|Wood ducks in my back yard|
I now see my coffee cup. I hold it in my hand. Lifting it to my mouth, I taste the java. I feel it slip-sliding down my throat. I sense the effects of the caffeine. How shall I describe this, in words?
The experience of the coffee and the cup is epistemically superior to any poem I might write, or any essay I might pen, about the coffee encounter. In the end, if you really want to know, you must see my cup, hold it, and taste for yourself that the coffee is good.
Religious experience is the same. To know God, we must experience God. Taste, not theorize, and see that the Lord is good.
We fall short of understanding the stories in the Bible if we lack the kind of experiences those stories describe. “Religion,” writes Wayne Proudfoot, “has always been an experiential matter. It is not just a set of creedal statements or a collection of rites.”
The entire Bible is about knowing God by experience. God promises experiential knowledge to those who abide in Jesus, and follow.
- From John Piippo, Leading the Presence-Driven Church (Kindle Locations 157-167). WestBow Press. Kindle Edition
- On a correct, experiential interpretation of the Scriptures, see Craig Keener, Spirit Hermeneutics: Reading Scripture in Light of Pentecost.