There are very few things for which I don’t have at least a passing interest. I think I can trace this back to when I was a kid. We had a few books at home which consisted mainly of Bibles and a set of the World Book Encyclopedia. There was the local library, but you weren’t allowed to leave the children’s section until you turned 12. So, I read the encyclopedia. No kidding. A – Z. I’m essentially self-taught in a little bit of a lot of things. My problem has become time. I don’t have enough time to read all of the stuff about all of the things I would like to know more about.
For me, thinking about God isn’t limited to thinking about traditionally “religious” things or ideas. For me, thinking about God is thinking about astronomy and art [while I’m a fan of paintings, sculpture fascinates me endlessly], architecture and biology, chemistry and physics. Politics and history, economics [of course!], money and banking [which isn’t the same as economics, by the way]. Our family is really into sports [I wish I had thought of sabermetrics], fishing is a little slow for my taste, my friend Liz has taken me quail hunting, but I need to work harder at my aim…. Plumbing, electricity and brick laying have caught my attention [Winston Churchill was also a bricklayer] and I have books about all of them. In fact, I have books about a lot of things. If you know something about something, I’d like to know. I’m probably interested.
Something that frustrates me is that as Christians, as church people, we have tended to separate all of these things out of our religious experience. We think of God and worship and theology as their own, separate category. In some ways, they may be. Theology is its own piece of intellectual knowledge, but it feels that in the realm of the church, we’ve done a superlative job of keeping church business separate from the rest of our world. Too often, we’ve failed to allow our theological imagination to be touched by architecture and physics and biology and even good plumbing. And I think this has had disastrous consequences for us. Too few Christians think seriously about science, so we make few contributions there. Too often, we’ve set the idea of being a Christian over and against other people and created strange categories this way. Too often, it feels like this way of thinking has turned us into compartmentalized people. We think about the world, even mundane things over here and we think about God over there. Is it possible to do both at the same time? I wonder.
What if we thought of our lives, our faith, our Church, our world in a more integrated way? What do you think that might look like? I’d like to know. And if you’ve written a book, I’d probably like to read it.