Patricia Hofer

The Old Testament reflects, is rooted in, an “ageless process”

As I see it, the Old Testament record of the Hebrew people is just an amazing beginning. It records how challenging divine inspiration was for a particular people during a particular period of human history. Rudolf Otto concluded that the impulse for religion is a “process,” a maturation rooted in “the hidden depths of the spirit itself.” And though this religious impulse might at first emerge in primitive and seemingly “unspiritual” ways, the divine Spirit continues to press religious believing “onward and upward to ever higher levels of development” (The Idea of the Holy, 136, 167). …And hearing and responding to that Spirit continues to challenge Christian believers today. Because we cannot physically see God or see His glory or see His righteousness, our impulse for believing—our faith and trust—are a work in progress. That’s why the struggling times and faltering efforts of the children of Israel ring true to us. Studying their process of growth and maturation helps us because it is an ageless process, one that we all face. (Can Reincarnation and “near death experiences” be Christian? — chapter 6)

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