Don’t be afraid of a magic world. God made it. He set it up that way.
Christian “materialism” (i.e., sacramentality) sometimes feels as if it teeters on the brink of paganism and superstition – because it sees the world as charged with the glory and grandeur of God.
-James K.A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom, p.32
“Charged with the glory and the grandeur of God”. That’s what the world is. It’s downright enchanted. Read Chesterton’s Orthodoxy if you don’t believe me. Contra this is the belief held by some Christians (Reformed Baptists in particular, but they are not alone) that absolutely NOTHING magic is EVER going on NOWHERE, NO-HOW. Baptism is just an outward physical action of something going on in your brain. The bread and the wine at the Lord’s table are just there to help us remember (with our heads) something important. Charismatic continuationists are crackers 100% of the time, no exceptions. Mystical union? Bunchacrap. Everything with real power happens in the space between your ears. The power of the universally creative incarnate God becomes “the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ”. Icons are forbidden – how dare you insinuate there could be anything remotely special about a picture? That’s just idolatry pure and simple, right? Wine and beer are forbidden – they seem just a bit too magical in what they do to your head so they are definitely out, along with mushrooms and cocaine and anything else that might confuse us. The only icon allowed is the Word, which still retains a sort of incantational spell power, at least in the King James Version. God is the only source of wonder and he was in the distant past and in the (hopefully near) future. Right now, in the present, we must be utterly Modern and affirm a disenchanted, sterile, decaying world.
Ugg. No thanks. I’ll take the enchanted reality that Triune God made any old day, even when it sometimes makes absolutely no sense.
So near and yet still so far, far away
So close, and yet still to come
Concealed, the seed is mysteriously growing
In hearts that will listen and hear
A treasure that’s hidden, a pearl of great price
A fortune for fools who believe
A kingdom of beauty, a kingdom of love
A kingdom of justice of justice and peace
A kingdom that holds all the wilds of creation
A kingdom where children will lead
-Michael Card, The Kingdom