Temptingly rich and layered, with complex mocha, plum and wild berry fruit that’s spicy and aromatic. Full-bodied, gaining depth and turning ever more elegant and detailed, with tannins that give this traction.There is an interesting phenomenon in the human psyche where perceived complexity creates an artificially high valuation of something, such as wine. The description above is for a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon which, on sale(!), is selling for about $120.
A bottle of wine yield four glasses, so that places it at $30 a glass! That same money could get you thirty dollar-menu burgers. OK, that may be a bit of a disgusting thought, but how about for that same money you could get rolls with butter, a tasty slab of sirloin, grilled vegetables, a baked potato, a slice of cheesecake for dessert, and a tip for the server. Well, depending on where you go, maybe you can't get the dessert, but, still, you can get a lot of food; food which takes about 10-20 times the effort to get to the table than it did to get that fermented grape juice into a bottle.
Now if you offer this wine to someone who has a less "sophisticated" palate, someone who likes wine but prefers other beverages, you'd be lucky to get $10 a glass, and they would probably be hard-pressed to tell you that it tasted like "mocha, plum and wild berry fruit," but instead they would probably just say that they like it or they don't like it. Offer it to someone who abstains from alcohol, and they would not pay a dime; and if they tasted it, at best, they could probably identify it as wine.
This phenomenon is far from being limited to wine. I think that, for some people, it also extends into the field of faith. I wonder if it is the perceived complexities, symbolism, and nuances within the Bible, such as typology, which keeps the intellectually and/or contemplatively gifted people seduced by the faith.
If you read into the story a significant meaning or connection beyond what is there at face value, you become like the classic wine snob, where your mind is tricked into placing a higher value on it than it really deserves. That perceived complexity grants the text an authority; becoming the proof of a higher power at work. You become a connoisseur of the Scriptures, teasing out the flavors which lay hidden from the masses, or savoring those essences revealed by some experts before you like a consumer reflecting back on the professional taster's description of a wine as they take a sip.
But at the end of the day, a glass of wine is just a glass of wine, and the words of Scripture are like the words of other authors; full of the affectation and contrived meanings which they experienced or wanted to project. That's not to say that either wine or Scripture is without value, but, rather, we should let them be as they are, and take them in with a realistic perspective.
So, is this just an illusion in my mind, or have you, too, met connoisseurs of Christ in your journey? Do you think theirs is really a deeper faith, or have they introduced a complexity which honestly is not there?