A Sketch of Christian Fundamentalism

How Christian Fundamentalists are seenChristian fundamentalists, who belong in the center field of Biblical theology, find themselves grouped by the media in the same category as militant political extremists, fascists, snake handlers, and Islamic fundamentalists. It’s about time somebody called foul!

The term “fundamentalism,” as Bible-believing Christians use it, identifies a system of beliefs that are foundational, or fundamental, to the Christian faith. Coined at the turn of the twentieth century, in an era of emerging, aggressive theological error, the term still stands as a watershed between truth and apostasy.

-from the pamphlet
“Fundamentally Sound: Understanding Our Faith”
Regular Baptist Press: Building Lives by the Book

(Note: I just want to point out that when you do a Google image search on “Christian fundamentalism” or “Christian fundamentalists,” the results are never pretty).

A Challies Chronicles Interlude

I’ve been trying not to mention my Pastor and my church to any extent in my blog posts to avoid even the hint that I am being critical of either, but there’s no other way to write this “meditation.” Pastor brought to my attention that I might not quite understand the term “fundamentalism” and have even been using it in a pejorative manner. He also explained some differences relative to how Reformed theology is understood.

In an effort to be fair, and to cement this in my memory, I decided to construct a little summary of “what is Christian fundamentalism.” I won’t go into the history (though I took copious notes of Pastor’s discussion), however, after a series of annual conferences held by leading Christian thinkers from America and Canada starting in 1890 and extending to 1930, the “Fundamentals of the Faith” were established, recorded, and published. The first five were fully agreed upon and the sixth was debated and later added. Here’s the list as we have it today:

  1. The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture: God authored the entire Bible — every word of it and every part of it (2 Tim. 3:16). The Bible is God’s Truth (John 17:17). It is without error!
  2. The Deity of Jesus Christ: He is fully God as well as fully man. He has always existed as God, and He always will be God (John 1:1; 20:31; 1 Tim. 3:16).
  3. Christ’s Virgin Birth and Miracles: Jesus was born of the virgin Mary (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25) and was sinless (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22). He performed miracles to authenticate His credentials as Israel’s Messiah (John 20:30, 31).
  4. Christ’s Blood Atonement for Sin: Jesus shed His blood as the payment for our sins. Without the shedding of His blood, there would be no remission of sin (Romans 3:24-26; Col. 1:13, 14; Heb. 9:14-28; Rev. 1:5).
  5. Christ’s Bodily Resurrection: Jesus arose bodily from the grave, triumphing over death and assuring believers of their future resurrection (Luke 24:1-12, 34-38; 1 Cor.15:1-20).
  6. Christ’s Personal Return: Jesus assured His disciples that He will come again (John 14:1-3). Angels announced His return (Acts 1:1), and the apostles taught that He will return (1 Thess. 4:13-17; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 3:1-10; 1 John 3:2).

This describes the core beliefs of fundamentalist Christianity and as far as I can tell, these six points are generally accepted by most if not all Christians. In fact, if you dispute any one of these points, according to a fundamentalist point of view, you can’t really be called a Christian.

It’s funny how much the topic of apostasy has come up in the Christian, Hebrew Roots, and Messianic Jewish areas of the blogosphere lately.

I don’t doubt that many of you out there will have something to say about this list. I copied it word for word from the aforementioned pamphlet, so as far as it goes, I’m just transmitting information, not engaging in editorial commentary (that comes later).

christian-fundamentals-101It all sounds so simple on the surface, but even accepting those six points, there’s still room for a huge amount of variability beneath the overall Christian “umbrella.” As I mentioned to my Pastor last Wednesday, everyone who claims Yeshua-faith as well as religious Jews who deny Yeshua (Jesus) was/is the Messiah all state that scripture supports their positions. Even when considering the rules of Biblical interpretation, there is always the filter of interpretive tradition each religious stream in Christianity and Judaism utilizes to color understanding and meaning. No one has pure, unbiased access to the Bible.

We are all on a journey attempting to discover truth, attempting to achieve ever higher fidelity to the original, that is, the truth of God, and yet we all fall short. This isn’t to say we should all give up, and it isn’t to say that we can’t come closer to truth as we continue our efforts, but achieving the mind of God is like traveling at the speed of light. To do so would require the expenditure of infinite energy and would result in us laboring under infinite mass.

