Friday, September 26, 2008

"A Christian imagination does not see the world as a prison from which the soul must escape, but as the stage of humanity's interaction with its God. This world makes sense. God made it with a plan of His own; it is the imagination's role to delight in this plan and explore each person's role in it. Neither is the Christian imagination suicidal, it does not seek to climb its way back to "dark with brightness" glory lost at birth by the fallen individual. It certainly does not thrive in Rimbaud's famous dereglement de tous les sens (throwing all the senses out of kilter). Rather, it gratefully anchors itself in the gift of reality, seeking to decipher its message, not to get drunk on it. From its encounter with a man-God, it has been taught to experience life, not as imprisonment in the flesh, but as the generation of a body for resurrection. It sees reality, not as a horror to abolish, but as an ongoing revelation to orchestrate in praise, as an unfolding mystery in which we have a role. To the Christian imagination, history is not meaningless clashes, but the saga of God's kingdom, the very arena of personal and communal "divinisation," to use the term of the Greek Fathers.

As a result, the Christian imagination has manifested itself from the very first as
typological. It sees every moment in this kingdom-saga as linked mysteriously to every other, and it envisions itself as actor in this drama. It reads life as a meaningful history, the structure of which (that "plan hidden since the beginning of the world") was revealed in Christ. Counter to the Sesame Street culture of three minute bites, the Christian imagination is a storytelling imagination. In every era, in every life, it recognizes the creation-death-resurrection pattern epitomized in Christ's life. And it interprets every event as an essential moment in the movement of time toward eternity."
Janine Langan
from The Christian Imagination edited by Leland Ryken

I dare say that this is one of the most important books that I have read in many years. Since, I probably read between 10 and 20 books in a given year, that is significant. The most shocking line in these two paragraphs is "This world makes sense." How often have I heard many a Christian say the complete opposite. My thought is if God is a loving all powerful and all knowing Creator then it has been crafted by Him. Although I do not understand everything, if I believe then I will trust that indeed He is the Creator, this is His world and He is the one True God, loving, just and beautiful. It is for me to trust Him and live within the Mystery called Life.

"It[Christian Imagination] gratefully anchors itself in the gift of reality, seeking to decipher its message, not to get drunk on it. "

WOW! No wonder all those brilliant artists of the past were indeed themselves Anchored in Christ. They understood the connection between reality and imagination. We are the image bearers and we are fashioned to be creators and revealers of Truth.

As I pack up the books that I can not seem to help myself from lugging around, I confess that I am a lover of stories, story telling and living out my life story. We have all kinds of books, the majority being literature, biographies and non-fiction.
There is so much more that these two paragraphs stirred up in my heart and mind but I will have to leave it at that. If anyone reading has already read, The Christian Imagination, I would love to discuss it with you.

To quote Grace, "Your life is a story. It is worth telling."

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