Saturday, July 16, 2005

Rhetoric and Incarnation for lack of a better title...

Didactic. I bet 99% of people in general avoid reading didactic rhetoric, so if you're still reading this you must be out of the ordinary! :)

How we think (how children are taught to think) steers our choices and determines how we make sense of our feelings, what we do, what we value. Alot of teaching and learning to think is informal and not neccessarily conscious. But how we learn to think is at the heart of who we become and how we live. Our thinking is reflected in actions and choices.

What does it mean to have the mind of Christ? Christ Jesus was the living Word one of which was "as a man thinks, so is he." So we can probably learn a lot about the mind of Christ by making simple observations from His life. Hopefully, encountering God will keep changing and shaping our thinking which will affect how we embrace people and engage culture in the way of Jesus and encounter God and the process will continue. Thinking and doing - like a rolling wheel. If you separate them, the wheel breaks. Can we learn to think and ultimately do, led by the words and the life of Christ Jesus, by the words and the acts of God the Father, by the presence of His most Holy Spirit? By seeing and experiencing Christ in the people around us? Can children?

Everyone we interact with affects how we think. Parent, teacher, anyone who interacts with children affects how children think. This influence often carries more weight than the obvious teaching - that relational element again.

We all have different levels of tolerance when we run into new ideas. Who's right? How do you decide?As an adult, I have more respect for someone's ideas if I respect how they live and the choices they make.

Teaching kids to think, evaluate ideas, guiding but letting them make choices will give them tools for interacting with the world, assimilating their experiences and living. We sharpen our skills by using them.

People who live brain-washed, propagandized, and indoctrinated live behind tall thick dark walls. Why would anyone want to live there? Because living outside those walls is risky. Loving, teaching, training and letting kids choose is risky. Exposing them to a world, hoping that you've taught them how to sift through and weed out ideas that raise themselves up against the knowledge of God is risky. Hoping they'll make good-for-them or selfless choices, when everyone around them isn't, is risky.

So God had a son. He chose not to keep His son locked in a castle. He gave Him a free will. He sent Him into our world. Who knows what God knew, what He didn't, what He risked to flesh out His life among men- God incarnate - a real live person. Maybe that's weird speculation. He is God, after all. But he's definately an example of a parent sending His most beloved child out into the world with a job to do, having to make choices.

How was He trained? How detailed was the plan? How detailed His agenda? How much of life just happened and He responded? We'll never know. And, yes, He is and was and will always be God.

Creating people is risky business. It's comforting to catch a fleeting glimpse of how intimately God knows that...It's mind boggling that we presume to apprehend anything of what God has apprehended us for and live it out-trusting our own thinking, sifting out the anti-God rhetoric or maybe all the rhetoric . And we don't always know what that means until we step out and try to do it or start to think differently whichever comes first ...

Ok, this was long again. No blogs next week. After that, stories that tie into justice, awe, beauty, roots, and community. Or maybe writing more about the "fleshing out" of all this would be more critical at this point. :)

(C) 2005 Margie Hillenbrand

1 comment:

  1. It's all very tricky. Everything is rhetoric, honest or dishonest, when it comes to people, because everybody wants and needs to come to terms with the reality in which they live. Some settle for inadequate understandings and prefer living with their eyes glazed over. Others try to work it all out, like humanity has been trying to work it out from the beginning. I think children should be given freedom to figure things out and make mistakes.