I've been in a spirited exchange with some folks over at Alan Hirsch's blog The Forgotten Ways (it's on my blog list). You can follow the thread by clicking on his post about "When Theology Becomes Idolatry" and following the comments. Let me say that Alan's book by the same title is one of the most influential Christian books I have ever read and has been very powerful in propelling some of the radical changes I am making in my life and ministry.
Nevertheless... you can decide for myself if I am missing some important point, but I was sort of surprised by the places the conversation went -- what is being protected and what is being advocated by all (including me).
Here is my last comment post over there to pique your interest:
GiGi and company:
It is exactly about semantics, but that's okay (first definiton of the word "semantics" from Merriam Webster online is "the study of meanings"). And, as Dan Lowe points out, it would be good for us to be clear about what we mean by the word "mind" (and what was meant by the word "back then").
So here's what I mean: the mind is something like the processing center that works with both physical and spiritual realities -- the visible and invisible. The mind can percieve things that are mystery and conceptual, i.e.: the "super" (beyond) natural. But it can also manage data from the five senses, etc.
A sound mind, in my opinion, bridges the invisible, conceptual, "feeling" world to the rational, objective, observably physical world and gets them "talking to each other" between our ears (to borrow Dan's phrase).
That's why I think Scripture recognizes that the natural world reveals things about God and even praises Him, but the Bible also asserts that He is super-natural, beyond nature (including what the mind can conceive and quantify) and not bound or defined by it. I think it's a "both-and" not "either-or" deal.
I'm glad Janet is a student of theology in the apparently formal sense. I am glad she is reading Augustine and the gang and really thinking deeply about God. Alan warns that rationality is one of the biggest causes of hubris -- true enough. But rationality is also one of the biggest causes of sanity -- especially concerning faith.
I guess I want it all. I want a solid, chunky "rational" center to my faith that is orthodox and able to be communicated with clarity. And, I want an "edge" to my faith that presses me into the "wild places" of God and the mysteries of the Spirit and the Kingdom. I just think it gets a little freaky when the edge becomes the center and the center becomes the edge.
Thanks again, everyone, for sharing your thoughts