homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Deconstruction

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.    
Source: (consider it) Thread: Deconstruction
Unum Solum
Shipmate
# 18904

 - Posted      Profile for Unum Solum     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Over the past year I have been listening to a couple of Podcasts Peter Enns - The Bible for normal people and The Deconstructionist

Essentially it has taken a ramshackle house and cut away most of the bracing. I am not asking you to offer advice, I know that the rebuilding if possible is something I need to do myself or I will never own it. But I am interested to know or hear from others who may have deliberately (or not) ‘deconstructed’ their belief system/framework and if they have managed to rebuild a house to live in? Any faith is of interest, or maybe you had no faith then thought you did, but found your way back to atheism (which I think is as much a faith as any other)

Thank you in advance.

--------------------
I will not say do not weep for not all tears are an evil. - Gandalf

Posts: 53 | From: Auckland, New Zealand | Registered: Jan 2018  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

 - Posted      Profile for Schroedinger's cat   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I suppose I have spent much of my Christian life deconstructing and reconstructing.

I suppose I view it that I built a house, but then I had to keep rebuilding parts of it - digging some of the foundation, and replacing it with something stronger. I suppose this is because I keep learning, so I have to keep questioning what I believe, and sometimes (often) realigning my views.

So yes, you can end up with a rebuilt house. But it is always a work in progress. So it is like currently living in a house that seems OK, because I might be doing something hidden - I might be challenging something that is more obtuse and obscure.

--------------------
Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18859 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

 - Posted      Profile for mark_in_manchester   Email mark_in_manchester   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Yes, I lost my faith, an elderly minister told me it would not be the same when it returned; and it wasn't. But what I have now is mine, it's rather orthodox, and I feel confident in it.

Would you like to talk more about deconstruction? I spent a while worrying about things which might be related to this; about the pile of beliefs I had which might all be explained away by some simpler underlying structure. Which might prove that all that I had was kind of pointless.

I ended up saved by reflecting on something from my engineering background - decomposition rather than deconstruction. That complex things may be decomposed into more simple orthogonal components, but that it makes no sense to say that r (or g or b) _explains_ full-spectrum light, for example - they are just a component of that full-on complexity which is that which itself is experienced as the full reality. Dooyeweerd was a big help.

I'm probably talking past you into thin air (my fault), but if you want to talk about it more tell me.

cheers
Mark

--------------------
"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

Posts: 1596 | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged
churchgeek

Have candles, will pray
# 5557

 - Posted      Profile for churchgeek   Author's homepage   Email churchgeek   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I literally just came over to the Ship after spending some time on the Exvangelical facebook group (apparently Exvangelical is another such podcast) ... and saw this post.

I grew up in the Assemblies of God. I don't think it ever really appealed to me, but I didn't know much else. But in my later teens, I started realizing that I hated my faith, when I was supposed to be recommending it to others.

I deliberately put my Bible away for several years, because I realized I would only read back into it what I'd been taught to read.

I knew I wanted to remain Christian - I believed in God, and in the Incarnation, just not all the window dressing of that denomination. But I didn't rush into finding a new church. I enjoyed the opportunity to visit as many churches as I could. I figured that in the end, that would help me relate with other Christians, by having some idea of how they worship. But I never did really explore the Catholic church, and I didn't know of any Orthodox churches around.

Eventually, I wound up visiting my current church, and didn't want to visit any others. I felt at home, and stayed there. It was about 10 years after leaving the A/G. In the meantime, I'd studied philosophy and kept up reading in philosophy of religion and other Christianity-related stuff, as long as it was academically reputable. So that was probably quite influential in some way. I know it influenced me to go to seminary and get academic degrees in theology! But those degrees were only possible once I'd found a tradition to plant my feet in.

ETA: mark_in_manchester - it's been 3 years since I was in your town, and you were away at the time. I wish I could've met you! I think it would have been some very good conversation.

[ 03. February 2018, 23:38: Message edited by: churchgeek ]

--------------------
I reserve the right to change my mind.

My article on the Virgin of Vladimir

Posts: 7773 | From: Detroit | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Thanks for telling your story, churchgeek. That is really cool.

