Sunday, September 9, 2007

Faith is a Text

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12

I don't think Christians realize just how much Faith, and the Bible, plays with literary theory. Hell, I don't know if Christians realize just how much Faith is literary theory. It's odd to think I feel closest to God when I analyze His Creation as a "text," or understand the application of Derridian "play" in understanding the essential meaning of the world around me. If we break things down to the core, what is left? If we chisel, or deconstruct, the Word of God down to its basic element, what is it?

If we deconstruct the world down to its basic element - where would we be left? We'd be left with God, wouldn't we? I was told of a famous author, Elie Weisel, who survived the Holocaust, and how he viewed "silence." "Silence is the space that holds words together" (not a direct quote, it sounded much more thought-provoking than that, I promise). But, isn't that a profound thought? Not only is silence the space that holds words together, but inherently, holds meaning together. And I'm not sure if Weisel said this himself, or if it was suggested by the person who told me of Weisel's thoughts... but isn't God in the silence?

God takes an active part in our words, in our language, and in our communication. To see the Word of God as alive is to see all of His Creation as a language, or a "text" that can be opened up, deconstructed, and fully appreciated in the light of God's wisdom. We keep saying things like "having an experience with the Word," or "grasping the Word," as if the Word itself was more than just a word, just a text. And it is! The "Text" is alive! It is moving, and it is shaking, and it is powerful! And Literary Theory shows that to us, more than anything else, (I think) in this entire world!!

We are living in a text. We are a text. God is alive and active through his Word, and the Word will never, ever, be just a book, or just a collection of words, or even just thoughts and ideas. The Word is alive!

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