Thursday, November 8, 2007

Spirituality Moves

The biblical words for spirit (ruach in the Hebrew, pneuma in the Greek) both bear the basic meanings of "wind" and "breath." This shouldn't just inform our understanding of spirit; it should inform the implications of spiritual reality.

Like wind and breath, spirit is something invisible that has visible effects. We can't see the wind, but we can see leaves rustling. On an extremely gusty day, you can look up into the sky and see nothing extraordinary, but if you ran a kite up, the force of the lift would require some real strength to temper.

This is simplistic, I know. But the illustration makes a very serious point:
The Christian's Spiritual life is the invisible having visible effects. This is a tough reminder for all the cheap gracers with Jesus as their MySpace hero: If your spirituality doesn't have a visible effect, it's crap.

6 comments:

DLE said...

Jared,

I hate to say this, but you've got it wrong. The correct phrase is "If it's not Scottish, it's crap."

Thank you very much

Travis said...

Kudos, J! Good stuff.

Dan, you're always such a nit-pick with Jared. Cut him some slack! ;)

Jared said...

Hardy har har.

:-)

Travis said...

Jared,

In all seriousness, I once read--or heard, it's been a while and the two get jumbled in my memory sometimes--anyway, I once came across someone talking about translation methods and such, who said that while "wind" or "breath" work in a pinch when translating ruach, the word has a more forceful nuance to it; that it's more whirlwind or tornado than breeze. Since I can't remember my source, I can neither confirm nor deny its validity.

However, if it does have some merit to it, than would that imply the Holy Spirit's moving brings with it even more obvious results?

And does this mean that Dan (being in the Midwestern U.S. and thus under greater threat of tornadoes) is somehow closer to God? Should all Christians move to the heartland? (Okay, I'm sorry: it's Friday, you don't seem to want to punch me after yesterday's post... I've got all sorts of reasons to be a little goofy.) ;)

Four Pointer said...

This is a tough reminder for all the cheap gracers with Jesus as their MySpace hero: If your spirituality doesn't have a visible effect, it's crap.

You do realize you've just killed every "salvation by works" argument by illustrating what James meant when he said that "faith without works is dead"?

Jared said...

Yeah. "Faith alone" but "faith that is not alone."