My readership numbers have been unusually constantly high for the past 2 weeks. It’s either my stat counter is broken, or this fact is true, or I should consider moving to WordPress like everyone seems to be doing nowadays.
That was the additional note. Strangely enough, it came at the start because it came most recent to me. The last shall be first, no?
This is the disclaimer:
In my recent spate of posts on the attributes of God, I write as if intently gazing out one of the many windows of my small abode at the infinite world that lies beyond, and mulling over that which my eye perceives, limited as it is by the finite horizon and more significantly, that tint which stains all my windows, the stain of sin. Yet there is a sheen on my windows. It is the characteristic polish of the inerrant truth of Scripture, graciously applied by the Spirit. And never forget that cross-shaped frame that looms large over the windows – for every so often, a whiff of the outside air, fresh and warm, laden with all sorts of wondrous and exciting scents, filters in through the seams of that glorious frame!
Or explaining my allegory above:
I do have a tendency towards romanticising my writings. It is not a bad tendency as such; but it is one that easily leads to pride. But as it is, as long as I keep that in mind, it is rather fun to write in an uncharacteristic manner! And I believe this is my cleverest one so far.
If you wish to be spared the following process, skip on to the next section.
The abode represents me and the world in which I live in. Not the world around me per se, but the components that make ME. My thoughts, my experiences, my feelings, my environment, my relationships and that sense of irrationality that seems common to all men (and women). Though in retrospect, perhaps it is not a sense of irrationality, but rationality that conflicts with the irrationality of our rebellion. A common grace if you will. But I digress.
The world beyond represents God. Not that He can be conformed to any man-made image, and it would be heretical to do so, but my metaphor as it is will be imperfect and as long as I point out this fundamental flaw, it is alright to proceed.
Then note the dichotomy of small abode and infinite world.
My perception of God is limited as it is by what He allows me to perceive, thus the ‘finite horizon’. Yet I would have no right perception of God at all, for my windows are all stained dark with the reality of sin. In our sin, we believe that if there lies a world beyond our abode, it is a world of our own making. And of course some believe there doesn’t lie one beyond.
Yet in His graciousness, God sends His Son Jesus Christ to take on our sin, and so reconcile us back to God. And thus it is the cross that is the frame of any knowledge I will have of God. It is the image that looms largest. It is through this that I can know God as He truly is. Not just know about Him, but experience Him – that breath of fresh and warm air. And it is the Spirit that guides us into all truth, truth as was, and is, because the word of God is living and active as God Himself is, expressed in the Scriptures – the specific revelation of God.
So the tint remains, for while we are here, our flesh and the Spirit constantly wage war against each other. And while we remain here on this earth, we only perceive God partially, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13 – refer back to the post that sparked this off for a slight elaboration of this point. But it is brightly polished.by the Spirit and Scripture, and as such I can now look out and see the world beyond.
And yes, the point of windows is not to look at the windows, but to look at what lies beyond the windows. In a sense, this image echoes a quote I read about, not journeying past the cross, but going deeper into the cross. In the same manner, the more intently we gaze out, the more deeply we go into the cross. Also, on another point, I am looking out through one window. There are many windows, and there are many perceptions of God – same God I must stress, just as you wouldn’t assume to be looking out on Earth through one window, and out on Mars through the next – in His complexity and incomprehensible infinitude.
As I elaborate, I realise that I could extend this allegory much further. I could be having a meal with Jesus. The Spirit could be the one actively cleaning out this house of mine – not as a slave, but as a friend. But I’ll probably hit a lot of issues, so I’d just stop here.
Finally, one day, the door of my abode will open, and I’ll walk out into the world beyond. (Although again the allegory breaks down in that I don’t become one with the world, but rather I walk into the presence of the world, and then substituting world with God, even though I technically should avoid that sort of muddling.)
Simply put, I don’t write with any claims to being an authority on this subject. I don’t consider my treatment of this topic as complete, in two senses of the word. First in that it is the final say on the matter. And second in that it is the whole truth. It is neither whole, nor final, but I do want to say that as best as I have tried, I have stuck to the truth as is revealed by God through the Bible and the guidance of the Spirit. Also, bear in mind that my interpretation is that of a layman, and not of a dedicated scholar.
I think that was all I had to say. What an amazingly long post!
Next up: The Supremacy of God.
When I have time.
That is to say, when I have time to write.
Not when I have time for it to matter to me.