I write this from Cincinnati OH, where I will be spending 3 weeks per month for the foreseeable future. Its really nice here, I have a quiet apartment in a convenient location, and I have moved my research books here. The weeks that I am here, I will try to get caught up on the research-intensive ThinkTank projects; and the weekends and week I am back in California I will spend with my kids and do the 'speculative' work (philosophy, epistemological apologetics). Its a strange deal, but after 25+ years of His rather ACTIVE MANAGEMENT of my life, I have learned to trust Him!
The crisis mentioned in the preceding two letters has been incredibly solved! The resources (unexpected) matched the timeframes (worried over!), and another statistical 'coincidence' happens...
I am now about 300 emails behind...and 50+ questions behind...and spread thinly between major CTT projects. A glance at my PLANS page will reveal a workload for an entire team of people, much less a person who does this in his 'avocationally-oriented' spare time! (And enjoys EVERY fact, every minute, every question of it!).
And I am learning from all this...
The notion of God's deliberate ambiguity in His revelation is beginning to make SO MUCH SENSE of other things.
Today I went to a church here in Cincy (it was my first weekend here). It was a Presbyterian church and in this particular one, they brought the kids up front for a mini-message at the beginning of the service. The pastor-type leading the group asked the kids "how does God speak to us today?". One four year was quick to answer--"in a whisper"! I was profoundly moved by that statement--for it was obviously true. My God has spoken 'quietly' to me over the decades--through patterns of experience, through random 'temporary' perspectives that got transformed into major substrates of my thinking, through strange overheard remarks (in an unintended context), through intuited analogies from the experiences of a friend, from strangely vivid passages of scripture in oddly correlated situations, or simply through that flash of understanding we call 'insight' (and NOBODY knows where it comes from).
So rarely has He had to speak 'loudly' to me--and the times he did were to save me from destructive and potentially catastrophic situations. I have often wondered about the passage in Elijah where God was not in the fire, not in the wind, but in the 'still small voice' and wondered what it revealed about my God.
Over the years I have developed a growing conviction that God stays hidden in history except at (1) MAJOR events concerning his historical initiatives (e.g. exodus, the exile, incarnation) and (2) when 'still small' hearts ask for Him.
He desires the world to know Him, and to see His "glory", but this glory, as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, was not the spectacular awe-inspiring mountain of fire of OT fame nor the FUTURE glory that he will receive from the Father again, but was rather 'fullness of grace and truth'. The gospel of John switches back and forth between the future glory of the Son, and the present glory of the Son. The present glory was manifested in the actions of obedience and service to others!
In the present, God works quietly, He offers himself quietly to us, He stays hidden from the arrogant and close-minded. He 'whispers' in history--loud enough for anyone to hear, if they look for it--yet soft enough to be 'ignored' as well.
He speaks in a "whisper"--a pattern that doesn't stand out from the surroundings, but is clearly discernible if you listen...hmm.
Anyway, thanks to all of you for your encouragement, for your prayers, for your feedback, and for your questions...and for your objections.
In wide-eyed wonder of His truth,
[P.S. I really want to thank the people who influenced my life the most--both those I have met, and those I have not.]