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Dancing on the Rim of Mystery Dancing on the Rim of Mystery
    by Lynn Anderson

    Aldous Huxley once wrote that human beings are “multiple amphibians” — creatures designed to make our way through many worlds at once: social, spiritual, emotional, cerebral, aesthetic, sexual, psychological, and so forth. But, he added, since the industrial revolution harnessed our energies to production and the technological revolution turned us into information manipulators, we tend to live primarily in the two logical worlds: those of data and productivity. These worlds are crowding out our “other worlds,” which are thus atrophying. As a result, we are losing touch with what it means to be human.

    Sounds right to me, Mr. Huxley! Something like this can happen to faith as well. The rational, informational, and linear-sequential worlds of productivity tend to dominate in our lives these days. Consequently, the rest of our worlds suffer neglect, and we are losing touch with much of what it means to believe.

    The mind-set of the times threatens to strip our faith of symbols, rituals, dramas, mystery, poetry, and story, which say about life and God what logic and reason and rationalism can never say. Instead, we attempt to analyze and explain God. Scripture becomes mere religious information and faith simply the progressive realization of moral or “religious” goals.

We attempt to analyze and explain God.
    From this perspective we cannot expect anything but flatness. One-dimensional faith, like a tent with only one peg, easily collapses. Yet, we Americans tend to secure our faith primarily with the one peg of logical thought. Faith that is only cerebral in content and only goal-oriented in activity is “one-dimensional.”

    There is nothing wrong with trying to understand our faith. But many of us try too hard. We attempt to explain the unexplainable, find out the indefinable, ponder over the imponderable, and unscrew the inscrutable. A life of real meaningful faith can’t be treated that way. Trying to do so only leaves people with swollen heads and shrunken hearts.

    God is too vast and mysterious to be confined to linear-sequential thinking and production-oriented activity. That’s true of people as well. There is far more to us than words and mouths and ears and brains. Life is too full of mystery and majesty to be reduced to matters of information and production.

    So come dance with me on the rim of mystery. (More to come)


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Related Heartlight Resources:
The Ups and Downs of Faith
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About the Author...
Lynn Anderson is a preacher, noted author and founder of the Hope Network Ministries, based in San Antonio.

 
Title: "Dancing on the Rim of Mystery"
Author: Lynn Anderson
Publication Date: March 14, 2001

 

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