the enlightenment was quite a formational time in our history. it reintroduced the need to dissect things and ask questions and deconstruct certain things within certain contexts, but there were certain rules and certain people who were the only ones’ capable of doing so. it was a time where knowledge was king and the aggressive search for it became the holy grail. i think we have done this with the understanding of God. we need to move from an elightenment era and embrace a post-enlightenment reality where we can become comfortable with not knowing all of the answers and accepting that everybody is an authority on something. but we must mourn the reality that the enlightenment phase was good for then, but it might be a bit anemic for now and we need to reconstruct a new world view, one closer to the world as it was meant to be. And so knowledge isn’t the goal. It runs out. It can expire. Maybe we can realize words can merely touch what we really mean. And so mystery is the new knowledge. mystery is the new world we are seeking. mystery is the romance we have been longing for. mystery is the divine commerce we should seek to be living in and out of. mystery. mystery. mystery.
Rome had this oppressive finger over the nation of Israel and their idea of authority was top down. Jesus came in and through metaphor and rhetoric told people they had what it took. He used rhetoric they would have known and been familiar with. Words like hell, heaven, satan, born again, son of god, son of man were phrases that had meaning within their context. so did salt, light, and city on a hill — these were metaphors for intense influence. Jesus was saying everyone could change the world. He was challenging the top-down authority mindset that is still prevalent in companies and churches today and saying everyone should be taken seriously (whether they have a degree or not). Sometimes he used words and said and did things and didn’t do things and he let people interpret those things how they might have received them and didn’t always correct them. And just because he is recorded as saying something doesn’t mean he agrees with it. He could have been using their language with a different intention than we know; we weren’t there to hear the voice inflection or facial expressions or what they mean in that context. This is important to keep in mind when reading scripture. It is also important to remember that people weren’t thinking theology or doctrine when they were writing scripture. they were thinking of a yearbook or annual style where they get to chronicle some of their best heroes and stories of meeting with the divine and how we can do the same. It was a coffee table book people would get around and listen to and be excited when the day came for them to share a story to chronicle. It was about man meeting the divine.