Friday, October 26, 2007

The Mystery of Truth













I, an unlikely theologian, an uneasy priest, indeed. Some combination of Philosophy, Text-Critical Theory, and the Holy Spirit brought me to this time and place and being. It was, and is, an ontological quest: What's real? How do we know? Can we know? I Kant thank Hume enough: cogito, ergo sum. I was a global skeptic who believed in free will until I came to believe in an unaccessible absolute Truth -- Could I perceive it? Could I trust my perceptions? The Truth was given to me as an infant through Water & Word; I received it fully, freely, truly, but benefited from it, perhaps, only occasionally, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

A week ago, truth was obtainable by scientific method. Yesterday, truth was relative. Today, there is no truth; but is that true? The Truth is bigger than we are, some profess; the truth is what you make it, others profess. The Truth became flesh and made His dwelling amongst us: you can touch It, taste It, hear It, maybe even smell It.

Lately, Lutherans look longingly, liturgically, to the East. Ah, the mystery! The East! Poor Westerners, unenlightened Masses. Trinity, Incarnation, Eucharist, Baptism, Ordination, Marriage, all mysteries, all the time! The East has no monopoly on these. Yes, LINO's (Lutherans in name only) over-rationalize these and rob or kill the mystery, but not the Remnant, WTA (whoever they are). Five out of Seven Sacraments can't be wrong! But the Truth has spoken: "you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." And the Truth is known by remaining in the Word, and the Word is Truth. Can a Known Truth be also a Mystery? Is the Truth Himself Mysterious?

Humility is wisdom. Lutherans, let us submit our reason to the mystery of faith and receive the Truth for Who He Is. Easterners, contemplating the Mystery is more than sitting cross-legged and staring at your navel (or, your icon). The Church is bigger, and more humble, than both of us.

1 comment:

Fr. J. Sollberger said...

Quit calling me Lutheran ;). Obviously, I still feel that I am (Lutheran), but what does this mean? LINO (love that, by the way) may make up the vast majority of the Misery Synod (and other, even "confessional" church bodies). And just who the "WTA" are is not only the identity crisis alluded to, but is very likely just another (though smaller) mish-mash of differing ideologies, praictices and polities. I would - for lack of choice - place myself into the WTA niche.

But really, to quote Steve Winwood: "Well I'm near the end, and I just ain't got the time. And I'm wasted and I can't find my way home."

...I don't know if my emerging confession (and desired practice) of the faith can find an earthly "Home". Does one exist? Can one exist? Should one exist this side of eternity?

Thanks for another thought-provoking post, my friend.