The story is told about a father and a son. The father took the son to the stairway that led to the second floor. He said, “Go up to the third step and jump down, and I will catch you in my arms. After some coaxing the lad jumped and his father caught him. “Now go up to the fourth step and jump, and I will catch you.” After a slight hesitation he jumped and the father caught him. On his own, without his father”s permission, the lad went up two more steps and all on his own he leaped, and the father quickly stepped back, and the lad fell on his face. The father used that painful situation to teach his son about the meaning of relationship.
Seems harsh, doesn’t it? But when modern theology does not take an historical God seriously as Francis Schaeffer writes in his book, He Is There and He Is Not Silent, the world is in peril. When we are taught to believe that we come from natural energy, there is no other purpose for our life other than to live it “as a leap” as Soren Kierkegaard wrote. Sensing the dizziness of freedom, reality becomes an unknown to be experienced. It’s surprising how many of us live our lives that way. The Christian, Schaeffer writes, lives his/her life “from the outside to the inside.” p83. The meaning to our lives comes from both an infinite and personal God. The infinite God who has always been and always will be is the same personal God dwelling in us. The meaning of our lives unfolds as an infinite, yet personal God reveals Himself to us.
For that reason Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Interestingly, this is the very transformation that sets the Christian free to know that he/she is created in the image of God. Then all their relationships, to themselves inwardly, to others, or to the universe, can be fulfilling. But, as Francis Schaeffer writes, “When anything becomes autonomous from God then nature eats up grace.” p 82
I believe this to be the message in his book, He Is There and He Is Not Silent. There is murkiness about walking in the swamps of this generation–a generation autonomous from God. But when God is present in every relationship, then the truths revealed to us from the outside become the uniting truths that apply to oneself inwardly, to relationships among people and are the same uniting truths that apply to the universe. It is the loss of these unifying truths found only in God that is depriving our generation of any lasting meaning.