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Monday, July 30, 2007

Mysterious Reasons


Logos. Reason. Rationalism. Theology. Academia.
Faith. Child-like. Mystery. Spirit. Risk.

Two seemingly opposite streets.

I looked down both of these streets about 18 months ago. Which one did I choose?

Not sure. But I did choose graduate school.

During my short time in seminary I have filled my mind with over 15,000 pages of theology and theory. There have been heated discussions around homosexual intercourse, social action, artistic excellence, and gender difference. I have used scripture to defend my faith and challenge others. I have quoted theologians and philosophers whose names will twist your tongue like an Auntie Anne's pretzel. And I have found great joy in many of these endeavors.

But a year into my education I find myself longing for something different. Something more elementary. Something basic. Something child like.

Now, I understand that these two "streets" I have created atop this post do not actually move in opposite directions. I understand that they are more like individual lanes on the same highway. But at times they weave in and out of one another. One lane narrows as the other grows. Perhaps one lane is an exit only, and the other the HOV lane. Perhaps one freeway has a wide shoulder and the other one is under construction. Anyone following this analogy? Me neither. What am I trying to say is…

The faith of a scholar is not to be without the faith of a child. To pursue one without recognizing the necessity of the other is foolish. This is the battle Christians face as we wade in a pool of both absolute truth and absolute mystery often trying to dunk one or the other only to find ourselves gasping for air.

This is the tension I find myself in today. On the path of a scholar, working hard to regain my child like reckless abandon.

With that conviction, I created.

Childish Things (2007)
Jarrod Shappell
Found Objects, Fishing Line, Magic
On Display at Mars Hill Graduate School

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