Our son was born with Down’s Syndrome. In our search for a way to enrich his quality of life, we visited the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia. The founder, Glenn Doman, believed every child is a genius. He claimed my wife and I would be able to teach our son to read, do math and learn almost any set of facts we chose to present to him. While our son’s twin was sharp as a tack, we put her on the same 16 hour a day program, because there was no time left in the day to do anything else.
The results were interesting. It was true our son could learn any set of discrete facts. He just couldn’t connect them to one another. The world we tried to introduce him to remained a disjointed, unintegrated mass of disparate bits of information and facts, like a Picasso painting. Although he learned to read a few hand-made primers, he could not apply what he read to the world around him.
For his sister, however, the results were far different. Our daughter could read before she could speak, learning all fifty states and capitals, as well as the countries and capitals of Europe and South America before she was five. She even learned the names and a few facts regarding each of the US Presidents.
One of Glenn Doman’s more interesting theories involved teaching children to do instant math. Doman believed the ability to perform lightning quick computations was dependent on understanding what numbers actually are. Doman saw that the numeral “2” was just an abstract symbolic concept of an actual thing. He surmised, if children learned what real numbers looked like, they could manipulate them without having to take the time to translate them into representative symbols. In short, there is a “real” two and an abstract concept of “two”.
We were given 100 poster boards, each one bearing a discrete number of dots, from 0 to 99. We tried to present these dots, five boards at a time, to our children forty times a day. Eventually, however, the endeavor seemed so ridiculous and impossible we gave up trying and moved on. I simply could not conceive how anyone could differentiate between 67, 68 and 69 dots at a momentary glance. But, after some time had passed, I noticed something very odd about my daughter.
As my daughter would walk across the lawn, she would often stoop down in mid stride and pluck up a four leaf clover. Not just one, but dozens within a few minutes. Anywhere we were, if asked, she would simply pick one four leaf clover after another, as she walked carelessly across the grass. Was it possible she could see “four,” without the need to count each petal?
The concept of a lion is much different than a real lion. Although the concept includes all the information that makes up a real lion, you cannot feel its fur or its sharp teeth. You cannot smell it, neither can you cage, feed or kill it. Most importantly, it cannot kill you. While a two dimensional plane can contain all the information needed to describe three dimensions, a 3-D picture is, nonetheless, still two dimensional.
This is important because the church has, by and large, adopted a Greek view of reality. It is a world view which is diametrically opposed to Jesus’ Hebraic world view. Although we have concepts of sin, righteousness, law, and justice, concepts that contain all of the information to accurately describe these things, one can’t fully understand or appreciate them without a Hebraic world view.
In a Hebraic world view, these are real things, not abstract concepts. In fact, Hebrew has no words for disembodied concepts. Iniquity, love, truth, and death are things, not ideas. The English word for contract, the disembodied meeting of the minds, did not exist in Hebrew and had to be cobbled together from embodied words like loan, oath, surety and theft. When Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” truth was standing a foot away. Pilate could see, touch and smell Truth. Truth has two ears and a nose. When Jesus said “I am the Truth,” He was not simply creating a powerful metaphor – He meant it. This is counterintuitive. While one cannot pick sin up with one’s hands, sin is something that was literally placed upon the horns of the scapegoat by the hands of the high priest.
In modern America, a corporation is a good example of something intangible that is recognized as real under the law. A corporation is not simply a disembodied concept. Corporations are persons with the same rights humans have. They can own property, be prosecuted and have a right to free speech. It is not a group of people, but something real in and of itself; something that cannot be seen or touched. As Einstein explained, time is also a thing, like a tin can, as is space; although they can neither be seen nor felt.
Reading the scriptures without an understanding of a Hebraic world view brings believers to bizarre conclusions. The 613 laws, or mitzvahs, are seen as on-off switches, rather than landmarks placed by God for His people, to guide them through the dangers of this world as they seek to embrace the way of Life.
Covenant has becomes a dry legal agreement, instead of the passion driving Adam to “know” Eve and Yahweh to “know” Abraham. To “know” is not to assimilate information about something. It is to wed yourself to it. The root of covenant is “to cut,” to have an intimacy so complete that only a knife tearing apart flesh can separate those who are joined together by it.
Many modern believers insist all ”lies” are sin, not understanding that deceptions made for righteousness sake do not qualify as lies. Yahweh told Samuel to “lie” to Saul. Rahab’s “lie” to save the lives of two Jewish spies was counted to her for righteousness and faith. Jesus told his brothers he wasn’t going to the feast of tabernacles, and then went.
The richness and taste of the prophetic and poetic books of the Bible are reduced to the level of a Big Mac without an understanding of a Hebraic world view. With a Greek understanding of the LORD, it is not possible to make sense of God’s inconsistencies, humanity and passion; much less the nature of the Trinity, predestination and spiritual authority. This is because our Yahweh is not primarily a person driven by reason and disinterested principles, but someone who is brilliantly creative, filled with passion and possesses a desperate love for His children.
God has not left his people to muddle through this quandary by themselves. He has deposited in each believer His Holy Spirit, Who is able to lead His people into all truth. We must, however, ask for revelation to recognize Yahweh’s character and personality in both scripture and the works of His hands. We must be courageous and humble enough to admit we may not fully appreciate the Father’s personality, opening our hearts to the LORD as He really is, and not as we want Him to be.