The space of almost a year between the first two postings is unintentional. But, as St. Anthony learned in the desert, wisdom does not necessarily come quickly, or according to our timetables. Not that I have true wisdom, but I'm moving along on my pilgrimage through the "desert" we call the 21st century.
I have believed for a long time that two key elements are involved when the "rubber" of faith meets the "road" of life.
The first is "hermeneutics." Simply put, that's the way we translate old ideas into new thoughts. God does not change; the eternal wisdom is just that — eternal. But our thought forms and our language do change over time. And since our understanding of God depends on our language and thoughts forms, the way we understand and talk about God changes over time, too. It is especially important to note that, if people who know little or nothing about our faith are going to understand what we are saying.
The second key element is "ethics." This discussion of our values leads to action. The earliest Christians did not just sit around thinking and talking about Jesus. They did not spend all their time in prayer. They were out in the world, going about daily life, influenced to the core by their experience of Jesus. They "talked the talk" about Jesus and what he meant to them. But they also acted on their beliefs, and those actions changed the world.