Saturday, July 24, 2010

Explaining the Unexplainable

There are many things in the universe we cannot explain. Fully half of our experiences on this planet cannot be described without acknowledging the spiritual dimension. All over the world, people are increasingly interested in the spirit realm, even though faith in both science and religion is apparently diminishing.

Famous people like Tom Cruise and Shirley McLain fan the flames of spiritism and everywhere we see a rejection of the scientific method for testing truth. On top of that, some traditional churches, once bastions of belief in the spirit realm, are softening their teachings about many things, including the hereafter. And who has not heard about non-traditional Christian movements beleaguered by scandal and suspected of charlatanism?

I wish more people would stand up for rational discourse in seeking truth. Faculties at the vital seminaries encourage responsible inquiry and the tried and true research and analytical methods of the scholar. But we must not neglect other ways of gaining wisdom. Scripture speaks to us in ways that are deeply relevant to contemporary experience.

It is strange that such an ancient document as the Bible can speak so directly to our current circumstances, often in the least expected places. It comments upon the importance of unity for those who would follow the Lord, of the unique requirements for holy leadership, of the mysterious relationship between love and knowledge and of the eternal significance of every moment of our lives.

Even though Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were in the finest Babylonian school, Daniel had a skill that could not be taught in the academic disciplines—dream interpretation. This God-given skill led him to outshine all the pagan wizards, magicians, fortunetellers and astrologers of the day. He became famous as an outstanding scholar who was blessed with Heaven-sent insights and powers. King Nebuchadnezzar and others in authority often referred to him as a man who had the Spirit of God in him.

But Daniel tells the king that he should not think him wiser than anyone, but that his job is to help others learn. All of us are called to learn and to help others learn about things we cannot explain.

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