Thursday, 4 February 2010

Challenges to Faith

I was challenged on Facebook with what happens if you answer Brian McLaren with B:
When I am presented with a new idea or proposal, my first question is more likely to be ...
___A. Is it acceptable to my religious/ideological community or belief system?
___B. Is it possibly true, valuable, and worth exploring?
 This was as a result of my previous blog.

The short answer is that life carries on as normal!  I suspect that behind it is the question of how you can have faith if you are prepared to evaluate ideas which are contrary to it.  I would argue that if you are not willing to do so then you have certainty, not faith (I know that sounds a little trite).  When training we were talking about dialogue with Muslims, and one of the criteria for a good dialogue is that you are prepared to change your mind, even if you are confident that you won't!

My faith is open to new insight - I believe in faith as a journey, so how could it not be - and it is conceivable that something will come along that will change it - perhaps even to the extent of moving me outside the church.  But then Jesus didn't come to found a church, he came to bring in the Kingdom of God.

As my faith is founded on the two great commandments, rather than a large number of rules, then I believe that it is perhaps more resilient to challenge from outside.  And I think that Jesus had some things to say about those overly concerned with rules!

Finally, I believe that God helps us find God.  Joan Chittister, in her commentary on the Rule of Benedict writes:
It is the goodness of God, not any virtue that we have developed on our own, that brings us to the heart of God. And it is with God's help we seek to go there.


  1. Keep meaning to thank you for this one - made me think a lot:



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