--------------------
This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gramps49
Shipmate
# 16378

 - Posted      Profile for Gramps49   Email Gramps49   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I think a critical time when most people deconstruct their faith is going into the 20's, let's say 18-25, give or take a few years on each end.

In truth, I have deconstructed my faith several times. First when I entered college. Then the seminary I went to deconstructed my faith--and helped me rebuild it to another level. Then when my denomination rejected me as a liberal, my faith was deconstructed again. Now that I am in my late 60's I am finding my faith being deconstructed again. Don't know where I will end up, but my past history shows that each time it has happened I come out better for it.

Posts: 2193 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged
MaryLouise
Shipmate
# 18697

 - Posted      Profile for MaryLouise   Author's homepage   Email MaryLouise   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
In my late 20s I went back to university and did post-grad studies in theology. I had a number of questions I wanted answered. After a few years, I came away with a number of new and different questions rather than answers.

What I appreciated was the chance to read theologians I wouldn't have tackled on my own, including Karl Barth, Kierkegaard, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Rahner, David Tracy and Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza.

--------------------
“As regards plots I find real life no help at all. Real life seems to have no plots.”

-- Ivy Compton-Burnett

Posts: 646 | From: Cape Town | Registered: Nov 2016  |  IP: Logged
Unum Solum
Shipmate
# 18904

 - Posted      Profile for Unum Solum     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
I think a critical time when most people deconstruct their faith is going into the 20's, let's say 18-25, give or take a few years on each end.

In truth, I have deconstructed my faith several times. First when I entered college. Then the seminary I went to deconstructed my faith--and helped me rebuild it to another level. Then when my denomination rejected me as a liberal, my faith was deconstructed again. Now that I am in my late 60's I am finding my faith being deconstructed again. Don't know where I will end up, but my past history shows that each time it has happened I come out better for it.

Gramps I turn 60 shortly and it would be nice to think I will come to some place of peace before time runs out. Having said that I have over the past year had a nagging feeling that that is not for me. I sense that God is saying to me this is enough for you, I know you and certainty would not bring you what you need.

God for whatever reason is revealing himself through the struggle and the tears and the frustration, or rather that in all those things He is. 99.9% of the time I can’t say I agree with Him. He has blindsided me so many times I am punch drunk.

We were on holiday recently and there were a group marching the crowded sidewalks with placards and chants and kids handing out tracts ‘threatening’ people with the whole repent or burn in hell scenario. Then there is me, who struggles with everything to do with Jesus with God with all that stuff to the point of rampant refusal, and all I wanted to do was confront them with the message of Gods love (something I have no sense of) - how on earth does that make sense. I don’t care do I? Yet seeing those children especially being used that way drove me nuts, and my wife dragged me away in tears. When I calmed down all I could think was that God was saying to me ‘Love them, that is enough’.

I feel torn apart, I despair of ever finding peace, and yet something remains that leads me ever onwards. I am to old for this shit, but to give up is to die.

--------------------
I will not say do not weep for not all tears are an evil. - Gandalf

Posts: 53 | From: Auckland, New Zealand | Registered: Jan 2018  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

 - Posted      Profile for Eutychus   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
On the one hand I think a living faith is one that is constantly being deconstructed and reconstructed, mostly quietly.

Then, too, there are times when trauma happens and you are left with the faith you had in bits on the floor. That presents multiple dangers.

One is that one reassembles it too hastily without really calling oneself into question. Another is that one discards the shattered pieces entirely in favour of some other shiny new belief system without really examining that one either. The real challenge is to allow oneself the time to work through the reconstruction process bit by bit.

The person I went to see for help when this happened to me used the illustration of changing trains with a lot of luggage. You had to sort through all your luggage on the platform and decide what you were going to take with you and what you were going to leave behind (it's about the only thing I remember her saying to me!).

Deconstruction is scary, but I think Peter hits the nail on the head with his almost annoyed declaration during one of his deconstruction phases:
quote:
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life
[ETA and in response to your post above, I think you have to come to a place where you have the grace to allow other people to be deconstructing and reconstructing at their own, different pace. Imagine how your own journey would not have been improved by irate interventions on the part of others!]

