Word of God is indeed infallible and the final uncompromising revelation of God. However as a musician and a poet I believe Words are not black and white, in fact as a note can sing a thousand songs, a word can progressively colour and create God's true revelation.

Sometimes it seems, Reformed writers talk about the Sola Scriptura as the 'exegetically exhausted doctrines of God' rather than the living, breathing, fluid, inspired, universally-and-intergenerationally-applicable, creational, double-edged (s)word it actually is. Or, another way, if we apply all our exegetical techniques to verses x, y, and z, and derive at a premise or two in those verses, that is the meaning of this portion of God's Word. Now there are 31,103 verses in the Bible, and if we apply this principle to all of them we will have exhausted God's revelation; and perhaps therefore the finality of God-revealed also in no time at all, a couple of gifted exegete's lifes work perhaps. There is obviously a problem with this.

The first words spoken were God's words, and they were creational, i.e. they created. Every time God spoke, something was made, light - stars - earth - plants - people - laws. When man spoke however, he named things so as to communicate. God's language was creational, it was man who made it communicative. Thus when man overdoes communication (Genesis 11) God disrupts what? ... their Language! Their abilities of communication.

God's language however is creational. This creational language is profoundly metaphoric. A metaphor can be thought of as an illustrative, poetic use of language which gives substance to something which isn't readily seen without the metaphor. Thus everytime God spoke in creation it was a metaphor, for the true form of the words did not exist until they were uttered.

Metaphor, Poetry, and sometimes even Parable is often viewed in evangelicalism as a form of lesser language, at best fluffy, and at worse dangerously-misinterpreting. However, responsibly embrace, the language of metaphor is far closer to the language of God than the language of communication. It still sends shudders down my spine to see how some exegetees exhaust meaning and prose and doctrine from lamentations, and the psalms, and parts of Isaiah, without ever mention the movement in the language, the meter, the rhyme, the allegory, the illustrations, the metaphor; the poetry.

Language in its purity is pre-Babel, it is creational, it is Godlike, it is focally-metaphoric. Do read God's word as creational language, seek to understand the poetic as more than just poems, and do speak to God from the metaphoric-language center of your heart.

The Pentatonic Scale and Godly Communication

Godly communication; that is communication to and from God, not communication about God, can be perhaps likened much more readily with music than with words, the latter in submission to the former.

The pentatonic scale is the mother of all blues and rock and roll, it is the Guitar-Soloists dream, and the Celtics heartbeat. In its most basic form a pentatonic is a scale with five pitches per octave. For instance a G pentatonic would have the following notes: G (root), Bb, C, D, F. During mastery of this scale the notes would be played in order at a certain tempo over, and over, and over. This gets the musician to recognise and retain the scale though logic, sound, and physical habit.

But this is not the end, and not the music, because once the scale is mastered and its forms/boundaries are submitted to, there is no end to its musicality. The notes can be played in any order, with any eventuality of tempo, over any timing and chord structure. Techniques can be added, and 'feel' can be introduced. The more a piece of music is 'felt' the more the music communicates. Heart - owns - this scale. Notice that the notes themselves are not changed, in fact in order for the music to be felt, the individual notes must ring out all the more clearly.

God's eternal attributes are clearly seen since the creation of the world, not in communicative-words, but in nature and image and sound and sense and experience (Rom. 1:19-20). Thus deep truths of God, enough to know Him, are revealed in means of communicate expressed in ways other than words. These things stir and communicate not just to our reason, but deep to our hearts. Do we 'understand' God in a sunset, or do we 'experience' His assurance (as taught in His word) in our hearts? God supports His truths with our hearts. Our heart/feelings are not the context for truth, they are the truths (or notes), themselves, 'played with feeling.'

The difference between dry truths and heartfelt truths is how they exist in our beings, how they are played. Are they static and repeated, or moving and dynamic? Scales are never meant to remain in order, they are meant to backbone music, to colour and create music, to be ordered and move in ways which makes us 'feel each note.' If the notes are the truths, then we must hold them, interweave them, resound, resonate and sustain them to create the music that holds our heart. Only then will we retain and love these individual truths.

The pentatonic scale as a scale of heart, teaches us this. Our heart when filled with truths (notes in the scale) and Spirit (playing the notes) breathes sounds to God, it sings and colours our words, it makes sentences real and not simply recited, it makes works worship and not duty.

At what level do we communicate with God? Do we pray/act out of a legalistic exegetically-exhausted thesaurus of words/actions (a repeated and ordered scale), and expect them to move us? Or does our moved, Spirit-filled and steered heart submit to, take, offer, sacrifice, bless, hold, and play the words and actions as creational-musical-living-language to God? Do we embrace God in prayer as we embrace the movement and melody of our favourite song? Do we caress the heart of God like our fingers caress the fretboard of our guitars? - Does he communicate to us through static scale, -or- dynamic solo? How do we feel when God reveals himself to us? Static?... or moved?

Submit your heart, your life, your circumstances, and your realities to God. Let Him stir your heart where it is meant to be stirred. Don't let His truths remain static, allow them to penetrate your heart, and allow you heart to be stirred up within your life, circumstances, and realities.