I’m reading this jolly good book in my lunch-times at the moment – Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias.
At the beginning, Ravi focuses on an ancient theory from Plato who believed that all philosophy began with wonder until it was replaced by knowledge – that there is a world of difference between belief and knowledge:
Plato said, ‘belief was the position of a child; knowledge was that of an adult.’
Zacharias replies to Plato’s theory with this:
Can it not be our hope as well that the shadows and beliefs of our childhood become only greater and more wonderful when dispelled by knowledge? Can there not be a reality where the mere world of fantasy is superceded by the fantastically true?
He’s pointing us of course to our daily waking reality as followers of Jesus which is meant to be thoroughly infused with wonder and knowledge together (imagine a diagonally ascending line from left to right where X is knowledge and Y is wonder).
Like me, you may have secretly wandered into a wardrobe as a child, shut the door quietly behind you and gently reached out to touch the back, longing for it not to be there. As your finger tips touched the thin splintered back, the crashing knowledge that the fern cones and snow weren’t really there felt genuinely gutting, only compounded by a brand new sense of your own ‘silliness’ as your childhood dreaming began to drift across Plato’s bridge to the cul-de-sac of adult knowledge.
But both little children and big adults can be reminded again of the truth that the Kingdom within really will be like a ‘magic’ Kingdom without – to touch and taste and see; that this suspension bridge of other-worldly, gospel hope is more than sufficient for the wonder of belief to thrive side by side the ‘knowledge’ of our enchanted here and now.