Over the past year, my heart has fallen out of love with Theology (at least in the regards to which why one is expected to study theology) and has fallen deeply in love with Philosophy. When you find me reading, most likely at Barnes & Noble or Starbucks (Soy Strawberry & Creme Frappuccinos!), you’ll find me reading Kirkegaard, Heideger or recently John D. Caputo. Now the beauty of Philosophy, at least Post-Modern Philosophy, is it is no longer arguing about whether or not God exists or doesn’t exist (thanks Lee Strobel 😉 ). Some call this the battle of the Metaphysical God. More so, it is the argument between generational gap that we have begun to see between Modernity and Post-Modernity where we fight over the case of reason. The reason this is beautiful is because, at least for Christians, we can now begin to separate from Orthodoxy (right belief) and Orthopraxi (belief in the right way), and, begin to discuss, what are the moral and ethical implications for following this Jesus.
My favorite song over the past six months is the heart filled song by Dashboard Confessional called Get Me Right. The song is about the singer and his disbelief of God and his desire to get right with Jesus. Now, what I love about this song, is not that it has the universal struggle between Human and its ability so search and connect with the Divine, but, also the role of disbelief.
Until recently, disbelief was frowned upon (what a glorious turn of tides). There is a saying out there that “God walks in mysterious ways.” I think we can all agree with this statement. God is a mystery. Now, the hard part of believing in an infinite God, as humans, is that we cannot understand the infinite. To know that God’s love is infinite, ought to kill us, but, our comprehension of infinite, keeps us level-headed and still capable of doing horrible things to ourselves and others. This being said, because, God is beyond conception, means he is also beyond belief, because, even if we have the highest human understanding of God, we haven’t begun to understand God.
Now John D. Caputo, I believe, get’s it right when he says “Contrary to the condensed wisdom of the bumper stickers, Jesus is not The Answer but the place of a question, of an abyss that is opened up by the life and death of a man who, by putting forgiveness before retribution, threw all human accounting into confusion, utterly confounding the stockbrokers of the finite, who always seek a balance of payments, which means who always want to settle the score.”
Now God is now the answer, no, he is the question. God is not an idea, because, he is beyond an idea, God is an event. The event, where truth can only be comprehended as that which sets us free, not, that which can cognitively be understood.
While, this is causing some people to crap themselves (I think if I ever write a book, or, do some type of some speaking tour, when I become a legit thinker and person, I’ll have to include an adult diaper with purchase), this utterly excites me. I am, to the foundation of my core a romantic. Ever since I was a little boy, I watched romantic comedies and loved them. Now, if we take this thought that God is infinite, that means that we can spend our entire lives in the midst and presence of love, and, never truly know love, even though the more we do, the more loving we become.
Now, if we apply this notion of God and infinity to the image in which we are made, it means that humans have the same eternal essence within them. We can spend our entire life with a friend, family, person and never truly know who they are. It’s the journey we are invited into. To explore each other, to rid each other of the junk, and, to embrace the good, and, find true intimacy with other human beings.
This means in our lives we can be utterly lost (which, it seems these days, I am), but, in the same way utterly found. We can exist in the utter chaos of falling in an eternal abyss in the relationships we have (God, others, self), but, in the same sense be utterly secure. It’s a paradox of sorts. It’s the only way the chaos of man can exist within the peace of God.
To believe in the divine, means to know and have captured the divine in its fullest sense. And, while this is what we should strive for, it’s not a possibility in this life. God said to Moses that if we saw him, we would surely die. So for those of us who are Romantics, who desire the committed and liberating effects of this relationship, we struggle each day for a mere glimpse, for the beginning to belief.
“For if love is the measure, the only measure of love is love without measure.” – John D. Caputo