As a student and teacher of mathematics, I have loved the “why”. The how or what was always secondary to the question of “why” does this work. And if you keep following any idea back far enough, you hit the axioms. The axioms are the building blocks of mathematics. The most simple nuggets of truth, that you can base a whole branch of mathematics on. The predicates for the argument.
This is what happened to me in my Christian walk. I have found the axioms that I can base the rest of my life on… and now I can’t wait to get to scripture and explore, test, prove, and be renewed. I know how to read the Bible now, because I understand the purpose… This is what it means to be a Christian: to have the answers. So I want to put forth the 4 axioms of the Bible according to Richard. This is not infallible, it is not scripture, but it has caused the book to open up to me like a flower, and I hope that this will help others as well, because more than anything else in this world, I want others to experience the joy of finding truth and meaning, and to join in this journey with me.
These 4 ideas, or axioms, or predicates, or building blocks will be with referred to here at thisisyourwoship quite often I presume, so here we go:
1. God = Giver
2. Sin = Ingratitude
3. Christ = Greatest gift
4. Christian = Grateful
This has set me free to simply enjoy every second of every day as the gift of God that it is. I feel that this is the Gospel… and it is a Gospel of gratitude! I am so thankful, that I got to hear the Gospel, and be set free from the bondage that sin creates.
Why these 4 words? Why not use the traditional words of Love, Pride and Idolatry, Propitiation, Faith etc…?
My answer to that is two-fold.
First of all, I needed to be shocked out of my complacency, and out of my doing. We are saved by faith, not works, but I had made faith into a work. You can’t do faith, and that was what I was trying to do. So I bet there are others out there who like me, didn’t know what faith was. I thought that faith is what I have to do, instead of what I need to have. And it is so easy to make faith, which should be a doctrine of rest, into striving. I have also learned that gratitude leads to faith… in so many ways.
Second, I think that this language resonates better with a world that is becoming more and more secular. There doesn’t seem to be many proud people out there who need humbling, but I do meet many complainers. People ungrateful for the blessings they have, or who feel that their life isn’t a gift, but something that they have earned. Ungratefulness/gratitude, along with giver and gifts, has given me a language to find common ground with the unbeliever, and what a blessing of God it is, to find a path to the gospel in so many conversations. Seeds are being planted.
There is so much here, and so much amazing scripture I want to go to in order to unpack these 4 axioms, and prove that solid doctrine can be built on these 4 ideas… but I will leave those for future posts.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above… – James 1:17a (King James)