Thursday, August 04, 2011

Where Have I Been

It has been almost two months since my last post. Most of the readers of this blog are people who pull up something I wrote by using a search engine, then move on. Average time per visit is just under one minute according to sitemeter statistics. However this blog is based on me. This blog is about the evolution of my Christian identity.
If you are a regular reader you will remember that recent posts have been very anti-Christian in tone. I am not sure how much more I have to say about my Christian identity at this point. It hangs by a thread. Trying to define it just makes it more senseless. Writing about it is a way of trying to take stock and define it, so that gets me nowhere really fast.
If you are scratching your head then go back and read my posts on Teddy Bear Christianity and Christian Nihilism (end of May, beginning of June 2011).
I have contented myself with the idea that there is a higher power, as opposed to atheism. I tried to remove the concept of God from my thinking but my psychological makeup means that this results in depression for me. But I think this is less some indicator of a "God-shaped" hole as it is a signifier that I am just screwed up mentally because of a lot of what I have been through.
That leaves the question of my relation to Christianity. In this matter I have contented myself that I am "theologically agnostic" ecumenicalist. If there be any truth to Christianity then the impulse of the Spirit courses through the universal church as it exists today in its imperfection. If there is any truth in the Bible it is this, that we see Christ as one who sees himself in a dark mirror, and when He returns, we shall know Him face to face, for we shall be raised to His likeness. I'll not curse the Catholics. I'll not berate the Baptists. NT Wright puts it best, the ecumenical nature of the church as Christ intended it is understood in the universal membership of her members in a covenant relationship with the Father through the Son. Maybe I mangled that and if so, apologies to Wright. The Gospel was supposed to be a uniter, but has now become the greatest divider.
I've seen beyond the hide-bound assumptions about justification and millennialism that my Baptist upbringing thrust upon me. I've seen enough to know that I can't limit my perspective like that anymore. Be honest, how many of you reading this thought my aforementioned reference to a "covenant relationship" had something to do with Calvinism/Reformed Theology? That's what I am talking about... most evangelicals (including fundamentalists) who are raised with any sense of theology at all are raised with such a narrow, sectarian sense of it that it ends up functioning primarily as a tool for cavilling and dissention. A simple exposure to different streams of theological thought would have been enough to break such an assumption and set your possibilities among a number of different theological contexts.
I am reminded of the old KJVO high school friend who accused me of following James White just because I quoted him in an argument against KJVOism. Not so!
My mother-in-law is certain that out church is Reformed in theology because we had a Sunday honoring some of the leaders of the Reformation. Not so!
So much theology is no more than an elaborate "label and dispense" scheme. How can theology truly matter in such a context?

If there is any salvaging of my Christian identity it is to ground my theology in the true Gospel, which means understanding theology in an ecumenical-convenant context that honors the diversity and universality of the church.
I'll bet the second part of that sentence was a real let-down for some of you after that first part!

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