One of the toughest things about raising kids is imparting simple advice concerning control over the emotions. That sentence is enough to make you wonder what sort of parent I am. Let me break it down.
No one can make me rageful. No one can make me wallow in self-pity. No one can make me live in fear. These are all personal choices. But they don’t feel that way. Helping my daughter understand that her brother and sister will do things that seem unfair but that she controls her own jealousy and self pity is something we revisit repeatedly. I can’t expect her to one day get “rational” in that regard.
Now let me go from the particular to the general, theologically speaking. Sometimes those of us who read theology with peculiar interest tend to look for rational seams in everything. We don’t understand why “those” people can’t “get it.” Biblically speaking, we humans haven’t been getting it since the Fall in Genesis 3! The people of God’s covenant weren’t being rational in disobeying God. There were plenty of reasonable paths they could have chosen. But alas, the Scriptures are record of God’s lovely and “irrational” patience for millenia.
I was reading some Lee Strobel The Case for Christ last night. What irks me about his books is not that he makes faith reasonable and rational. Its the assumption that a reasonable and rational faith is an easy faith to accept and live. Jesus is a historical figure, ergo, His claims are true, er go, the only reasonable choice is to become a Christian, er go all my life’s yearnings will be fulfilled. Choosing to take up your cross and follow Jesus is a bodily action, not a philosophical decision. Now of course the mind is part of the body, but a lived faith is not something just anyone should claim to have.
I am on the way. I do not possess Christ. I am part of a lived faith that I embody along with other Christians.