[ 04. February 2018, 06:30: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

--------------------
Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

Posts: 17943 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
Shipmate
# 14322

 - Posted      Profile for Enoch   Email Enoch   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
... Deconstruction is scary, but I think Peter hits the nail on the head with his almost annoyed declaration during one of his deconstruction phases:
quote:
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life

Thank you for choosing that quotation, Eutychus. It's one that has come to mean a lot to me.

Looking back, I feel that over a number of years, mainly in my late thirties and forties, God completely rebuilt my faith from the ground up. It was sometimes painful, sometimes difficult. It took me sometimes quite a long way from my comfort zone. It also took a long time. I wish one could but I've found one can't deal with some specific thing before the time God has allocated for it. Sometimes I feel I can hardly recognise the person I must once have assumed I was.

I can't though describe it in terms of me either deconstructing or rebuilding anything.

Events, life experience, forced quite a lot on me and God did the rest. I suppose I'd say that I feel that all I contributed, was hanging on (sometimes for dear life), and quite a lot of plodding.

--------------------
Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7610 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Kaplan Corday
Shipmate
# 16119

 - Posted      Profile for Kaplan Corday         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Don't know where I will end up, but my past history shows that each time it has happened I come out better for it.

In the context of the Ship I am evangelical while not fundamentalist.

In the context of evangelicalism, however, I have moved during my lifetime to a position which, in comparison with my more youthful evangelicalism, I regard as virtually indistinguishable from small o orthodoxy.

If your Ship name is an indication of the year in which you were born, then we are the same age.

Where we differ is that I would leave it to others to decide whether or not I am "better" for my gradual shift (a compulsive and relentless tinkering rather than a radical rebuild) across the theological spectrum.

Posts: 3355 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

 - Posted      Profile for rolyn         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
'I am in in a Jesus cult, only me and Jesus are in it'
That is something I once thought to use as a sig.
Sometimes the idea of going to a Heaven full of Christians, past and present, is appalling to me.

Are any of us at liberty to deconstruct faith? I don’t know about that. Possibly, if it was put there by someone else.

--------------------
Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 3206 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

 - Posted      Profile for mark_in_manchester   Email mark_in_manchester   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Sometimes I feel I can hardly recognise the person I must once have assumed I was.
Thanks for that.

--------------------
"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

Posts: 1596 | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Sometimes the idea of going to a Heaven full of Christians, past and present, is appalling to me.

And maybe they wouldn't want to be in heaven with you either!

[Biased]

But 'in my Father's house there are many mansions', so perhaps there's room for all sorts.

Posts: 6668 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

 - Posted      Profile for rolyn         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
That is perfectly correct Svlit2
[Biased]

--------------------
Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 3206 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

 - Posted      Profile for Schroedinger's cat   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Are any of us at liberty to deconstruct faith? I don’t know about that. Possibly, if it was put there by someone else.

I think all of us are not just at liberty but under an expectation to explore our faith, study it in depth, continually learn and apply our faith, and be open to finding more about it.

I am an evangelical by belief, but not a conservative. It is my evangelical belief that tells me we need to learn and develop and grow. It is why I get so frustrated at other evangelicals who seem to think that learning and developing is wrong.

--------------------
Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18859 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
There are Heavenly strains within what I read.

I was frightened to march up to the front at an Intervarcity Christian Fellowship summer camp. Followed by some wine for many stomach and mind's sake with people who did no such abuse of young people's minds. Followed by a school in the dusty faith and physical discipline tradition which had me consider if God so approved, hell might be preferable. All of this, before 16 years old.

More recently I have had to chuck most of the miraculous in favour of living. Hopefully not too disapprovable by a less interventionist deity.

Posts: 11498 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Mark Wuntoo
Shipmate
# 5673

 - Posted      Profile for Mark Wuntoo   Email Mark Wuntoo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Are any of us at liberty to deconstruct faith? I don’t know about that. Possibly, if it was put there by someone else.

I think all of us are not just at liberty but under an expectation to explore our faith, study it in depth, continually learn and apply our faith, and be open to finding more about it.

