What to explore?

28 Jan

Expanding from the how to explore post, here is fuller list of spiritual disciplines (ways to access the mind of Christ):

  • prayer
  • Bible study
  • righteousness
  • service
  • worship
  • fellowship
  • solitude
  • self-examination
  • confession
  • fasting
  • marriage
  • parenting
  • education
  • culture redemption
  • evangelism
  • celebration
  • simplicity
  • missions
  • healing
  • stewardship
  • spiritual gifts
  • submission
  • baptism
  • communion

Now, can we get to the mind of Christ through these disciplines (our effort) or are they aspects of the way that he has instituted to be followed as a response to having already received the mind of Christ (his effort)? Which is primary; us reaching up to call him or him reaching down to call us? Os Guinness wrote in The Call,

Our primary calling as followers of Christ is by him, to him, and for him. Our secondary calling, considering who God is as sovereign, is that everyone, everywhere, and in everything should think, speak, live, and act entirely for him.

It is Christ whom we can explore, it is as a response to his grace, and it is by his calling that we can do it. Who is Christ?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
(John 1:1-3)

He is central to all things, and as God, he is infinite. So now our “unfamiliar country or area” to explore is everything and infinite. This is pretty big and impossible to become familiar with or learn about with our own effort. There are surely things that are beyond what we could ever get to.

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
(Deuteronomy 29:29)

But we can “learn about or familiarize” ourselves with “the things that are revealed”. What is revealed? What specific things and what general things? It would seem Scripture would be one specific thing that we can fairly easily explore. We have it in it’s original languages with not many damaging errors, we have many translations available, we have many people who are trained in exegesis and hermeneutics that can further guide us, and we have archaeology and other extra-biblical information that can supplement this exploration. But more importantly we know that it is possible since “[Jesus] opened [his disciple’s] minds to understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:45)

More generally, through looking in at the nature of ourselves, God’s image-bearers, we can learn of his communicable attributes. And through looking out at the nature of the cosmos, God’s creative work, we can learn of his eternal power and divine nature.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
(Romans 1:18-20)

We cannot fully learn about his divine nature; the secret things are not revealed. But we can know enough that we are “without excuse”, and so that we may “do all the words of this law”. Os Guinness called it our primary and secondary calling. It is also summarized by the commandment to love. (Luke 10:27)

Next to explore: What has God made?

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