Tuesday, August 30, 2011

To Be Born Again


The biblical expression for such existence is "eternal life." We can be easily misled by this term into thinking that what is being offered is an unchanging status of some sort, a blissful terminus to all our journeying in which nothing new can ever happen again; indeed, in which nothing at all can happen. It is useful to recall that the great medieval mystic Meister Eckhart preferred the term "eternal birth" as a way of indicating the dynamic element in the life of prayer. Eternal birth is something of a contradiction, of course, for it is difficult to imagine being born over and over again through an eternity. One often suspects, however, that persons who enthusiastically claim to be "born again" mean to be born into a state in which they will hold out against all further change, as though to be born again is a specifiable condition in which one may remain forever. To be born again under these terms is more like dying than living. Eckhart instructs us that we are not to be born again, but to be born again, and again, and again, and...
James P. Carse, The Silence of God: Meditations on Prayer

4 comments:

Jennifer @ GettingDownWithJesus.com said...

... and again and again and again.

And does it ever really end? Until the new beginning?

I see no other way for my two-faced heart: I don’t want to be bad, but I am anyway. I know the law, but I can’t keep it. I’ve done much wrong — and by the end of today — I’ll do even more.

I am in constant need of a Savior and rebirth.

John Lamb said...

Do fundamentalists ever get mad at you?

jdaviddark said...

Good to hear from you, Jennifer. I can't tell if those questions are rhetorical.
And thank you for asking, John. Generally speaking, no. At least not in front of me. And if something I say or quote irritates or bugs, I can usually successfully assure folks that I'm just trying to start a conversation. This of course requires that the potentially miffed party be willing to GET TO KNOW ME .
Glad to be talking.

jefFrey said...

I once heard Dr. Richard Mouw comment on the Reformed tradition's emphasis upon how great it is that they are of the Elect. He then pointed out that they often ignore (or at least keep much silence about) what they are elected to do.

The answer, of course, is they are to go through the process (by nature an active function) of becoming like Christ. Such a process certainly can not be complete this side of the New Creation.

So how "born-again" Christians can act like they are good to go and don't need any more change (read "reforming") is beyond me. I don't find Biblical backing for such a spirit.