When I read this the first time, I laughed but there is a nugget of truth in it.
A few month s ago, a friend of mine told me about a controversial book that she thought I would enjoy reading and discussing. I have to admit that initially, I was hesitant to read the book because of the title (wonderful reminder to not judge a book by its cover!) but as I made my way through the chapters, I became so excited about the content that I decided to pull together a group of women so we could hear each other’s opinions and thoughts.
This group became the first “Chai Chat” get-together, which has since met again and is becoming a real highlight for women who attend. Everyone is welcome. Our four hours together is low key…informal…relaxed.
No judgment. Open ears. Open minds. Grace and more grace.
And I’m finally in a book club . . . sorta . . . I’ve always wanted to be in a book club. 🙂
Now, we’re onto the next book. I remember the first time I read The Shack and I was so intrigued with the author’s sanctified imagination. I mentioned the book to a colleague who quickly responded, “That book is not theologically correct. It’s heresy. Don’t read it.” This person’s mind was closed and resistant. There was no room for discussion and certainly no room to explore.
I appreciated the content the first time I read this book and I’m enjoying it even more the second time. I realize it is not theologically correct but I get lost in the descriptions, the playfulness, the simplicity, the humour and the hope.
And I think that’s good. I come away thinking and smiling.
The discussions in Chai Chat have been light, yet profound and the applications of truth to our lives have been solid.
I believe the Holy Spirit can communicate truth through a surrendered and sanctified imagination. Theologian A. W. Tozer says that the Holy Spirit “presents Christ to our inner vision.” Richard Foster has written that, “God created us with an imagination, and, as Lord of his creation, he can and does redeem it and use it for the work of the kingdom of God.”
We can imagine. We can dream. We can think outside the box. We can entertain new ideas and not be afraid that our “brain is going to fall out” . . .or worse. Ultimately, we test ideas and thoughts to see if they align with scripture because God’s word is truth. And we grow because we learn.
The Great Commandment tells us to love God with “all of our mind.” That means left-brain and right-brain. Theology is the way we love God with our left-brain. Creativity is the way we love God with our right-brain! When the two intersect you end up with a church that is orthodox in belief and unorthodox in practice! Mark Batterson
I’m so thankful for the opportunity to meet together with wise and spiritually alive, multi-aged women who are open to share their lives, listen to each other’s ideas and grow in community.
We love and are loved. We accept and are accepted. We welcome and are welcoming.
. . . and we all love chai and chatting.