In this week’s Gospel reading, Jesus heals many sick people and casts out many demons. I’ve been thinking about healing a lot lately.
When the congregation starts reciting the creed, I do one of two things: argue with it in my head, or zone out and stop listening.
“Truth is in constant transit. The difference between a liberal and a conservative, I think, is the stomach you have for the journey.”
A pet topic of mine is the tendency of some Christians to fixate on belief and its boundaries. You can't just state why you think belief in x, y, and z is important to Christian faith and life; you have to claim that those who believe x and y but not so much z are not real Christians. You can't just disagree with someone with a different view from yours; you have to stage an inquisition. It frustrates me to see this all-belief-all-the-time orientation used to frame things as us real Christians vs. them fake ones. When people take a similar approach in drawing themselves outside the circle, it just makes me sad.
Most spiritual leaders have wrestled with faith. Most of your pastors and most of the people that you look up to have questioned their faith and doubted God. It’s just that when we do it, we call it fancy, poetic things, like, “The dark night of the soul.”
According to Robert Wuthnow, well-educated Americans have reconfigured their religious language in terms of reasonableness—and thus retained a place for the supernatural in everyday life.
Alain de Botton is offiicially enthusiastic, but his book is wistful. Atheists who pick it up may find themselves undergoing a crisis of faithlessness.
Do people join a church because they share its members' beliefs? This has become the putative ideal, the only pure motivation for church affiliation. But I have seldom heard it voiced at our new members' class.