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BloggingOn 8.2 - Matters of Faith

Only a couple posts this week. The last few classes I've noticed myself content to lurk in the background and not offer all that much to class discussion. In class last week it occured to me that maybe it was because I was "saying it all" here on my blog. So, this week I'm "saving it for game-day", or whatever.

Truth be told, I've also been hack-a-loo sick since last Wednesday, so I've been clickin' and checkin' but not so inspired to write. Hopefully, I won't be coughing up a lung all class long tonight (like I was in Lauter's "lit. of social protest" yesterday evening).

Here are a few thoughts before we take the field at the WoodN'Tap...

What is the intended audience for blogs like anvil & fire and doxoblogy? While it needs to be assessed on a blog-by-blog basis (or perhaps post-by-post), are religious blogs (even evangelical ones) intending to make converts or are they just sharing the good word among the flock?

While it might be easy to take offense to something like this, maybe it's really just a party to which we are not invited (and the party I'm referring to is doxoblogy, not the sweethereafter).
Check out (anvil & fire) John Rush's satirical comment down there. It took me a few lines to figure out this one was a joke, which makes me think it's pretty right on. Here's the best bit of it: In the name of tolerance, I will do all I can to silence, trivialize, marginalize, and stop you.

As we look at religious blogs that unabashedly stand for their doctrine-of-choice there may be a knee-jerk reaction to anything that smacks of preaching and evangelism, but I'd like to assert that the reactionary stance lampooned in John's comment is just as bad, if not worse. In the name of religious pluralism (moral relativism... devotional secularism/atheism) we deny believers the right to express their true beliefs, lest they be painted as close-minded non-thinking biggots who are trying to "cram the truth down our throats".

This leaves them with a difficult project: to express the Truth while accomodating for the possibility of conflicting opinions. I believe this particular charge goes against the very nature of theistic faith and belief.

In describing orthodox Judaism, a friend of mine used the words "uncompromising monotheism". It has occured to me ever since that monotheism can't be anything but uncompromising, which is perhaps a much larger idea than I intend to dive into right now. What I mean to say is, ugh...

While I may be marginalized and denied my "heavenly reward" by doxoblogy's little top ten, I have to say "more power to 'em". If for no other reason than denying him his two cents is in a way to deny The God he is attempting to glorify.


5 Responses to “”

  1. Blogger Jeremy Weaver 

    Thanks. You've got perspective. It is true that I write my posts for other Christians to read, since I didn't think non-Christians would really be interested in what I have to say.
    But I will try to be more sensitive in the future, in an uncompromising way of course.

  2. Blogger John Rush 

    Eric,

    Good post.

    I'm not sure exactly how I got swept up in the ongoing discussion in your circle, but it is fine with me.

    Just for the record: I believe in the First Amendment, unlike some of my secular counterparts appear to believe. I believe in Religious Liberty for All.

    It seems that it is the secular movement who wishes to restrict, silence, trivialize, and marginalize theists of any kind--but mostly Christians. There is a systematic and effective movement to disconnect America from her past and from any religious influence anywhere. Tell me, who then is the friends or enemies of freedom? (Would be an interesting debate, huh?)

    In a culture that is increasingly hostile to its own heritage, this can put us Christians on the defensive. