Some of the most basic ideas are also the most difficult.
Early on, many of us learned that when we hear the words of scripture we are hearing more than the words of people. We are hearing the word of God. Christianity depends on the idea that the God who created the world is also the God who has spoken.
Recently, I was watching a Twitter war of sorts, where Christians on either side of a contentious issue were posting their opinions and their dissatisfaction with the Christians who disagreed with them. At one point, someone wrote, “How can you know what God thinks?!”
I’m not saying that knowing the mind of God is a simple matter, or that scripture requires neither Spirit nor hermeneutic. In fact, it requires both, and is thus no simple matter.
But the “that” is one of the absolute prerequisites for Christian faith. If God has not spoken–if God cannot speak!–then our faith is nothing more than people grasping after transcendence, a chronicle of pitiable human effort.
Do I want my children to grow up in my faith? Yes. Because I believe that something is uniquely true in this Christian sphere. I believe that we have to do, in the Christian story, with revelation–not the revelation of human action, but the revelation of God, and of the God who has acted in the world, and the God who has acted in the world to reconcile the world to himself in the cross of Christ.
Without revelation, the history is no sacred history, and the cross is no saving act of grace.
Does God really speak? If the answer is no, then the gig is up.