I am an evangelical by belief, but not a conservative. It is my evangelical belief that tells me we need to learn and develop and grow. It is why I get so frustrated at other evangelicals who seem to think that learning and developing is wrong.

Funny - just started a thread along the lines of your last comment. I most certainly have friends from years ago who think that 'thinking' is backsliding. [Ultra confused]

--------------------
Blessed are the cracked for they let in the light.

Posts: 1950 | From: Somewhere else. | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

 - Posted      Profile for Eutychus   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
I am an evangelical by belief, but not a conservative. It is my evangelical belief that tells me we need to learn and develop and grow. It is why I get so frustrated at other evangelicals who seem to think that learning and developing is wrong.

Excellent! That's a definition of "evangelical" that I haven't seen showing up here before, but it is one I can subscribe to absolutely. If there's anything left to be salvaged from the term, that's definitely part of it.

--------------------
Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

Posts: 17943 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

 - Posted      Profile for rolyn         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
I think all of us are not just at liberty but under an expectation to explore our faith, study it in depth, continually learn and apply our faith, and be open to finding more about it.

I would agree on the exploration of faith. It’s probably what keeps me surfing these boards.
Christianity is in many ways a peculiar faith, (with mystery at it’s heart), therefore one can’t help but question and examine it. I suppose I am thinking in terms of whether it is possible to deconstruct God’s Love once a person has become aware of it. It could be called something different if a person was looking to become more inclined towards atheism.

On the matter of liberty, Jesus said to His disciples 'I will make you fishers of men'. I take that to mean once a fish is caught it is not free to return to its former condition.

[ 04. February 2018, 19:18: Message edited by: rolyn ]

--------------------
Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 3206 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
Mark Wuntoo
Shipmate
# 5673

 - Posted      Profile for Mark Wuntoo   Email Mark Wuntoo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:

On the matter of liberty, Jesus said to His disciples 'I will make you fishers of men'. I take that to mean once a fish is caught it is not free to return to its former condition.

'Once saved, always saved.'
We teens were taught that in our conevo church. But just you wait until someone backslides! We're doomed, man, we're doomed (to quote a Dad's Army veteran). [Big Grin]
Oh, we weren't properly saved, were we? [Ultra confused]

--------------------
Blessed are the cracked for they let in the light.

Posts: 1950 | From: Somewhere else. | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Gramps49
Shipmate
# 16378

 - Posted      Profile for Gramps49   Email Gramps49   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Unum Solum Nice to know someone is in the same boat as I. Nothing to fear. Just having to get through it.
Posts: 2193 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

 - Posted      Profile for Schroedinger's cat   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
On the matter of liberty, Jesus said to His disciples 'I will make you fishers of men'. I take that to mean once a fish is caught it is not free to return to its former condition.

As so often, these things can be read two ways. I would say that once God has you, he won't let you go. It means, however much we wrestle with our faith, we do not threaten our salvation.

Or, alternatively, we are not free to return to as we were, simply because we have been changed, we are different. We might return to non-faith, if we choose, but we will have been changed.

--------------------
Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18859 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Anybody who has never gotten a fish into the boat (or onto the dock) only to have it flop back into the water and swim away free has not put in many hours fishing.

It's dangerous to draw too many conclusions from analogies. No two things in an analogy are alike in every way.

--------------------
This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
Host
# 9110

 - Posted      Profile for Barnabas62   Email Barnabas62   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
I am an evangelical by belief, but not a conservative. It is my evangelical belief that tells me we need to learn and develop and grow. It is why I get so frustrated at other evangelicals who seem to think that learning and developing is wrong.

Excellent! That's a definition of "evangelical" that I haven't seen showing up here before, but it is one I can subscribe to absolutely. If there's anything left to be salvaged from the term, that's definitely part of it.
I'll get all repetitive at this stage. I quite like throwing in the Greek "mathetes" = disciple, pupil, learner, follower.

Blue Letter Bible link.

Jesus was an interesting teacher of his disciples. His style was very different to addressing the crowds, much more discursive. He explained in greater detail, listened and answered questions, corrected where necessary. He also released them on mission journeys, to learn stuff by doing it.

So from the gospels we can indeed argue that learning and developing are a normal part of being a modern day disciple. That questioning and discussing, trying things out, are seen very much as part of the process of development.

