(This is a part of my “Top Ten things that drive me crazy about Quakers” list.)
2. Our naivetÃ© about symbol
In our right pursuit to have our faith in Jesus be pure and real and unencumbered by ritual, we have wrongly framed our spirituality as if only the mind exists. Bare rationality is not the only way to encounter God. We are embodied people! We desperately need to rethink our theology, specifically in regard to symbol. We worship with our bodies as well as our minds. We worship through images as well as words. Language itself is a symbol.
This is not a cry for us to â€œfollow the crowdâ€ and adopt communion with the elements and baptism with water. It is much deeper, a call to articulate a theology of encounter with God which recognizes the physicality and the sociality of worship, and the meaningful place of symbol in deepening our life with God.