The sin, the error, is not our hunger for knowledge, –and the way back to Paradise is not via intentional ignorance (despite some latter-day Christian claims). Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden because of the kind of knowledge they reached for–a knowledge that distrusted and excluded God. Their drive to know arose not from love but from curiosity and control, from the desire to possess powers belonging to God alone. They failed to honor the fact that God knew them first, knew them in their limits as well as their potentials. In their refusal to know as they were known, they reached for a kind of knowledge that always leads to death. (To Know as We Are Known, p. 25)
4. The internal life of the missional church focuses on every believer living as a disciple engaging in mission. This understanding makes every member a minister, with the spiritual growth of every disciple becoming the primary focus as the body is built up to participate more fully in God’s mission in the world.1
1Van Gelder, Craig, and Dwight J. Zscheile. The Missional Church in Perspective: Mapping Trends and Shaping the Conversation The Missional Network. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011.
“So I cannot decently refuse the brethren when they insist on their rights over me as their slave and demand that I should above all serve their praiseworthy studies in Christ by my tongue and my pen, a pair of horses in my chariot of which Charity is the driver. I must also acknowledge, incidentally, that by writing I have myself learned much that I did not know. So this work of mine should not be dismissed as superfluous either by the indolent or the learned, since it is very necessary to many who are neither indolent nor learned, myself included.”1
- Augustine. The Trinity. Translated by Edmund Hill. Vol. 5 The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century, Edited by John E. Rotelle. Brooklyn, NY: New City Press, 1990, 127. [↩]
A quote from Augustine’s De Trinitate on the theological task:
Indeed we find ourselves unequal, except with much difficulty, to achieving a scientific comprehension of what is accessible to our bodily senses or of what we ourselves are in the inner man. Yet for all that there is no effrontery in burning to know, out of faithful piety, the divine and inexpressible truth that is above us, provided the mind is fired by the grace of our creator and savior, and not inflated by arrogant confidence in its own powers.1
- Augustine. The Trinity. Translated by Edmund Hill. Vol. 5 The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century, Edited by John E. Rotelle. Brooklyn, NY: New City Press, 1990. Book V, Prologue. [↩]