Our identity as people of faith is not found in a set of doctrines. All the teachings of the Bible–from the Ten Commandments to the ancient prophets, from the beatitudes of Jesus to the letters of the Apostle Paul–reveal to us how people, inspired and guided by God’s Spirit, have come to understand God’s own hopes and dreams for their lives. As we walk along this journey, we come to discover and embrace the reality that the God we perceive in the Hebrew Bible is the same God we perceive in the New Testament and in the Quran; the same God we see throughout history, and the same God we perceive now in our lives!
The journey of faith includes exploring our theological understanding. But theological exploration done with integrity must be life exploration. Too often theological conflict is really just a mask for life conflict. Faith is both relationship and belief, but it is more relationship than belief. Faith is both trust and insight, but it is more trust than insight. Faith is both letting go of the familiar and taking on new understandings and directions, but it is more letting go than taking on. Communities of faith exist to support us on this journey: to hold us accountable on this journey and to keep us focused on this journey as our first priority.
Read more about this idea in my book “Finding Faith: Honest Answers about God, the Bible, and the Church Today.”
What does the core of biblical truth teach us about God? I have found that the Bible teaches us what it looks like to be in synch with God—to be one with God. It also teaches us what makes God joyful. Another question might be, “What do these biblical teachings demand from us? An answer might be that Micah 6:8, for instance, shows what things in life we need to put first. The first priority is that we act with and for justice in every aspect of our lives, that we love kindness and mercy with all our being, and that we seek and embrace a oneness with God that grounds us.
The final outcome of taking these biblical truths seriously is that we act on them. This is true whether we take them as commands to be obeyed or as a means of deepening our understanding of God and ourselves. If they are commands, then obedience equals faith. If they are mirrors, then we must choose to live our lives in faith that these biblical passages are absolutely true in what they tell us about God and ourselves.
If you’d like to read more about this, and in greater depth and detail, I hope you’ll get my book “Finding Faith.”
Life changes! Looking to find faith now—seeking answers about God today. What once seemed to be solid ground with firm footing becomes like shifting sand beneath our feet. There are shifting sands in our lives today. We feel them in the political changes of several North African countries and in places closer to home: Wisconsin, Ohio, and Washington, DC. They are in our faith communities, in our families, and even in the shape of our dreams. Continue reading
Our lives are filled with questions, ultimate questions about God and about the source and answers to our faith. My new book is called Finding Faith and is directed to the many people who are seeking answers about God and engaged on a journey of finding faith now.
Life is truly a journey–from birth to death to rebirth; from being young to being old to perhaps being young again. It is a journey of exploration and discovery– a spiritual journey.
Finding faith is a different sort of journey, a different kind of search. We think of ourselves as working toward some goal such as looking for answers about God. What we discover is that the answers we seek about God are really the answers we seek about ourselves. It’s as though we keeping asking God, “Who are you?” and “What do you want me to do?” Continue reading
What are you most looking forward to showing God?
What are you most concerned about showing?
How will you feel then about your life and your choices when all is said and done? Continue reading