I believe that God speaks to us in ways that we can hear. God doesn’t speak to me in burning bushes like he did with Moses because I would run away screaming and wouldn’t get the message. God isn’t bounded by the ways we think he can communicate. One of the ways God does speak to me and that I hear is movies. If you know me, you probably know that I love old movies. I mostly watch movies made in the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s, but I also watch more recent releases, from time to time. I watched Interstellar almost a year after it came out, on a DVD that I borrowed from the library, and I am glad I didn’t see it in the theater because I cried through so much of the movie. I cried so much because God was speaking to me, God was revealing himself through Interstellar. I spend most of my free time watching movies, so when God is communicating and trying to reach me, it makes sense that he would use that medium to do so.
Besides Interstellar, this year I have also really responded to The Liturgists podcast. We talk about the Liturgists a lot, and I think with good reason. Listening to Science Mike and Michael Gungor talk and share their experiences of deconstructing faith has empowered me to do my own reading and form my own opinions and theology. I feel an enormous sense of relief entering this new year because I spent the last year exploring what I believed and why. I didn’t lose my faith, and while what I have come away with about the nature of God is different than the unquestioned beliefs I held before, it is undoubtedly better. Knowing the why for me was crucial. No more sweeping passages or beliefs under the rug because I wasn’t sure where they came from or I couldn’t justify them - instead I am more comfortable in the tension of logic and mysticism because I have plumbed the depths of what my theology actually is.
Questioning faithfully is not something to be done in a vacuum, though. I didn’t sit around deconstructing what I believed and building it back into what I wanted. I work with people who have spent way more time than I have studying the Bible and extrabiblical resources to come to their beliefs, and talking to them was immensely helpful. Some other resources that were life-changing and that I read or listened to along the way of building what I believe:
A New Kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren
How God Changes Your Brain by Andrew Newberg
Disarming Scripture by Derek Flood
Brene Brown’s oeuvre