Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Fides Quaereus Intellectum

"Faith seeking understanding" Saint Anselm's life motto is an incredible theme for a life quest. I find it very intriguing the quandaries that God leaves and has designed in scripture and life, leading those who are so inclined on the pursuit of knowledge and understanding. In Isaiah 7:9 it states ...'if you will not believe, surely you shall not be established." Augustine further expands this thought with his interpretation declaring "...if you will not believe you shall not understand," or "...if you will not believe you shall not continue." "Unless we walk by faith, we shall not be able to come to that sight that does not fail, but continues through a cleansed understanding, uniting us with truth." Faith and understanding must have equal weight in the context of a Christian life lived. Augustine further states "You are not required to understand in order to believe, but to believe in order to understand." Augustine's intention is to say that the rejection of faith (fideism) that has no allowance for reason and the rejection of rationalism that excludes faith is not a functional operation of a vibrant and realistic Christian walk. He as with Paul believes an orthodoxy or formalism that denounces or negates the strife, tension and effort required by people to become overcomers in this life is a cold and dead faith. God says in Isaiah 1:18 "Come and let us reason together," this is an invitation or opportunity for engagement in conversation, the development of understanding within a context of mutual discovery and shared desires, that of me seeking to know God and God desiring my freedom and fullness of life lived for the glory and/or sake of his name. This conversation or dialogue requires exploration and experimentation wherein we are challenged to 'work out our salvation with fear and trembling.' We have here an exhortation to finish life well understanding the working of human free agency within the framework of a cautious, struggling, striving, and growing faith seeking the promotion of God's glory through our lives. Hebrews 5:14 "...but solid food belongs to those who are of full age (mature), ... those who by reason of use have their sense exercised to discern both evil and good."; Colossians 2:2 "...unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the full knowledge of the mystery of God;"; 2 Timothy 2:7 "Think of what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things. Knowledge and faith make for a rich soul.

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