Last weekend several of us who are reading the Furnace small group book , I Sold My Soul On eBay, got together at my place for some (burned) hamburgers. During our conversation I was surprised to find that a couple people had considered not reading the book because 1) it was written by an atheist, and 2) what would they gain to hear the perspective of someone who obviously doesn’t want to be a part of our faith. I was amazed at this! I had absolutely no idea that there were even good reasons to consider not reading the book!
That’s the point.
Have you ever read the same passage of scripture and found a totally new interpretation than the last time you read it? A new, deeper understanding? Does that mean that the first time you read it you did not have the Holy Spirit guiding you in learning? Did it mean that you had it wrong and now you have it right? Of course not! That is one of the wonders of the Helper – he reveals new mercies every morning.
If we had the fullness of truth the first time, then we would not need the Holy Spirit. We wouldn’t need anything. If God were that easy we wouldn’t need him.
He would be something we could put in a book on our shelf and never read… (oh, wait.)
When I didn’t recognize that a different perspective existed I proved the need for the different perspective. I proved the need for community and conversation. Without it, I became one-sided. This is the kicker though: if “right” is related to the amount of truth one has, I was right. (And I still am. 🙂 But now that I am aware of the other opinion I am more right! Because I have more truth than I did before they shared with me.
We may think we have it down. When we do, I pray that God stumbles us. We do not have it down; there is so much more that we don’t even recognize we don’t have. I pray we are always open to rethinking what we know and renewing our faith. It may be better and bigger than we imagine.