In other words, no matter how hard we try, and what technologies we use, pushing an object in space faster and faster and faster will get us (marginally) closer and closer to the light speed limit, but we will not only fail to ever achieve it, we will probably fall significantly short of our target.

But that doesn’t mean we will ever stop trying, and in fact, NASA continues to look into developing warp drive.

People of faith continue to strive to break the bonds of our humanity in an effort to touch the Divine. The moral equivalent of developing “warp drive.”

My Pastor suggested that it might be helpful for me to listen to some sermons and to gain some actual experience and perspective on Christian thought and Christian leaders. We discussed John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Steven J. Cole, and Chuck Swindoll.

I didn’t tell Pastor this (but since he reads my blog posts, he’s about to find out), but I gave up listening to sermons on Christian radio well over a decade ago. Even as a “young Christian,” I found some of the sermons too elementary, some too confusing, and most too critical of Judaism and Israel to be of much help. Sooner or later, the speaker would say something that would make my blood boil, and my commute home from work would be shot as would my mood when I got home.

I listen to the 1960s “oldies” station now and am much happier on my drives.

I’m a guy sitting on a fence. I go to a Christian church, but I think like a “Messianic” (however you want to define the term). More to the point, I think and enjoy Biblical lessons that focus on understanding scripture from the Judaic thought process, linguistic, social, ethnic, and yes, Rabbinic context of the times when those scriptures were authored, and from the viewpoint of the intended Jewish (in most cases) audience.

Hillel and ShammaiKnowing the original languages isn’t enough, because how we interpret what was actually being said has been stripped of most of its contextual meaning. From a Messianic viewpoint, you can’t read the teachings of Jesus without, in some cases, summoning up Hillel and Shammai, who taught a generation before Christ. They were Jewish teachers, Jesus was a Jewish teacher. In many ways, Jesus had a lot more in common with Hillel and Shammai than he has with MacArthur, Sproul, Cole, and Swindoll. I’m not trying to be mean or insulting. It’s a statement of fact. Jesus wouldn’t call himself a “Christian.” He wouldn’t say that the Law was “nailed to the cross.” He wouldn’t disdain the Shabbat, New Moons, or other Biblical festivals.

To understand Jesus, or Paul, or Peter, or James, it makes more sense to seek out sources closer to them, not only historically and linguistically, but culturally, ethnically, ethically, as well as in terms of what Jewish traditions and interpretative methods were in play in that place at that time.

I’m not sure how men like MacArthur or even the very user-friendly Chuck Swindoll would approach such a context. I don’t want to be unfair, but I do want to be realistic.

This all goes back to Boaz Michael’s book Tent of David and my recent review of who I am and what I mean within the cultural and theological context of Christianity as an institution.

So far, I see one of three outcomes of my “church experience:”

  1. I stay at church and “assimilate,” becoming a “regular Christian” and abandoning any mental, emotional, theological linkage with Messianic Judaism, Hebrew Roots, and any “Judaic” viewpoint on the Bible.
  2. I stay at church but maintain my current perspective, even expanding it though self-study and contact (real or virtual) with others who share my basic viewpoint, generally being a curiosity, a pain in the neck, or ideally, a refreshing conveyer of the Messianic perspective within the church environment.
  3. I give up on Christianity as an institution entirely, leave church, and pursue a life of faith as an independent “free-agent.”

As the end of my first year in church approaches (or has it arrived by now?), I feel like I’m crossing some sort of milestone or threshold. A year in church as resulted in me learning more about the history and institution of Christianity, but it hasn’t diminished the perspective I possessed when I went back to church a year ago. If anything, having to debate my perspective has driven me to do even more reading and studying, strengthening my belief in a Jewish Yeshua and the continuance of Jewish Torah observance for all Jews of faith, including Jews in the body of Messiah.

