Philosophy


It’s unlikely anyone will stumble upon the pages within this little blog after so many years of them collecting dust.  While I have long since traveled beyond the confines of the Christian tradition, it’s hard to actually pull down these old posts because I think they are more progressive than much of the conversation that occurs in North American Christian circles these days.

Additionally they were written in the context of a devout Christian walk at the time; even if my walk has since carried me many miles beyond the lands of institutionalized religion.  I think they have value, even if they are a snapshot of a personal faith that doesn’t exist in that form anymore.

I am an apostate of the Christian faith.  But I don’t believe there is anything wrong with being Christian.  If practicing and growing in Christianity is a blessing in your life, excellent.  I hope you are, in turn, a blessing to those around you. Perhaps some of this writing can still be of some use to someone seeking.

I’ve just finished reading Rob Bell‘s new book, “Love Wins“. I hadn’t really seriously considered posting to this blog much anymore. But Bell has received a lot of negative press with his book, so I felt compelled to write something in support of it.

All in all, I have to say I really enjoyed the book (in spite of the usual “Bell” issues, more on that in the review), and I would highly recommend it, though not without a disclaimer or two. It’s certainly not perfect.  But very much worth picking up.  To read my review, click here.

The good news: after a crazy amount of travel we’re back home safe and sound. I’m very happy to be greeted by what seems like the bluest sky ever (Tokyo is not known for it’s clean air) and green hills. I’m looking forward to using my own bed and finding crazy dark malty beer.

But it is with an unusual sense of sadness that I return to our happy home. It’s great – our home – it really is. But these past several days have taught me that two of the best people I could ever hope to know live half a world away. I now feel unbelievably closer to them then I ever have before, and at the same time I feel how unbelievably separated we are. I guess just as death and life are part of existence our lives must be comprised of sweet reunions and sad partings.

M&M – Here’s to you! I miss you already!

On November 7, 2006, Idahoans will vote on HJR 2 and thereby decide whether to join the 18 other states that have banned gay marriage by amending their states’ constitutions. I will vote against such an amendment, because I am a Christian.

Does this make sense to you? If it does, we have something in common. If it doesn’t, doesn’t that make you marvel at just how different our perceptions of our own faith can differ? (more…)

Fundamentalism

What is to be accomplished by fundamentalism? What is its purpose? Why does it propagate itself?

It is on the forefront of the world stage now. We see in it both religion and politics. In America these are combined in the radical religious right. In the Middle East they are combined in so-called “Islamic” terrorism.

What is fundamentalism? Jimmy Carter characterized fundamentalism beautifully1 as:

  • “Almost invariably… led by authoritarian males who consider themselves to be superior to others…”
  • “Fundamentalists draw clear distinction between themselves, as true believers, and others, convinced that they are right and anyone who contradicts them is ignorant and possibly evil.”
  • “Fundamentalists tend to make their self-definition increasingly narrow and restricted, to isolate themselves, to demagogue emotional issues, and to view change, cooperation, negotiation, and other efforts to resolves differences as signs of weakness.”

The three words he chose to summarize these characteristics were: “rigidity, domination and exclusion”. (more…)

So here’s a new subject for my blog: Progressive Christianity.

What’s in a name? As we march into the new millennium, the face of our culture (specifically North American) is changing rapidly. In many circles there is a fundamental shift in philosophy and worldview. Some call it “Postmodernity”. Since that term has a lot of baggage associated with it, some dubbed the movement in Christianity, that is in step with postmodernity, “Emergent Christianity”. Well it looks that that name, capital-E Emergent, now has it’s own baggage. (more…)