Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here
Read Part 3 here
Read Part 4 here
In your introduction we find this warning:
“…as in most of my other books, there are places here where I have gone out of my way to be provocative, mischievous, and unclear, reflecting my belief that clarity is sometimes overrated, and that shock, obscurity, playfulness, and intrigue (carefully articulated) often stimulate more thought than clarity.” p. 22,23.
Clarity is sometimes overrated. I love that notion! Is that a characteristic of the culture we find ourselves in, or do you believe the very nature of the gospel requires us to hold it lightly, to not look directly at it but use our peripheral vision to “see” it? Is it a tactic, for lack of a better word, of our times, or is it a timeless principle, given the subject?
Great question. I think it's actually a characteristic of the gospel. Jesus himself can't say "The Kingdom of God is...." but rather "The Kingdom of God is like...." And he can't even just say that. He has to follow that up with another simile, and another, and another. And doggone it, birds don't always symbolize the same things, nor do trees or yeast or whatever. It's the same with the prophets. Their language is the image-rich language of vision and dreams, not of math.
We're coming out of a time when engineering language was seen as the most true and believable, so I think it's getting easier to be in resonance with Biblical language again - now that even the physicists have converted from the old Newtonian language of laws and mechanics to "fuzzy logic" and chaos theory and relativity and unpredictability etc.