…. Well, actually, I’m back and still “In Exile”. It’s been nearly two years since I last made an entry in my blog “Ron In Exile”. Why the long hiatus? Mostly due to lack of time (teaching and performing took up a lot of time). But I also did it for the sake of my spiritual health. Though I found blogging about spiritual issues helped to clarify what I believed and why, I also realized that it held a potential danger for me at that time.  One can spend so much time reading books, and thinking about subjects to write about, that it becomes easy to believe that one embodies the truths they’re writing about. In an earlier post I quoted Helmut Thielicke and wrote:

“‘Theology makes the young theologian vain and so kindles in him something like a Gnostic pride. The chief reason for this is that in us men, truth and love are seldom combined’ (Thielicke).  As theologians, since God is love, our study of God should make us more loving, otherwise it is a vain intellectual pursuit.  If we use knowledge to control and intimidate, or as a shield to mask our own insecurities, then we become nothing more than Pharisees seeking to justify ourselves at the expense of others.  It’s too easy to confuse intellectual understanding with actually walking in the Spirit.  “Possessing” knowledge about some spiritual truth does not of itself make one more spiritual.  It may in fact lead to self-deception.  If theological study does not cause one to live into the truth revealed to them, then his theology has failed him, or better yet, he has failed his theology.  It is a sobering warning Thielicke gives when he writes, “Whoever ceases to be a man of the spirit automatically furthers a false theology, even if in thought it is pure…death lurks in the kettle” (p.36).  Living the truth is what makes a man spiritual. Being a doer of the word is what brings life.

And so I took some time to try to live into some of the truths I believe God was trying to work into my life during that season. I read no new theological or ministry related book that wasn’t devotional in nature, but I did listen to lots and lots of new music, read and performed in several plays, and spent more time getting to know and learning how to better love the family members and neighbors that were around me. Death was “lurking in the kettle”, and I’m still learning, but I do feel more rooted in love and ready to start blogging again. I hope you’ll follow along.