Things are settling down out here in the outer reaches of eastern Canada and so i endeavor to pick up again my electronic pen and scrawl across my wee bit o’ space.
I’ve been encouraged by a few to expand on the core beliefs that have crept into my conscious and sub-conscious over the years. This was great encouragement because it coincided with my own thought that I would like to do at least that much; a person should have some idea about what exactly is rolling around up there! I hope these small thoughts call forth other’s underlying beliefs, swapping goodness and disagreements!
So here is what i scheme: to write in ‘parts,’ from the drafts on my computer to the more critical open space of this blog. I’ll attempt to write these ideas in ways that each time invite comment, criticism, and discussion, thus keeping the flow fresh. Also, before i begin, if anyone reading sees gaps in my thought (falling under the above mentioned criticism), please relate that on the discussion board. There will be some topics that I provide typical academic backing and others for which i will not, unless asked!
Since I can remember, the deepest belief that has held me is that whatever we think, pray, structuralize, de-structuralize, theologize, or demythologize, God is always better. What I mean is that I have believed and have come to know that whatever postively we may postulate about our knowledge of God or, negatively,the bad things we have seen the Church doing, that God is better than that thought, than that action. He did not mean for people to mess up in that way. It is not a doctrinal position (though it is) as much as it is a position of trust I lean on when a contemporary situation does not meet with the goodness i have come to expect from God.
So debates of theology, while crucially important, do not hold as much foundational disturbance for me as they once did. They hold distrubances of other kinds within me: what does this mean for how i practice my faith? What does this mean about those who taught me the faith when i was young? One could go on and on, but all this to say: debates of theology don’t tend to unravel my core faith because i just think, with common sense i think, that they, i, or we must have missed something…big surprise!
This has made sense to me over the years when I come across people “being people” as Tim McLay says. That is, when people hurt other people, we question how they could have done such a thing when they were Christians. Or perhaps we question how God could have let this or that happen. But perhaps this presupposes both a God who will not let his people fall away, which is untrue, and a people who will not fall away once they have believed that Jesus is Lord, which is also untrue. The whole kingdom of God is based on the sense that people can enter it as it comes upon them or flee from it as it comes upon them; choice and will are important parts of being, hence important parts of being God. God will not force people to him, ripping their faith from them and replacing it with some abstract certainty that they are ‘saved.’