Wednesday, March 24, 2010

journey, not beliefs

I'm not saying that I agree with everything Charles Foster says in The Sacred Journey, but that's not important.

This work, like the others in "The Ancient Practices Series," is extremely important for us today. It's important because the Church in our country has turned into a bastion of pragmatism, with ministries based solely on the felt needs of individuals, both Christian and non.

I really appreciate, but am saddened by Foster's argument that the word "christian" should be replaced because of its extremely negative connotations (judgmental, anti-gay). You can be sure we've lost our way when our identity is a predominantly negative one (we are not this, we are not that, we are against these, etc).

We've also come to the conclusion that faith is based on beliefs. As long as we believe the right things, we'll be okay. Beliefs are important, but it doesn't stop there. My marriage isn't based on beliefs. Of course there are some prerequisite beliefs; I have to believe my wife is a woman, that she loves me and would be a good mate. But if it stopped there, would I be married? No, I'd be a creepy guy who stared a lot.

Faith is the same way. Beliefs are prerequisite, but not everything. Relationship is the real basis - a relationship that gives birth to a long journey.

We need to get back to that. We need to recover the mindset that we are on a journey of faith, not standing still and firm. There's so much we need to let go of, to hold with an open hand.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Voice

I appreciate this book very much and I think many with negative reviews miss the point. The point is not to contribute a standard, classic translation of Scripture. Pairing the conversational text with commentary helps the reader to understand the Bible as being God's story; a narrative of God's work in human history.

As someone who grew up in a spiritually abusive tradition, it's a breath of fresh air. This and coming generations of Christians are not like those previous. We did not grow up with the full force of Christianity as a ceremonial religion in this country. We don't put up with the judgmental crap and irresponsible Biblical scholarship that's been spewed from pulpits for generations. We speak in different ways a lot of times.

Just read it for what it is. Don't get so worried about . Let God's voice speak.