This last week I heard an author, Dan Milam, speak and something clicked. Dan shared about the time he was imprisoned in Mozambique for 300 days back in 1975. He said he went from being a “possessor of the truth” to a “searcher of the truth”.
I know the term “searcher of the truth” can sound like someone is flaky about convictions and beliefs but I do not believe that’s what Dan was talking about. He said after he spent four years at Bible College he felt like he was God’s gift to the church and he prided himself on being able to win any theological argument. This is when he was a “possessor of the truth”.
He went through a time of transformation when he spent those ten months in prison. He started asking God lots of questions from his heart. The intellectual beliefs were no longer able to sustain him, he needed real answers from God. This is what kick started his search for truth. After he was released he shared about his experience with grace. He said he experienced God’s ridiculous, scandalous love and was never the same.
Dan’s exhortation was that we would be searchers of the truth. He said we could either be the know-it-all’s who preach to all those unfortunate souls who are without truth. Or we could take a posture of wonder and live our lives searching and learning truth. This reminds me of Jesus’s statement that unless we are like children we will not see the kingdom of God.
Experience Gives Passion to Our Words
Now I do believe that truth is something we can possess but I get what Dan is saying. He said, “experience gives passion to our words” and I heard that passion when he spoke. He was not preaching some robotic like sermon to us. He spoke with passion.
He also pointed out that many Christians are not comfortable with mysteries and I completely agree. Too often we want answers for everything. And if we don’t get the answer we want we volunteer our own. I see this a lot when it comes to the problem of evil in the world. It’s like it’s not enough to believe the Bible, we create our own human answers and try to pass them as God’s will and what we get is crappy humanistic theology. No thank you. I’ll take the mysterious over these pat answers any day.
So what about you? How do you stand firm on the truth and still remain teachable?
About Josh Monen
Josh is a Christian, entrepreneur and writer from Ridgefield, WA. He's married with three kids: ages 4, 2 and 1. Before he met God, Josh was a drug addict with a $500/day cocaine addiction that almost killed him. Today he's seeking a real authentic relationship with God and others.
Josh thanks for the interesting post. I agree with you especially when it comes to the problem of evil. I know the “pat answers” will never satisfy me because I tried to be satisfied by those answers for a long time. Instead I will live in the mystery that while there is horrendous evil and suffering in the universe, yet I know that it is the creation of a completely powerful and good God who loved suffering humanity so much that He sent His Son to die to save us. I also know that for those who have faith in Christ, “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” While I know all of these things to be true I cannot fit them into some perfect, water-tight logical argument. Instead I will trust the God I know and love in the face of all the things in this world which cause me sorrow and make no sense to me. God bless you brother.
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Matt, thank you for your comment. I like what you said, “I will live in a mystery…” To me there is something so wonderful about the mysteries of God. I think about Paul who had such vast knowledge of scripture and yet considered himself a steward of the mysteries of God (1Cor 4:1). But Paul also encouraged Timothy to “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine (1Tim 4:13).” This tells me it’s not one or the other. Not just mystery nor only explainable doctrine. It’s a beautiful tapestry of reason and wonder.