I decided to begin things here at my new church by talking about the basics of Christian belief; except they are not basic, and they are not exactly “fundamentals”–a word that has been amply co-opted by our separated brethren. They are mysteries–ok, plenty of co-option there too. But in the venerable, pre-Scoobie Doo sense, the mysteries are the deep truths that you never exhaust, you only ever explore further and further. So these are not conversation stoppers, as are the “fundamentals;” they are the entry ways into a common search. But there is a mystery there–we don’t just make it up, or offer our opinions. The mysteries are dis-covered, or revealed (literally, re-veiled). There is a depth to be explored that the church has harbored even while it has obscured and even overthrown the truth.
These six weeks to come show where I am at the moment on these mysteries. I am not sure how far to probe for the purposes of guiding my congregation: since you never reach the bottom of the mysteries, you have to know when to say, “That will do for now.” I look forward to hearing from people if I’ve gone far enough, too far, or simply missed the right road altogether.