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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I heard there was a secret chord...

Somewhere deep in the recesses of my soul lies a "God spark." I am not sure what it is, not even sure if it's important, but over the years when it has appeared to my consciousness I have heeded its illuminations.

I don't get these crazy, "END OF THE WORLD IS COMING!" type illuminations; rather, mine are more mundane. "Oh, that is what my wife meant!" Or, "maybe this is what is bothering my daughter?" Sometimes I get a vision of a person, someone I know, and within minutes, if not hours, they are calling me...sometimes after years of non-contact.

When I take the Myers-Briggs personality test they call me "Intuitive." My doctoral advisor, also of the intuitive bent, once remarked that "Scott, no one ever accuses us of actually seeing trees in the forest." True that.

I first realized this eschatology (a deep, Pannenbergian theological joke there) back when I was a kid. When playing sports it was like the whole field or diamond was laid out on graph paper, and I knew where each person was going to be. I played defensive tackle for a awhile in Jr. High football, and I was the slowest runner on the team...but I made a lot of tackles. My coach once asked me how I ever made a tackle since I was so slow? "I know where he's going," I said. My coach benched me for being a wiseass...but it was true...since I knew where he was going, I just got there before he did and made the tackle.

As a professional theologian, and coming out a a tradition where such Spirit-driven ideas like "God spark" are received skeptically--Luther once said of a group of Spiritualists they had swallowed the Holy Spirit "feathers and all"--I never use these divine illuminations in my theological work. My ministry, yes; but theology, no.

But if you've heard the secret chord of which Leonard Cohen sings...well, I don't have to tell you how that goes do I? If you haven't heard it...well, that's why there's stories from the Bible, sermons from me, and songs from Leonard Cohen.

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.

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