tran•scen•dent \-dənt\ adjective
[Middle English, from Latin transcendent-, transcendens, present participle of transcendere] 15th century
1 a : exceeding usual limits : surpassing
b : extending or lying beyond the limits of ordinary experience
c in Kantian philosophy : being beyond the limits of all possible experience and knowledge
2 : being beyond comprehension
3 : transcending the universe or material existence — compare immanent 2
4 : universally applicable or significant 〈the antislavery movement … recognized the transcendent importance of liberty —L. H. Tribe〉
(Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary – 11th Edition)
In Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron, the main character Chase Falson uses transcendence for the first word that he would like to see developed in the life of his church community. Chase frames this discussion in the context of having an encounter with God beyond the intellectual questions that often dictate the conversation.
Yesterday I came across this Thomas Merton quote from his Thoughts in Solitude and I think it fits well with what Chase is getting at in his manifesto: “A purely mental life may be destructive if it leads us to substitute thought for life and ideas for actions. The activity proper to man is not purely mental because man is not just a disembodied mind. Our destiny is to live out what we think, because unless we live what we know, we do not know it. It is only by making our knowledge part of ourselves, through action, that we enter into the reality that is signified by our concepts.” (Thoughts in Solitude, 15)
So, I was wondering if anyone would like to share around transcendence? You would just have to share a couple thoughts about (a) way(s) you could see us creating space to foster “transcendent encounters with Jesus” in the connection community? Or maybe how you see that happening in your own life? Or …?
Click here for an offprint of the manifesto section if you don’t have the book anymore and want to give that section another look. I still have a couple copies if you want the book.
~ chris (firstname.lastname@example.org)