Thursday, June 28, 2012

Intellect and Experience

I wonder, sometimes, if we aren't too concerned and preoccupied with intellectual knowledge about theology, about what's in the bible, and about what the bible means. I wonder if we don't too often neglect experience in favor of knowledge.

I'm spending the week at summer camp this week, with middle school students, and I've started to wonder if that isn't part of the point of camp ~ to move beyond intellect to experience; from knowledge to faith.

Obviously there's nothing wrong with intellectual exploration of the divine. At the same time, there's more to a life of faith than the mind. At camp, young people get the opportunity to explore that life, even if they don't know it's happening.

But what about at church? What about our regular congregational worship life? What about in the life of the congregational community? Do we, in the mainline traditions of Christianity, too often reduce faith to intellectual assent to that which is basically unbelievable?

Still, though, the intellectual is important. Without the intellectuals of history, our life of exploring the divine with our minds would be stunted.

So, then, what would it be like for us to intellectually explore the divine while at the same time we allowed ourselves to be carried away by and experience of the divine that is beyond and apart form the simplicity of our mind?


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