Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Christ Plays

"Fear of the Lord is not so much studying about God, but living in reverence before God. We don't so much lack knowledge as we lack reverence."

taken from:
Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology
by Eugene Peterson

Think about those two sentences. talk to me


jo! said...

A theme I've seen again and again throughout the Scripture is "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" or "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge."
We've lived in a society where know something is power, where we are taught to regurgitate, and list off facts as if they were some powerful incantation that will prove that we have a grasp of the universe. We take great pains and pride in memorizing hundreds of Bible verses, and while I completely support knowing the Lord's word, it isn't necessarily the best method of teaching the morality of those words. We call this knowledge, but I honestly think we've lost the understanding of what that word actually is.
For the most part I agree with what Peterson is saying, we don't lack what we would now refer to as knowledge (as studying and regurgitating things about God), we do lack reverence. But true knowledge comes in a respect for God, which the Bible refers to as fear. If respect someone, we know we should probably follow in what they tell us to do (which I think is a concept lost on our post-modern culture, who are used to the privledge of doing what they want... but that's a rant of a different colour) whether or not we understand why. We want to know why, but it is often the case that we don't understand until after the fact... so if we don't fear him enough to follow him we'll never really understand; "all who follow his precepts have good understanding."
The fear of the Lord is indeed living in reverance of him, but I really think we lack both reverance and true knowledge.

jo! said...

oh and just in case you're wondering I only had those verses partially memorized... I know the Bible talks about it, but I still had to look it up.
(and thankyou for the wonderful post that has made me think)

Mark said...

Jo, i think what you are saying is right on. As i reflectedon your words and the ocntext of the book I took that quote from I think that the author means that same as you. Knowledge and reverence must be symbiotic. True knowledge is only understood b/c of reverence and reverence is useless without some knowledge. (Why revere something for no reason at all. We have good reason for revere God and the more we revere Him the more we truly know him.)

thanks for the post