Sometimes I Don’t Believe In God Either

The atheists say I am weak for holding onto faith. I’m supposed to let it all go. God’s not here. He doesn’t answer prayers. I’m all alone. Just let it go, they say.

The Christians think I am weak for doubting. I’m not strong in my faith. I’m weak in my faith. Or so they say.


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On the never-ending need of Western Christians to warn the non-Western Church

Works of African, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern theologians are designated as ‘contextual’ whereas works of British or American theologians are marked as ‘theology’, as if they were not also products of their context, as if they do theology outside of parameters of a language, culture and preferred methodologies of interpretation and application. This grants Western theology a supra-contextual status and relegates non-Western theology to an inferior, semi-theology status.


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silence and selfhood

Previously, my struggle, tears, sadnesses had been viewed with a kind of courageous vulnerability. One woman told me, that first semester, that she wanted to sit at my table to see when I cry, because that would signal to her that she should be feeling more than she is. When even my emotions, my falling-apart-ness, were viewed as leadership, I was always on display. When I pointed out that such pedestals are tall and shaky and easy to fall off, people thought that even the falling was beautiful and taught them about themselves, so I was never allowed to fully crash off the pedestal. When I cried that it’s lonely on a pedestal, people said they were there for me, but it was clear that they were there to keep me on the pedestal. Now, students are finally starting to see that my struggle is real and the cost is deep. They still come to me with problems and questions, but more quietly. Most no longer approach me as a rockstar sage, but come to me as a person. They ask how I’m doing, too.


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Jones vs Borg on the Resurrection

Dear Marcus Borg: Please Reconsider the Resurrection

It’s a fascinating discussion, and I don’t know that I agree (or completely understand – my fault, not Tony’s) with Jones’ position but I really do like these three bits:

First he admits that:

I don’t insist, I believe. I think Jesus actually came back from the dead, and I believe it to be so. But I surely don’t insist that is the case, and I entertain the possibility that it may not have been.

Second, he writes:

My point is this: Since the prominence of the Jesus Seminar in the 1980s and 1990s, most Western Christians have been well aware of the option Borg presents: you can be a Christian and reject the majority belief in the physical resurrection. And the vast majority of Christians have not embraced that position. Call us fideists or naive, but this idea simply has not captured the imagination of very many Christians. And I listen to that evidence, like a judge listens to a jury. The verdict is in: Jesus rose from the dead.

Which seems to contradict the first bit because that sounds a lot to me like insisting rather than just believing.

But then thirdly, he admits that the relationship between his statements is “tricky.”

How this happened, especially holding a weak metaphysic, as I do, is tricky. I’m working that out, and I’ll continue to this week on QTH. And I don’t want to dichotomize between spiritual and physical resurrection — that’s why I tend to refer to it as a “material” resurrection. A materialist Christianity recognizes that what we experience as the “laws of physics” are actually a lot more plastic than previously assumed. In fact, I think that as quantum theory develops, a materialist resurrection will seem more and more compelling.

And what I love and appreciate about this move is that Jones is being himself in and open and honest way. He states plainly what he believes, seems to contradicts himself, and then admits that perhaps his belief system isn’t airtight.

Stated more plainly, I love the lack of pretense and posturing. I love that this is a dialogue between two really bright people and that both are engaging one another honestly.

I’d love to see more of this in Christianity and in the world.


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See also:

Jones’ post that started this tussle:
And Borg’s response:

God, Gender, and Discomfort

Discomfort Part 1: Gender and Other Discomforting Topics

And, since I never want to make anyone uncomfortable, I know that it’s better to just stay silent.

Except that it isn’t. What’s better is to say something that isn’t quite right and then talk about the ways in which it is wrong. I hate the discomfort of being wrong, but the fact of the matter is that language can never get it fully right and so to think and explore necessitates risking some measure of wrong-ness. But just because it is some wrong doesn’t mean it isn’t also some right. To challenge the status quo and to create a new imagination I must risk the discomfort of wrong in order to also experience the joy and renewal of right.


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the spiritual lottery (part 2)

And the people who keep waiting for the blessings keep wondering what’s wrong. They think maybe they’re wrong or that God doesn’t love them or that the church is full of shit. And so they leave. And then back at church, maybe the pastor points to these people who don’t attend anymore as examples of people who were unfaithful and who would never see blessings.

And the fortunate ones nod their heads in agreement while the (still) waiting ones cower in fear, shame, and expectation.


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the spiritual lottery (part 1) – the transaction

Whether they mean to or not (they probably don’t), messages like this paint God out to be nothing more than a machine – one that gives out based on what you put in. Seen from the other end, it’s a machine where if you don’t put in, you won’t get out.


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