Why the quest? Why search for something we can’t prove?

Some people think that a spiritual quest of any kind is a colossal waste of time.  For them, the only things that are real are those that can be proven and measured.  They might think, Life boils down to earning and buying and selling … eating and drinking and having fun … respiration, digestion, elimination, ovulation, ejaculation, gestation, reproduction, antiquation, expiration.  Why search for something that we can’t prove?  Why don’t we just get real and get over it?  Why waste energy on a spiritual quest?  There’s nothing more than psychology and biology, which is nothing more than chemistry and electricity, which is nothing but physics, which boils down to mathematics.  That’s all there is.

Others think my search is a waste of time for a different reason.  They think they’ve got Jesus and his message figured out, reduced to their own kind of mathematics.  It’s these three concepts or those four steps or this simple little five-part formula — no more sophisticated than an elementary equation, really.  It’s 3+4=7.  It’s 16-9=7.  It’s -7+7=0.  Why is Brian so misguided or difficult that he doesn’t just repeat them and get with the program?

But many people seem to share my hunch that neither a formulaic religious approach nor a materialistic secular approach has it all nailed down.  Think of all the people who in recent years have read (or seen) The Da Vinci Code — not just as a popular page-turner but as an experience in shared frustration with the status-quo, male-dominated, power-oriented, cover-up-prone organized Christian religion.  Why is the vision of Jesus hinted at in Dan Brown’s book more interesting, more attractive, and more intriguing to these people than the standard version of Jesus they hear about from churches?  Why would they be disappointed to find that Brown’s version of Jesus has been largely discredited as fanciful and inaccurate, leaving only the church’s conventional version?  Is it possible that even though Brown’s fictional version misleads in many ways, it at least serves to open up the possibility that the church’s conventional versions of Jesus may not do Him justice?


Brian McLaren – The Secret Message of Jesus – Uncovering the Truth That Could Change Everything.