Friday, June 4, 2010

Blowing the Lid Off

Recently (last night, in fact), a friend of mine posted this quote on a forum I frequent:

On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of the conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake some day and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return." (Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters)
Then, this morning, one of my Facebook friends posted this quote by Robert Farrar Capon: “The truth that makes us free is always ticking away like a time bomb in the basement of everybody’s church.” I’ve located the fuller quote, in The Mystery of Christ ... and Why We Don't Get It:
The Gospel is always weird enough to break right through anything our particular traditions may have gotten wrong. The truth that makes us free is always ticking away like a time bomb in the basement of everybody’s church. And that truth isn’t a bunch of ideas. It’s Jesus. Sooner or later, if we just sit still and listen, he’ll blow the lid off any prison we’ve built.
As we learn of Aslan, the Christ figure in the Narnia tales, “He’s not a tame lion.”