Every time I enter into such a brain bending set of debates and discussions, I have to get away for a while afterward and be alone with God. God may not be entirely knowable, but He isn’t confusing, either. He is a listener. He doesn’t have much to say most of the time when I pray, but it’s good to be able to tell Him how crazy religion makes me sometimes.

praying-aloneI’m glad He’s there. I’m glad I can remember that regardless of all the religious preachers and pastors and rabbis and sages rolling around human history and the current theological landscape, there is an eternal God who is the point of everything everyone is trying to do. In the end, it doesn’t matter who wins the arguments. In the end, God reigns supreme. In the end, God will stop listening and start talking. Then, if we are wise even to the slightest degree, we will stop talking and listen.

It’s in moments like these that I continue to pursue God, moments when it is dark and quiet, and the only sound is the passage of my voice to the Heavens. God listens. Being with Him is very peaceful and comforting. The chaos of human religion seems miles away.

I’ll return to my review of the Strange Fire conference soon.

In the meantime, tomorrow’s latest review of an episode of First Fruits of Zion’s television series and Wednesday’s follow up on that content continues the discussion of who I am as a believer. I said above that I was sitting on a fence. Wednesday, you will see me hopping off and I will show you on which side of the fence I land.

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27 thoughts on “A Sketch of Christian Fundamentalism”

  1. I will never step foot in a fundamentalist church again. I grew up in a “fundy-lite” church and my experience was much like what is described on stufffundieslike.com especially Darrell’s earlier writing. If anything is contributing to my near apostasy it was/is fundamentalism and it’s followers.

  2. I was wondering what kind of reception this blog post would get. I must admit that I’ve had an interesting experience in my church. I enjoy my weekly conversations with my Pastor but there are times when we seem light years apart in our thinking. On the surface, establishing the basic fundamental or foundational principles of faith in Jesus makes sense, but for some reason, that concept has evolved and now has a great deal of baggage attached to it. I’m not sure why, except that fundamentalists have a reputation for being pretty definite that what they believe is right and anyone who disagrees is outside the realm of Christian faith.

  3. I’ve been saddened and confused to see the hostility that people (even Christians) tend to have towards fundamentalist believers. I consider myself one of those “fundies” and while I do take the Bible very seriously, even literally, I understand that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. A person is not “holier than thou” for being a fundamentalist believer.

    I guess to me, the term simply means that I actually believe in the Bible, all of it, and I don’t take it upon myself to recreate it in my own image in order to make it easier for me to sin.

    That said, I do not believe that the Bible was created to “beat” or “attack” anyone, even with the “best” of intentions. The Bible will always expose lies, expose sin, expose darkness, but it is God (the Holy Spirit) who convicts of sin. It’s not my place or any other believers place to do that. If once sin has been exposed, it is clung to, then it’s time to pray for that person. Not treat them like the enemy.

    I don’t like feeling marginalized by people who are “anti-fundamentalist” but if I’m the fundamentalist I say I am, then I will follow God’s Word on that matter as well, and give love, do good, and pray for those I feel are “against” me in some way. And really, it’s not about fundie’s at the end of the day. Every single Christian I have ever met has fallen short of glory and is in daily need of God’s grace and mercy.

    ” 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

    I know it’s hard, but even in our differences, I believe we honor God most through spreading and encouraging love and peace amongst the brethren.. regardless of what label(s) those brethren may wear.

  4. “fundamentalists have a reputation for being pretty definite that what they believe is right and anyone who disagrees is outside the realm of Christian faith.”

    I like the concept of fundamentalism, it’s a necessary corrective when things get out of control. I believe it’s what motivated Luther as he watched indulgences being sold, and he fought against other horrendous doctrines that needed ousting. (However, as the saying goes, he didn’t go far enough!)

    Yet, I’ve interacted with some fundamentalists who are quite rigid about things that aren’t “fundamental” (such as clothing and Christian music–I’m talking the 80’s and 90’s era–that they maintained was not appropriate) and it can be irritating to say the least.

    But you’re statement above can be said about most religious groups James, including Judaism. And those who hold the supposedly more “liberal” and “inclusive” view, are just as rigid and critical about their “variety” as those they demean in the fundamental camp. For me, the common denominator is our humanity, not our religious camp.

  5. @steffiedotorg: Thank you for commenting. When I was writing this blog post, I imagined that most people commenting would be “anti-fundamentalist,” so it’s good to have someone as part of the conversation who upholds fundamentalism as an identification and defense of the basics of Christian faith.

