Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Orthopolation as Right Mediation...and Optometry!

MO Blogger Brad and I have been "straightening" some of our spiritual and intellectual "teeth" for the proper "eating" of God's Word...and in this conversation we tossed around the idea that significant perception is needed if one is to attain proper interpretation....especially when the subject is anything biblical!

And this led to another level of realization about Brad's concept of interpolators--that they are individuals who are wired to perceive widely and "differently" enough from most that they naturally become mediators between people who are culturally different (read: perceive things differently) from each other. Interpolators have a cultural and perceptual experience base that allows them to intuitively understand those who are "other"--you'll have to hang out at Brad's place to read up on his mind-blowing research into this phenenomon.

Anyway, this reminded me of why I believe that covenant is the primary context for proper perception concerning God and, therefore, the Bible. While covenant is the primary context, it is cHesed that is the workhorse concept, because it is where the covenant is kept after it is made. A covenant that is made but not kept represents the broken reality called sin. And a covenant that is made and faithfully kept represents the holy reality called righteousness. So that is why cHesed is central to the The Abbess.

Here's where optometry comes into the picture: I am convinced we all need reading glasses!

When I teach about studying the Bible and understanding God's will, I talk about "cHesed glasses" and ask folks if they have ever worn 3D glasses--for reading or watching a movie. Most folks have--or at least have heard about them and can follow my thought. Basically, 3D glasses allow makers of special 3D books or movies to add a perception of depth. It can be a great tool.

But have you ever tried to watch a 3D movie, or read a 3D book, without the special glasses? Well, it's very strange and it gives me a headache! That's because my eyes have to strain to try to help my brain make sense of the images that look really goofy and distorted. I can follow the story, sure...but the images not only don't add the sense of reality intended, they are a huge distraction!

"Covenant" is like the red lens and "cHesed" is like the blue lens of the "spiritual glasses" I intentionally put on as I go about the challenge of properly perceiving and interpretating what God has communicated in his Word and is trying to communicate through the Holy Spirit (both inside me and through the Church, Christ's Bride) as I strive to become more incarnational as well as more missional as a Christ-follower. And while it takes most folks a little work to get their brain around thinking from a Hebraic, rather than a Hellenistic, perspective...once someone "gets it," it fairly blows them away and revolutionizes their understanding.

We'll have to unpack cHesed a piece at a time in order for you to be able to construct your own pair of special glasses...I hope you hang in there with me!

(UPDATE: I added this picture of me in my cHesed glasses based on the first comment....)

1 comment:

AbiSomeone said...

You know...don't even get me started on the fact that "red" and "blue" make purple! Hehehe...

I guess that means The Abbess doesn't look at life through rose colored glasses... she looks at life through purple colored glasses!

It is always good when one's story is internally consistent....