Friday, February 22, 2008

Born-Again Smarty Pants

Hi, PDX!

The last post on "born again" theology may trigger some reactions. Such as, "OK, smarty pants, what makes you think you know so much that you can come up with a different translation from noted Bible scholars and thousands of pastors and church leaders?"

Nothing much except that there are millions of Bibles in print that don't translate John 3:3 and 3:7 as "born again". That's one way but not the best way.

One other thing. "Born again" is easily made into a truncated sound-bite of a concept. We like that. A sound bite is tidy. Fits into the head like a snapshot fits into a wallet.

Just don't confuse the snapshot with the whole travel experience, the journey of a lifetime.

I've sat above the top row of seats in the grand theatre at Ephesus and heard the acoustics of voices in the stage area. I remember the sunlight, the breezes, the red poppies and the clouds on that April day many years ago. I remember how green it was, how full of the life of the Aegean Coast of Turkey, how it felt like a threshold of the ages. Whether cresting the hills overlooking the city if arriving by land or entering the city via its once vibrant seaport, the ancient traveler would have been awed. That's still true today.

I have snapshots. But I wouldn't dream of exchanging my visit to Ephesus for any snapshot, no matter how much better that photo might be than any crude pictures I took. I have the real thing. To think a snapshot better than the real thing would truly make a person a smarty pants. And not very enlightened at all.


Pastor Roger

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