    I understand what you’re saying through your quote of Ephesians 4, but some would say that there are fundamentalists who aren’t really interested in preserving unity within the body of Messiah. John MacArthur has taken a tremendous amount of heat in the aftermath of his “Strange Fire” conference, and the question is, can different branches of Christianity maintain basic unity if they don’t share basic definitions of what makes up a Christian? Where must unity give way to error and, interestingly enough, vice versa?

    I don’t have those answers, but I do agree we must confront the questions. While fundamentalism may be too harshly judged, we also must concede that there are some leaders in the fundamentalist movement that do more than their fair share to draw attention to themselves, and not in a good way.

    @Ruth: It is true that just about any religious stream can get on their (our) high horse and declare themselves the only possessors of “truth,” both at the liberal and conservative ends of the scale.

    Regardless of which denomination or branch of a religion we identify with, it comes down to a balance between justice and mercy. Too much of either one creates an unrealistic bias and interferes with who God is and what He wants us to do as His servants in this world.

  6. It’s interesting, Luther almost lost his life for going up against the Catholic Church in his day. He was seen as a troublemaker and lots of folks wanted to shut him up, yet most Christians (Protestants) would say his stand was necessary because, as uncomfortable as it was to those within the established system of his day, that system had gone far astray. What he did was right, even tho he wasn’t right about everything, i.e., his stance on certain books of the Bible etc. and how he later went crazy and said horrific things about Jews.

    I don’t agree with everything MacArthur teaches (and I don’t mean to equate him with Luther), however I don’t doubt that his intention is to stand against abuses within the charismatic groups, of which I’ve witnessed myself (and have felt literal fear during such experiences).

    So, the question is how do we afford grace, justice, and mercy to those he stands against, without affording him the same?

  7. So, the question is how do we afford grace, justice, and mercy to those he stands against, without affording him the same?

    With the greatest of care, and even then, we won’t be perfect at it. Heck, we might not even be very good. But at least we will be mindful every step of the way, that we walk a dangerous path between ignoring error in the body of believers and stepping on some of those believers with our boots.

  8. I see a distinction between ‘fundamentalism’ as an approach to Scripture and ‘fundamentalism’ as a form of Christian culture. I may be a ‘fundamentalist’ in my approach to Scripture but not a ‘fundamentalist’ in terms of adhering to cultural norms.

  9. That’s a good point Dan, and that may be where people get hung up. As my Pastor is presenting fundamentalism to me, it’s as a approach to scripture. I think the cultural aspects of fundamentalism is where the movement takes a black eye, so to speak. Whenever a fundamentalist Pastor says something in the media that seems strange or even harmful or, heaven help them, if one is caught in a public scandal, then the term “fundamentalism” gets painted with a broad brush, culture, approach to scripture, the whole ball of wax.

  10. I’m thinking of Francis Schaeffer’s take on Christian life and how it perhaps speaks to the issue of Christian Fundamentalist culture and its often antithetical relation to secular culture, which, I think, is a legitimate criticism of it (fundamentalism). I think Schaeffer’s thought here is a “critical sketch” of Christian Fundamentalism: “The arts, cultural endeavors, enjoyment of the beauty of both God’s creation and of man’s creativity — these creative gifts have in our day been relegated to the bottom drawer of Christian consciousness, despised outright as unspiritual or unchristian. This deficiency has been the cause of many unnecessary guilt feelings and much bitter fruit, taking us out of touch with the world God has made, with the culture in which we live, and making us ineffectual in that culture.”

  11. Although I can understand the reasons behind polemical viewpoints, I have never seen anything good come out of them. Perhaps it is because polemics are based upon defining oneself more by what one is against and what one is not, then by what one is. Another problem, is that although these above-mentioned fundamentals seem reasonable, there are a number of serious problems:

    1. Fundamentalism rests upon what one believes, not upon how those beliefs inform one’s life.

    2. As far as the inerrancy of scripture, they had a group of men vote and decide which books were acceptable as scripture. Some people act like their bible, in whatever translation they prefer, dropped down out of heaven into their waiting hands. If we accept the scriptures as God-breathed and inerrant, most of us do not know the original languages fluently, and as you mentioned, we view scripture through our own biases and lenses. And even if we become scholars in the area of the culture, history and interpretation methods present during the biblical era, we still see as through a glass of our own eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. **Note, I mentioned this before, but I am still reading Rabbi Fohrman’s book, and when I finish it, I will write a review. But it really ties up a lot of how we experience truth.