Like a number who have written here, I had my own time of crisis, which lasted the best part of a year. I was greatly helped by a very good friend who advised that I was going through a time of change, but he was sure I was in God's hands and would be OK.

After I emerged, we had one of those precious conversations. He said that sometimes we construct an idol of God in our journey, sometimes on our own, sometimes with the "help" of others, and this idol gets in the way of seeing God more clearly. In those circumstances, God becomes the God of breaking. He reminded me of the Exodus story of Moses' actions after he saw the golden calf.

"Painful and confusing though it is," he said, "such breakings are not a breakdown. They are a breakout".

Wise man.

--------------------
Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 21397 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Unum Solum
Shipmate
# 18904

 - Posted      Profile for Unum Solum     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I was greatly helped by a very good friend who advised that I was going through a time of change, but he was sure I was in God's hands and would be OK.

Barnabus62 this certainly resonates with me. There have been times and still are times when it has only been the reassurance of friends that I have even clinged to the possibility that God exists. Their concern for me has often felt to me that ‘this’ is what the Love of God is like, this is Jesus.

--------------------
I will not say do not weep for not all tears are an evil. - Gandalf

Posts: 53 | From: Auckland, New Zealand | Registered: Jan 2018  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
Host
# 9110

 - Posted      Profile for Barnabas62   Email Barnabas62   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
It's easier for me to talk about it now - it was over thirty years ago. At the time, it was like a bereavement and a disillusion combined.

--------------------
Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 21397 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
churchgeek

Have candles, will pray
# 5557

 - Posted      Profile for churchgeek   Author's homepage   Email churchgeek   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
It's easier for me to talk about it now - it was over thirty years ago. At the time, it was like a bereavement and a disillusion combined.

I was fortunate to not experience it that way, myself, but I've heard lots of people express that same feeling. Glad to know time heals a bit.

--------------------
I reserve the right to change my mind.

My article on the Virgin of Vladimir

Posts: 7773 | From: Detroit | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
Host
# 9110

 - Posted      Profile for Barnabas62   Email Barnabas62   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Actually, churchgeek, my considered view is that it was both a necessary and helpful experience. It was very painful at the time, but now I think it was a breakout from a way of looking at faith that I needed to escape from. The idol needed breaking.

--------------------
Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 21397 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
I am an evangelical by belief, but not a conservative. It is my evangelical belief that tells me we need to learn and develop and grow. It is why I get so frustrated at other evangelicals who seem to think that learning and developing is wrong.

Excellent! That's a definition of "evangelical" that I haven't seen showing up here before, but it is one I can subscribe to absolutely. If there's anything left to be salvaged from the term, that's definitely part of it.
The problem is twofold. 1. That has nothing in common with any historical definition of evangelicalism. 2. That doesn't distinguish evangelicalism from any other 100 strains of Christianity; in other words, why bother calling yourself an evangelical if you just mean "someone willing to grow." There have been millions of Christians willing to grow before Evangelicalism was invented, and there are millions outside of evangelicalism who are so willing. It's tantamount to saying, "Evangelicalism doesn't really mean anything distinctive."

--------------------
This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Unum Solum
Shipmate
# 18904

 - Posted      Profile for Unum Solum     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I don’t understand the ‘brand’ aspect. As soon as someone identifies themselves as ‘this brand of Christian’ it creates division. I thought that Jesus was all about bringing us together with one Father and we have spent 2000 years turning that family tree into wood chips.

I feel self conscious sometimes hanging the label around my neck as a Christian as I am not sure what that means, it is a designation that has been torn asunder. God alone knows what and who I am, I certainly would not want to put words to it. (As to whether I am saved, I don’t even know how you unpack that statement)

--------------------
I will not say do not weep for not all tears are an evil. - Gandalf

Posts: 53 | From: Auckland, New Zealand | Registered: Jan 2018  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

 - Posted      Profile for Eutychus   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
in other words, why bother calling yourself an evangelical if you just mean "someone willing to grow." There have been millions of Christians willing to grow before Evangelicalism was invented, and there are millions outside of evangelicalism who are so willing.

