Angry Conservative Bloggers

Once again I have been identified as emblematic of “what is wrong with the church today”. I won’t bother linking to any of these accusations because I don’t want to encourage them.

Here’s the thing. Go to my post Unpacking and look at the reasons I put down, tediously I must say, for why I believe what I believe about homosexuality and about Scriptural authority. Then deal with my ideas in a conversation. If you want a poster-person for Liberal theology or postmodernism or the Decay of Western Civilization, there are a lot of more intelligent scholars and thinkers and bloggers than me you’ve got to deal with. But if you don’t want to seek out the best and brightest, I’m here, I’ve got a comments section I don’t moderate, and I’ve got time to respond to the best of my ability.

When I get good reasons for thinking otherwise than I do, I’ll consider them and give you my honest response, and we’ll talk back and forth, and it’ll be fun. I promise. Especially if what you’re after is a conversation, rather than someone to tear down, as if I was influential and not just blogging for an audience of a dozen people who are probably just killing time.

For those of you who do like what I write, or at least approach me with respect that I’m happy to return to you, I’ll continue to be transparent and honest in what I write, as much as I can bring myself to be, and we’ll see where it leads me. I’m as curious as anyone else.

And I promise not to blaspheme against Saint Gagnon.

(My fingers were crossed)

3 thoughts on “Angry Conservative Bloggers

  1. Doug, I did respond to your unpacking of your thoughts in the previous blog. I also left you some questions.Yes, I attended seminary as well, so I am familiar with your position on the bible.I am wondering why you feel you need to be a Christian? The whole basis of the Christian faith has been built on what the bible has to say about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Israel and the Church. If the bible is not the word of God then what is it good for?

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  2. That’s an interesting question. Do I feel that I *need* to be a Christian? Sometimes. Sometimes it seems like I can’t be anything else, that it is like a need.On the other hand, it is a conscious decision. I was raised Christian, but at one point decided I was an atheist, and at another point decided I was a Buddhist. So while it is ingrained in my by my upbringing, I’ve tried to live other ways.I’ve had a few powerful experiences, but nothing I can’t account for with the little I know of neuroscience. No kind of revelation that I can refer to and say to myself “without a doubt, God was there”.In sitting here thinking about it, I’ve got a few answers that come to mind, and more that I can’t formulate as well right now. These are very honest answers and not very good ones or very powerful ones. But they’re what I have.One is that it comes down to people and community. I feel that I have heard echoes of the spirit, glimpses of the risen Christ, through the people in my life and some of the communities I’ve been part of. If God is love, then I’ve been blessed with some times that were God-filled (and some bleak ones as well of course).Another is that I couldn’t reconcile myself to Christianity as such for a long time until I was able to shake Christ free of it. This came through reading and thinking about the Gospels as well as reading in ethics and theology and a lot of experience and growing up. I realized that I was searching for God, and not for the things that pointed toward God. So I could make use of those things without surrendering to them in place of God.Lastly, I’d simply say that sometimes when I talk about God, or when I live in a way I think God wants me to live, it feels right. It feels true. The way a poem feels true, but you can’t logically demonstrate its objective veracity. It reflects something I couldn’t otherwise say, compacts a cosmos of meaning into a tiny mote. This is inconstant – what feels right/true changes over time for me. And, obviously, its easy to fall into just worshiping whatever feels good. I’m not talking about pleasure, though, at all. I’ve regretted lots of things, and refrained from a great deal, that feels good because it didn’t seem right or true. In this category of rightness I put an ethical sensibility and an intuition or empathy – an understanding of how my words and actions impact others. I put effort into cultivating these because I think it brings me closer to God and other people.Lastly, I’ll put the bible (but not least). Not because it is true in the (small) literal sense, but because it is true in the vast sense that stories and myth are true or poetry is true or love is true. Its true in a way that, when nailed down, is lost. My faith journey started with the bible, years and years ago, and I haven’t abandoned it, despite what is sometimes said in disagreement with me. Rather, the bible itself is a testimony to me that precludes literalism or inerrancy or other bibliolatries. There is too much there to boil down. The bible is…irreducible, and I see arguments for its objective truth or inerrancy as unfortunate and unnecessary reductions. A literal bible is crippled, or like a corpse. If God is alive and God is free, then God can’t be caught, even in the bible.It’d be easier if I talked about these things in Reformed categories, quoting Calvin’s “inward testimony of the Holy Spirit” instead of the way I say it, but I try not (in my better moments) to dress my ideas up in clothes that are too big, if you get my drift. The constant reminder that this is just me talking, for better or worse.

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  3. I certainly understand more of where you are coming from. I appreciate your honesty in explaining what you believe and how you perceive your faith and how you experience and live your faith in a practical way. In this sense it is powerful. I have enjoyed our conversation on these matters. I will pop in from time to time and respond to your blogs again. Blessings.

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