    3. There is always the false dichotomy. If A is bad, B must be good. But perhaps B is also bad and even worse than A?

    Where you are right now, I would suggest remaining as long as you can practice I Mac. 2:27. I have also experienced what one person called, “The Elijah Syndrome,” and have learned that it isn’t just little ole me all by myself. There are many who have not bowed the knee to this or that Baal.

    4. I also can’t think of any modern Christian leaders I would listen to, and I play my own CD’s when I drive. I do read the classics, like Tozer, C.S. Lewis, Spurgeon, Ravenhill. We are in a time of transition, as the fullness of the gentiles is at hand, and now ten men will take hold of the tzitzit of one Jew and say, “We will go with you because we know God is with you.”

    5. I am repulsed more by the arrogance and lack of humility of some of these more than by anything they teach. We already know that the humble he will teach his way, but the proud he knows from afar. So, there is nothing worthwhile to learn from the proud. I can learn from the humble, in whatever camp they sojourn in and most will be found outside the camp. (and that includes the Messianic/Hebrew Roots/whatever else camp.

  12. It seems that Christian Fundamentalism as a platform defines itself by what it believes. Christian Fundamentalism as a culture seems to define itself by what it is against.

    There is always the false dichotomy. If A is bad, B must be good. But perhaps B is also bad and even worse than A?

    I agree that’s an easy trap to fall into. I’m against this other group because of their errors, but does my position make me error free?

    I am repulsed more by the arrogance and lack of humility of some of these more than by anything they teach.

    I don’t think any organization that contains human beings will ever be completely free of those people who are arrogant and lack humility. I think one of the worst things you can do to a nice person who wants to serve God is to put them in a position of authority. The temptation to misuse that authority must be just awful.

  13. “I am repulsed more by the arrogance and lack of humility of some of these more than by anything they teach. We already know that the humble he will teach his way, but the proud he knows from afar.”

    Chaya, this also concerns me from a “bearing witness” point of view. It is the air of bombastic certitude about some teachers of the Bible that I think most non-believers view with revulsion and disgust. And frankly, this is understandable. The most frustrating aspect of this regrettable reality is the negative light that certain high profile teachers cast out into the darkness. One must honestly ask oneself if we should “commend” them as “brothers in the Lord,” or expose them as misrepresenters of our King when in dialogue with non-believers. I realize your point, James, but what to do once a believer has fallen into the trap of using faith as an excuse to be arrogant? I try to be gracious and kind when I duly criticize, but truth must be told from the heart, in the most loving way possible, when the reputation of the King is involved. I’d be interested to hear other views on this; one of the first things some non-believers hold up before you in discussion is the absurdity and chicanery of the television-based charlatans.

  14. I try to be gracious and kind when I duly criticize, but truth must be told from the heart, in the most loving way possible…

    That’s the tough part. I was in a situation once when I had to confront a fellow believer on how he was being unfair to me. I bent over backwards to be gentle and gracious, but it still damaged our relationship. That was years ago, and for the most part, we’ve patched things up, but whenever he’s in town (he lives out of the area now) he doesn’t call or email to let me know most of the time, and when he does, he still doesn’t come to my home and visit with the family.

  15. I wondered myself if a person could have great gifts and talents,wealth, power and honor and still walk humbly before his God, and we see evidence for this in the life of Joseph. But Joseph endured many years of suffering in lowliness in preparation. And while he was able to pass the test, I believe he knew well enough to send his sons to live with his father in Goshen, rather than grow up in the palace with its pomp, splender and idolatry. I have sadly seen this happen to people in my own life. I don’t know if my pastor, as he labors faithfully in service of a small flock, exactly gets the blessing of being “low hanging fruit,” and the relative lack of temptation to compromise.

  16. Don’t forget Moses who was a shepherd and fugitive from Egypt for 40 years in Midian. For that matter, David started out as a humble shepherd. It seems that many of the great leaders we read about in the Bible had humble and even humiliating (in Joseph’s case) lives in their younger days before taking on greater responsibilities.

