Friday, June 24, 2005

Another attempt

Still stumbling around in the dark, trying to find a light switch (or a doorknob).

Here's another attempt to describe postmodern evangelicalism, in terms of the convictions I hold that lead me to believe it is necessary.

Regarding the Bible, I believe . . .
  1. . . . that the Bible is inspired by God in a way no other work of piece of communication can claim. Therefore, the Bible has a unique authority over our beliefs and practices.
  2. . . . that the Bible is frequently difficult to understand at anything deeper than a shallow, surface level.
  3. . . . that the Bible is even MORE difficult to apply than it is to understand.
  4. . . . that popular attempts to define "the inspiration of Scripture" are very much about politics and very little about properly understanding and applying the Bible's truth to life.

Regarding pragmatics and human nature, I believe . . .

  1. . . . that human observations are inevitably biased and subjective.
  2. . . . that reality is more complex than any single perspective or approach can capture, ERGO . . .
  3. . . . that scientific knowledge (the objective factual description of phenomena) is not the only legitimate type of knowledge.
  4. . . . that our interpretations of everything--the Bible, other texts, events, phenomena--are inevitably shaped by the perspectives and points of view that we want to advocate.

Regarding Christian faith, I believe . . .

  1. . . . that moral absolutes do exist, but (since human nature makes us quick to absolutize our preferences and likes/dislikes) they need to be defined carefully and critically.
  2. . . . that hundreds of millions of people have, over the centuries, been devoted followers of Jesus Christ, even though they didn't agree with what I believe about any number of topics--baptism, spiritual gifts, the authority of scripture vs. the authority of the mysterium, drinking alcohol, miracles and the supernatural, inspiration of scripture, politics, the role of government, taxes, purgatory, pluralism, the trinity, etc., etc., ad infinitum.
  3. When discussing God's dealings with humanity, particularly when the terrain is unclear, we should err on the side of humility, grace, and openness.

More later.


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