There are times when I have described my life as a series of climbs that end on a new and higher plateau – a time to rest and share the experiences of others who have arrived on the same plateau by differing routes – and who will continue their journeys by other paths.
There was a time for example after being inspired by John Lynch that I wrote my other blog – A Room of Grace – and really did think that was where I was meant to stay!
Over the last few months I have rewritten my two blogs and tried to be a witness to my own journey of discovery – very much prompted at the time by the comments in August 2011 by Albert Mohler about the significance of Adam and Eve.
Then on 10th January the following video was posted on YouTube and to date there have been more than 15 million hits and many responses. Clearly the video has struck a real chord – but has so missed the point!!!
We now have what one writer is calling ‘The Mark Driscoll Fiasco‘ resulting from an interview he gave in the UK recently.
This all helps to highlight some of the differences between the Christian RELIGION and the Christian FAITH, and the vision of reaching out to those who have been negatively affected, or even manipulated by RELIGION.
In the introduction to my other blog I ask the question, “Why is there so much fear, guilt and shame attached to the Christian religion?” and I suggest that maybe we need to reconsider the absolute foundations of our faith. Does the Christian religion for example, have any real answers to the problems of suffering?
I am convinced that for some of us at least, life is meant to be an ongoing journey of discovery. As a Brit I see many parallels with the rise and fall of empires. After their fall their influence doesn’t just disappear. We in the West are still governed to a large extent by the Roman legal system. Britain may have lost most of its territories, but it’s still a significant player on the international scene. Leaders never want to give up – and we have seen plenty of examples of this in the news in recent years. Maybe this is also true of Christian denominational leadership!
I see this post as the ‘final’ introduction. They say that there is a book in each of us. Instead of writing a book (that at some point has to go to the publisher), I started writing a web site in 2000 and have now ended with two blogs that I can add to, and to which others can contribute.
I want to end by including reference to two blogs that express so much of my own thoughts at this time.
Internet Monk is currently reviewing “Testing Scripture: A Scientist Explores the Bible” by John Polkinghorne. He suggests that this second chapter is ‘provocative’ and that the views expressed will not be acceptable to those who hold more conservative views about the nature of the Bible. I have not read the book but from what has been written here I do find myself agreeing entirely with John. I also like the way in which Internet Monk has provided an alternative view here.
Then there is “The End of Evangelicalism” by David Fitch. His own description of the book is interesting, and then there is the link to the author’s favorite interview that seems to sum up much of what I see as the problems of evangelicalism in America – written by an evangelical leader who sees many of the problems from the inside and who wants to ‘save’ what is important to him. Towards the end of the interview he refers to the Anabaptist impulse that leads us to work things out on the ground in real life issues. Then in the last paragraph he suggests that it is getting harder and harder to figure out what the term missional means.
That was written in January and then in April Bill Dahl wrote a review of ‘Christianity After Religion – The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening‘ by Diana Butler-Bass, followed by an interview with the author. This rang so many bells (although I would want to question her conclusions) that I wrote ‘An Open Letter to Bill and Diana’.