  17. Regrettably, some folks fail to learn humility and kindness from humbling experience, and become downright tyrannical when later found in positions of power.

  18. But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Gal 5:22-23

    You will know these people by what their fruit. Grapes don’t come from thornbushes, and figs don’t come from thorny weeds. Matt 7:16

    What if?

    What if true heresy is the kind of “purity of faith” that produces bad fruit?
    What if getting off of the path is really getting further from God rather than closer to Him, rather than closer to a “specific” interpretation of scripture?
    What if, even though we had a “perfect” copy of the scriptures breathed straight from the Holy Spirit, but we still couldn’t understand it apart from a relationship with God?
    What if “love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself” is the context for the rest of the book?
    What if we serve a God who is so much bigger than we are, that even when we think we understand, we really don’t understand…and we should recognize that fact?
    What if the fact that our brothers and sisters in Christ serve Him and not us, necessarily means that we won’t always understand what the heck they are doing?

    These are the kinds of questions that I ask myself when considering how I should judge one of my brothers and sisters.

    I feel very sorry for John MacArthur and shepherds who are like him. The reason is, they have taken on a burden, which I believe that God never intended them to shoulder. I think what they are supposed to do is point us to a closer relationship with God, and I’m not seeing how writing a book like “Strange Fire” accomplishes that task. So far as I can see, the only fruit of that, is unkindness and division.

    But then I must remember that MacArthur serves someone else (not me), and that the same grace I would wish for him to apply to my life (were he ever to even know me) is the same grace that I need to apply to him.

    I just hope I don’t someday find him or one of his followers at my door with pitchforks and evil intent.

  19. I’ve come to realize lately that I have a problem with fundamentalism because it is ultimately reductionistic. It explains God and the Bible in terms of components or parts, the way an auto mechanic might explain the workings of my car’s internal combustion engine.

    The different verses, chapters, and books of the Bible are just pieces in that engine, and when we put the pieces together, we have a perfectly explainable motor. Nothing is unknown. Nothing is mysterious. And any other explanation for the engine, or even the admission that the engine is completely unable to be reduced and cannot be explained in absolute terms, is considered heresy.

    Fundamentalism as an attempt isn’t so bad. We should have a basic definition of “what is a Christian.” We should know who we are and what makes us a believer. But even though the Bible was written in human languages doesn’t mean God is limited by those languages or by the pages of the Bible. Not only is God more, God is everything and He is infinite. There is always more to discover, even if it’s just the simple longing for one finite human being alone in the dark to be able to reach out and briefly touch the hem of the garment of the Master of the Universe and commune with infinity.

    If MacArthur or those like him can’t understand what I just wrote, then I feel sorry for him, too.

  20. James, thank you, I absolutely understand and empathize with what you wrote: the simple longing for one finite human being alone in the dark to be able to reach out and briefly touch the hem of the garment of the Master of the Universe and commune with infinity.

    I think we can look to Heschel, “The Greeks learned in order to understand while the Hebrews learned in order to revere.” It is one thing to employ scripture, the written revelation left to us as a plumbline, with the caveat that our understanding is limited. But it is quite denigrating to the greatness and majesty of our creator and sustainer if we believe he is limited by the pages of a book.

    I had a discussion with my pastor, and I believe he got it, where I said, “I don’t know everything about you; I only know what you have revealed to me, (and what others say about you behind your back :)) Now, based upon what I do know about you, I could form conjecture about what I don’t know, but it could be wrong. I had a friend who’s parents thought I would be a good influence on their non-academic daughter as they thought my study habits might rub off on her. But I never studied until I got to college. They assumed that because I got good grades I must pay attention in class (which I didn’t) and study at home (which I also didn’t do.)

  21. Regarding David, he was certainly different from Saul (as I mentioned in my article) but it might be kind of hazardous to one’s health to be the guy married to a woman he wanted to sleep with.

  22. Jim,

    I agree.

    And the things you have written about the fact that this is a journey of exploration has really helped me to put into context many of the things I have come to understand about faith, God, and life in general.

    I’ve come to really appreciate the Jewish ideals of seeking and discovery instead of the Greek ideals of fixed position and total knowledge.

    If God is truly infinite, then it is the most arrogant thing we can do in thinking that we have total understanding…about most anything.

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