Of course there are. I realise you only had half my thoughts there.

The distinctive feature of evangelicalism is the role it assigns (or is supposed to) to Scripture compared to big-t Tradition. I can't speak for Schroedinger's Cat, but where his words resonated for me was applying this willingness to learning and developing to our understanding of Scripture.

The distinction I was making was not between evangelicals and the rest of the Church but between evangelicals and "conservatives", as it helped me make sense of some other discussions I'm involved in around here right now.

--------------------
Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

Posts: 17943 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
The problem is twofold. 1. That has nothing in common with any historical definition of evangelicalism. 2. That doesn't distinguish evangelicalism from any other 100 strains of Christianity; in other words, why bother calling yourself an evangelical if you just mean "someone willing to grow." There have been millions of Christians willing to grow before Evangelicalism was invented, and there are millions outside of evangelicalism who are so willing. It's tantamount to saying, "Evangelicalism doesn't really mean anything distinctive."

My observation is this: because Evangelicalism cuts across so many differences in theology and practice, one might argue that it is freeing in terms of innovations in theology and practice in ways that (for example) Orthodoxy is not.

So in that sense Evangelicalism is distinctive in that it has more "headspace" for believers to work out their own ideas within the umbrella of Evangelicalism.

On the other hand, I can see the argument that this is nonsense; that the Orthodox have done pretty well at innovating within certain boundaries that the Evangelicals don't accept and that the Evangelical variations and boundaries are so impossibly wide that this freedom means nothing anyway. Whilst the headspace might exist in theory, in practice almost every Evangelical operates within a pretty tightly managed space of acceptable thoughts and practices.

To me, the most distinctive part of Evangelicalism is simply the massive variety of things and people that operate within that label.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10697 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

 - Posted      Profile for Schroedinger's cat   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
in other words, why bother calling yourself an evangelical if you just mean "someone willing to grow." There have been millions of Christians willing to grow before Evangelicalism was invented, and there are millions outside of evangelicalism who are so willing.

Of course there are. I realise you only had half my thoughts there.

The distinctive feature of evangelicalism is the role it assigns (or is supposed to) to Scripture compared to big-t Tradition. I can't speak for Schroedinger's Cat, but where his words resonated for me was applying this willingness to learning and developing to our understanding of Scripture.

The distinction I was making was not between evangelicals and the rest of the Church but between evangelicals and "conservatives", as it helped me make sense of some other discussions I'm involved in around here right now.

I would agree - an mousethief, I think you are being rather disingenuous here. I did not say this was the entire definition of my faith position. I merely argued that this was somehting I have taken from evangelicalism that others don't. As Eutychus says, it is to distinguish from others who take the title of evangelical.

--------------------
Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18859 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

 - Posted      Profile for SusanDoris   Author's homepage   Email SusanDoris   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
This may be too much of a tangent,Host, but the verb 'grow' has been used quite a few times hereabouts. This, for me only personally of course, can mean only adding more of people's ideas to ones' own.

I suppose with that definition, I too feel I grow - but in greater awareness of knowledge and understanding of what is factual, what is fictional and the area of unknowns which will either become fact or fiction one day.

May I ask how people here would describe how they 'grow?

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Posts: 3079 | From: UK | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
Host
# 9110

 - Posted      Profile for Barnabas62   Email Barnabas62   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
mousethief


Eutychus has put it very well. I think the fracturing of evangelicalism is caused by different ways of looking at the Scriptures. What is common is saying that Scripture and it's meaning is more important than tradition.

So you have evangelicals who say that because Scripture is so important to us, we must be prepared to look honestly and critically at what it says, and in what way are those sayings relevant for today.

And you also have evangelicals who say that scripture is so important to us that we must defend to the death the argument that its authority depends on its consistency and reliability.

I'm definitely in group one, and in addition I have much greater respect for the value of tradition, as a result of looking seriously at church history and the emergence of mainstream doctrines. I don't think being an evangelical is inconsistent with being a Nicene lamb, and respecting the central part tradition has played in the development of that understanding.

Respect for the authority and inspiration of scripture does not exclude being honest about its limitations. I ceased being sola scriptural many years ago.

