The old adage, “the truth lies somewhere in the middle,” can go a long way in aiding one to live the Christian life. For instance, people who think the Bible fell from heaven; untouched by human hands, deny its own testimony that “men spoke from God.” Those who think it is simply the product of human invention deny such men “were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
Individuals who understand the Trinity as three separate gods must wrestle with “You believe that God is one; you do well” (James 2:19). Those who don’t see any distinctions need to consider what Jesus meant when he said “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30).
Another middle road on the way to a healthy Christian life lies between prayer and work. Lean too far in one direction and you’ll be paranoid about doing anything. Lean too far in the other, and you might as well not do anything for all the good it’s going to do you.
In the book, God in the Dock, C. S. Lewis has a chapter simply titled, “Work and Prayer.” As one might guess from the title, Lewis addresses a delicate balance between one and the other. He observes,
“The two methods by which we are allowed to produce events may be called work and prayer. Both are alike in this respect — that in both we try to produce a state of affairs which God has not (or at any rate not yet) seen fit to provide ‘on His own’. And from this point of view the old maxim laborare est orare (work is prayer) takes on a new meaning. What we do when we weed a field is not quite different from what we do when we pray for a good harvest. But there is an important difference all the same.”1
As with the inspiration of Scripture, and the doctrine of the Trinity, there is some mystery at the point where the extremes meet. But that’s fine. We are called to obey, not understand everything.
“And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.” – Nehemiah 4:9.
- C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company, 1970), 106. Italics in original.