In the Winds

Partial thoughts on Partial Revelation
February 16, 2010, 12:12 am
Filed under: Art, Faith

I am intrigued by the concept that Christ did not come and offer a full revelation of himself while on earth.  He was hush-hush about his identity when performing early miracles.  He often spoke in parables, not propositions.  His incarnation was not global, eternal, and GLORIOUS like his second coming will be.  He was born in a remote city in the middle east, lived to be thirty something, died, rose, then returned to the Father.  Wouldn’t his holiness have spread throughout the earth much faster if he descended on a cloud of fire the size of Wyoming?  Probably.  Alas, we are left with an incomplete and distant vision of his glory and of spiritual truth.  Why?  And what does that mean about who God is and who we are created to be?

Maybe one (albeit sideways) way to think about some of these questions is to consider the common human response to art and music.  Think of a song that is considered “well-written.”  There is tension, some ambiguity, and it invites the listener to participate and enter into the art.  Contemporary Christian music is often slammed for the opposite:  the structure is too predictable, the lyrics are cliche propositions, there’s no tension…etc  There something about that music (not all of it) that just doesn’t ring true, and therefore we call it bad art.  I guess the bottom line is… I find it interesting how we are created to respond to partial revelation.  It invites a deeper, more personal interaction with what’s being revealed.

Now, don’t get me wrong….all this doesn’t mean that the person of Jesus is, or should be, open for interpretation.  The analogy of music only goes so far.  Jesus was God.  The Way Truth and Life.  (he didn’t leave that very open for interpretation).  And God gave us the Bible to preserve  the incarnation story.  Yes we have truth, but its not written out in the stars.  At least not in English, and not in propositions.  Glory has been revealed…but its only been revealed in part.  There is room to ‘enter the art’.  Room for faith.  Room for freedom.  Room to discover.

– Eric


2 Comments so far
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I really like your analogy! I think it’s especially fitting in this Lenten season.

Comment by Darren

Great analogy Eric! I would challenge the last paragraph in that there is no way in which Jesus is not up for interpretation. Now, some of those interpretations are, how shall we say, crazier than others, but we all interpret Jesus through our own lenses. 🙂

Comment by Billy Shaw

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