Started by John, an Unlikely Pastor, January 17, 2013, 04:42:34 PM
Quote from: Ryan Fouts on January 17, 2013, 11:24:36 PMI don't think we have to have the overly pious Lutheran comment about sacraments to embrace the concept of experiencing God. There is a difference between experiencing God generally, and interpreting such experience as if it were some sort of divine revelation other than what it actually is. Natural revelation is still revelation -- just take it for what it is. We experience God, in a sense, every time we breathe... every time we open our eyes... every time our hearts beat... by virtue of being a creature. Special revelation lifts the veil, so we can appreciate it. More than anything though, I think I experience God through struggle. Tentatio. The things that have driven me toward God, strengthened my faith, haven't been the mountain top experiences... but the crosses... trudging through the muck and the mire of life. In those moments, when my utter dependence upon God is all I have left, I find "experiencing" God at work is the most profound.
Quote from: readselerttoo on January 17, 2013, 06:02:56 PMI hesitate to talk about experiences of God in the world because outside of the Scriptures and the place where Jesus' promises to be, one can be duped into believing ....
Quote from: readselerttoo on January 18, 2013, 12:57:14 PMYes, I am on leave from call at the moment. In terms of experiencing God it is important to note that within the God's Law/God's Gospel framework outside of God's clear promises of faithfulness to his people (ie. not just to Israel but now since Christ open to all) in the Scriptures and the promise that Christ offers in the sacraments, the book of nature (experiencing God in the world) or human reason are not guarantees that Jesus and the Father are at work exclusively. Satan and his deceptive activity can make one think that the beauty in nature on the golf course on Sunday morning is an experience of the saving God (it may be or it may not be. who is to say for certain?). So it is important to note to atheists that experiencing God is also something that atheists do encounter but as the hidden God, or the God of wrath, as Luther notes. Savvy atheists would acknowledge that they do experience God but it is the God who met Adam and Eve in the garden who not only clothes them but also places them under various curses ala Genesis 3. So the book of nature is not to be trusted. God's promise of faithfulness in Genesis and then in the New Testament (ie. in Christ) is rock solid and only good persuasive techniques or constant proclamation can bring it to the ears of atheism. Our mission continues... God's blessings.
Quote from: Weedon on January 18, 2013, 02:22:46 PMThere is a hymn the Orthodox sing called the Akathist of Thanksgiving. Note the ways in which it describes experience of God and how the CULMINATION is the Eucharist (not in contrast, but as the final and fullest):http://www.saintjonah.org/services/thanksgiving.htm
Quote from: Ryan Fouts on January 18, 2013, 10:04:11 PMLuther's comments on experience in his 1521 commentary on the Magnificat are excellent. It is one of my favorite of his writings.