--------------------
Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 21397 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
Shipmate
# 14322

 - Posted      Profile for Enoch   Email Enoch   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
This may be too much of a tangent,Host, but the verb 'grow' has been used quite a few times hereabouts. This, for me only personally of course, can mean only adding more of people's ideas to ones' own.

I suppose with that definition, I too feel I grow - but in greater awareness of knowledge and understanding of what is factual, what is fictional and the area of unknowns which will either become fact or fiction one day.

May I ask how people here would describe how they 'grow?

SusanDoris, I agree. I think that is a tangent. However, if I might take you up on your more fundamental question, I disagree. I don't think growing has much to do with,
quote:
adding more of people's ideas to ones' own.
Nor is coming to have a
quote:
greater awareness of knowledge and understanding of what is factual, what is fictional
any more than a small part of growth.

'Growth', I think, is much more about something that happens (or sadly, doesn't always happen) to one's spirit as one becomes more mature, more reflective and one hopes, a bit humbler. It's a bit difficult to describe it but when you see other people who have got it, one recognises it. In part, it's the difference between acquiring knowledge and becoming wise.

--------------------
Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7610 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Kaplan Corday
Shipmate
# 16119

 - Posted      Profile for Kaplan Corday         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I ceased being sola scriptural many years ago.

So did I.

The appropriate expression is prima scriptura, which recognises the role of tradition. reason and experience (and, I would add, imagination), while facing the facts that:-

a. Scripture remains the basic and primary material which we have to process, inevitably incorporating those factors

b. as a matter of Christian maturity, it is necessary to develop some sort of hermeneutic beyond puerile subjectivity ("Well, the God I choose to believe in would/wouldn't...") in doing that processing

Posts: 3355 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
Host
# 9110

 - Posted      Profile for Barnabas62   Email Barnabas62   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Yes, I agree. The real arguments all relate to the kinds of hermeneutics which respect the authority and inspiration of scripture.

--------------------
Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 21397 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

 - Posted      Profile for mark_in_manchester   Email mark_in_manchester   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Enoch wrote
quote:

'Growth', I think, is much more about something that happens (or sadly, doesn't always happen) to one's spirit as one becomes more mature, more reflective and one hopes, a bit humbler. It's a bit difficult to describe it but when you see other people who have got it, one recognises it. In part, it's the difference between acquiring knowledge and becoming wise.

That reminds me of a quote from Marilynne Robinson (I think in one of the essays in 'When I was a child I read books'). I dug it out in a form more reliable than I could manage from memory using Google:


quote:
“Wisdom, which is almost always another name for humility, lies in accepting one's own inevitable share in human fallibility”


--------------------
"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

Posts: 1596 | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
S. Cat, You didn't specifically say you were giving a definition, but Eutychus took what you said as a definition (using that exact word), and I was reacting to that.

Kaplan Corday, if that's your definition of Prima Scriptura, then the Orthodox are Prima Scriptura. Scripture is the central pillar of the Church's big-T tradition. It is definitely Prima.

--------------------
This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Give me puerile subjectivity any time.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Unum Solum
Shipmate
# 18904

 - Posted      Profile for Unum Solum     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
This blog post The scandal of the Evangelical mind is that you cant use it reminded me of this discussion on Evangelicalism and thought/growth.

--------------------
I will not say do not weep for not all tears are an evil. - Gandalf

Posts: 53 | From: Auckland, New Zealand | Registered: Jan 2018  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
One and Only, you can't go wrong with McLaren and Rollins, though I don't read them any more. Because the entire conversation is an echo chamber. Evangelicalism pretending to be intellectually honest is impossible, a doomed joke that we will always have with us, yes, as the link shows. It isn't redeemable. But it does good works. Nothing else does as far as I have EVER seen. So I stick with it as a mainly silent, painless thorn in its side. Post-E, the only writers, broadcasters I bother with are Steve Chalke and Rob Bell (who's coming to sunny Leicester! Four years after Benny Hinn did...). They are outside the bubble.

The touchstone is gay marriage and the end of damnationism. They will never change. All true Evangelicals are homophobic damnationists, Scotsmen or otherwise.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged


 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools