Confident Faith - October 2018

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Echoes of Transcendence

In the foreword to the 2014 book, "The Stories We Tell," Timothy Keller wrote, "I believe the Big Story of the Bible -- creation, fall, redemption, and consummation -- is so pervasive, so all-encompasing of our world, that we cannot help but echo it (or movements within it) when we're telling other stories."

It seems these themes are universal attractions as if we were actually created to live them, rather than as stories simply created for our amusement. Think of great books or movies you've seen that fit this. "A Tale of Two Cities" comes immediately to my mind. You will even recognize these themes and plots in some secular entertainment.

Below is something I wrote about a year ago along a similar vein of inexplicable (in a secular sense) echoes of transcendence - something beyond us not limited by time and space - we seem to be born with. It was meant merely to save my thoughts for later development, but I think it fits here as is. Take it as something to spur your thoughts.

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Why are we so drawn to epic heroic fiction like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings? We give the greatest honor to those who give their lives in sacrifice for others.

What does that say about us? Does it give clues as to our origin? Can this arise from random interactions of atoms or a survival of the fittest ethic?

Something within us says, "This is right." "This is worthy of our lives." The noble way is a real and higher road.

We desperately desire to give ourselves to a cause greater and grander than ourselves - to be a part of a heroic cause. We crave the transcendent.

We may try to deny it, but we are drawn to transcendence as a moth to a flickering candle flame. Perhaps, though, it is the flame that has sought us - like God approaching the bush with the purpose for which it was created.

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How can you turn a conversation toward witnessing? Perhaps you can bring up common echoes of transcendence, and then show the fulfillment of the echoes in the Gospel.

Harold

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