This dovetails quite well with a couple of articles on “Doctrine,” recently publish in the Act 3 Journal in which I try to explore some of Peter Leithart’s thoughts. But it also reminded me of my essay, “Do I have to go to Church,” in which I said:
In both the West and the East, people commonly think of the being they call “God” as some sort of vague ghostly force which cannot be approached except through some sort of vague, internal–often called “spiritual”–contemplation. At best, this “God” is considered personal, and the “spiritual” exercise involves verbal communication–prayer. Nevertheless, as important as prayer is, it is hardly an adequate way, by itself, to relate to a real person. Believing in such a God too often resembles a child’s imaginary friend.
In contrast to this popular view, the God presented in the Hebrew-Christian Scriptures is a real person who has real relationships with human beings. More than that, He is a great king over the whole universe (which He made in the first place). People who are rightly related to Him are said to be members of His kingdom, citizens of His commonwealth.
Looking back on all this, I now realize what I want.
I want Christians to know so that they confess the truth: “I have a public relationship with Jesus Christ.”