Bio · Discipleship · Theology

From the belly of a whale

In the biblical story of Jonah, the protagonist is so determined to escape his fate that he volunteers to be thrown overboard from a ship. He sinks down to the darkness of the ocean, cut off from the living and all that is familiar to him, to be forever barred in by the Earth beneath. It is only inside the belly of a whale, in the nightmarish blackness at the roots of the mountains beneath the sea, that Jonah reaches the nadir of his humiliation and cries out once again to God.

I am a Christian, and perhaps I am not a very good one, but I think that the death and resurrection of Jesus is of such importance that ultimately I cannot really imagine my life without it. Christian theology is endlessly compelling but the call of Christian Discipleship is so unnatural and clashes with our current way of living so profoundly that we cannot help but find ourselves, like Jonah, stubbornly sinking to the depths in our conflict with God and his call. The paradox of Jonah is that it is only in running from God and in disobeying him that Jonah is finally able to respond to the truth and call of God. Those engaged in the task of Christian theology and in following Jesus cannot help but find themselves in this conflict. I have seen and lived in a great deal of the darkness and horror that afflicts the world, but I hope that writing here will at least help me to make sense of it, although I suspect that ultimately, it does not and cannot make any sense.

All good Christian theology should be confessional, or at least any theology that is interesting should be. I hope that what I write on this blog will at least be that.


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