A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Monday, March 07, 2005

I've been asked: what would it mean to leave Christianity? I think I may have mispoken in that my theological committments have not changed and my interest in certain forms of protestant thought, especially the religious naturalism of the chicago school continues. I don't really have another religion in mind as much as I'm struggling with what it means to identify as Christian, given the direction the religion has taken in this country and around the world. I'll post on this issue next time.

In other news Father Roger Haight, formerly at Weston Jesuit School of Theology, has recently joined the growing list of theologians who have been punished by the Vatican. The case centers around Haight's book Jesus: Symbol of God, which was criticized as having too low of a christology. He's now forbidden from teaching as a catholic theologian. It's cases like this which makes me wonder how freedom of inquiry is ever able to find expression in certain religious contexts.

'Seventeen scholars from 12 campuses have released a strong statement against a proposal that the ELCA Lutheran officially maintain its stance against same-sex ceremonies and gay clergy while tolerating dissent from that policy.' Apparently they want the power to punishcongregations and ministers so as to not "fatally extend the boundaries of diversity". I also came across a website called, Good Soil. It's a group of folks working to extend the boundaries of the ELCA to include gay and lesbians into the full life and ministry of the church.

For those following the evolution in public schools controversy, there might be some frustration at seeing religion being pitted against biology. Now there's an online effort to gather signatures of clergy and others who work for religious institutions which urges a recognition that it's possible to believe in God and evolution, religious faith and the findings of the sciences. Click here if you're interested in adding your name or finding out about this effort.

I also wanted to highlight Questioning Christian's site which has a number of thought provoking posts on the future of the Anglican communion. And a quote from everyvoice.net which captures a level of frustration some of us hold whenever we hear the Anglican primates are about to meet.

"I am determined to avoid every assembly of bishops. I have never seen a single instance in which a synod did any good. Strife and ambition dominate them to an incredible degree. From councils and synods I will keep myself at a distance, for I have experienced that most of them, to speak with moderation, are not worth much. I will not sit in the seat of synods, while geese and cranes confusedly wrangle."-St. Gregory Nazianzen, A.D. 382


At 9:47 AM , Blogger Xpatriated Texan said...

Dwight, your pain over this issue is palpable. It is similar to the pain I felt as a young Evangelical when my church became politicized around the issue of abortion. I felt as if I could not continue to be a Christian if this is what Christianity meant.

I spent many years wandering. I tried various denominations and even attempted to be agnostic. I simply could not escape the truth in my soul that God exists and that I am an evangelical christian.

This does not mean that I support what my church has become. It means that I now act as a "voice in the wilderness". There are many times I miss the sense of community and sometimes I even question if what I am doing is right. At those times, God speaks to me in a soft whisper deep in my soul. It is never wrong to give a voice to the oppressed.

God bless


At 3:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 8:55 AM , Anonymous Jeff said...

Dwight, it seems that you're speaking as if the whole of Christianity is moving lock step in one direction. Though there may be some elements that are doing so, isn't it more likely that you are becoming aware of what it has always been? Your own quote from Gregory seems to bear that out. This is the church, broken and sinning through it may be, and this is what the church has always been. And yet the Spirit still broods over the bent thing with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.


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