Patricia Hofer

Christ isn’t offering a simple one-dimensional life

LIFE IS NOT SEPARATE FROM DEATH. IT ONLY LOOKS THAT WAY. What does this Native American wisdom have to do with our view of death and continuing life?

CS Lewis shows us in his helpful, contemporary metaphor using geometric dimensions. A one-dimensional straight line becomes one of four lines in a two-dimensional square and then part of the six squares that make up the faces of a three-dimensional cube. And then Lewis continued: “In other words, as you advance to more real and more complicated levels, you do not leave behind you the things you found on the simpler levels: you still have them, but combined in new ways—in ways you could not imagine if you knew only the simpler levels” (Mere Christianity 126).

In a similar way, Jesus describes the spiritual life of God’s kingdom with the metaphor of grain, “first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head” (NIV Mark 4:28). But we, simple seeds clinging to dried up hulls, refuse to embrace the big and continuing picture.

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