We have made so little of imagination

I am reading Spiritual Life : The Foundation For Preaching and Teaching for my class on Spiritual Formation.

The book has got me thinking a lot already. One topic addressed is that Christians recently, along with American society as a whole, has forgotten about mystery and imagination, in its quest for rationality and analytical thinking during the Enlightenment.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately depends on how you look at it), humans are not analytical and logical but we also are creatures of intuition and imagination. There is healthy balance that needs to be in place. We “see” deeper meaning of our experiences. We can look beyond the mere surface, we are complex and mysterious creatures.

The Enlightenment left people thinking that objective truth is the only way. During this time things like the arts and other more subjective mysteries were neglected.

Faith and prayer are some of the other things that have been forgotten and left behind in the last three centuries.

Also an interesting note is that our teaching and preaching style in these years has been greatly affected by the Enlightenment. Instead of looking at Scripture from a theological angle, us looking down into Scripture to study it – we can and should from time to time change our method. We can allow the Scripture to meditate on top of us. Instead of looking to study we can be more intuitive and let the Scriptures engage our hearts. We can be flooded with the mysteries
on our hearts all day, instead of trying to control the Scriptures with our own minds.

Thomas Merton, a monk, had a dream about a Protestant theologian, in summary, the dream suggested that he [the theologian] would be saved more by the music lover in him than the theologian in him.

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