Bart Campolo and C.S. Lewis on the essential relationship between obedience and belief (it turns out you can have one without the other, at least for a time)…

Thank God. No, really, I mean it- thank God– that Bart Campolo is blogging again. His new blog address is listed in the blogroll to the right. In the meantime, the short post below I found particularly timely, telling, and meaningful. For those who have ears to hear, let them hear:

People sometimes say they cannot obey God until and unless they understand more of God’s will, or believe in God in the first place. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The only way to believe in God is to obey the voice of the God you do not yet believe in.  The only way to understand more of God’s will is to obey the part that you already know. 

Everybody, occasionally if not often, feels called to do what is right and good.  Everybody, therefore, even if he or she does not yet believe in God at all, knows something of God’s will.  Be true to that, and you will know more.  Be true to that and you will move closer to the place where faith is possible.  Otherwise, you will never believe.

Why? 

Because to believe in God is to obey God’s will even when you are still confused about everything else.  Understanding grows out of obedience early on, not the other way around.  That is why Jesus generally begins with a person by telling them something to do.

Like C.S. Lewis writes in The Screwtape Letters (for those unfamiliar with this work, it is written as a first person series of letters from one demon to another, so the “Enemy” is God):

Our cause is never more in danger, than when a human, no longer desiring, but intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.

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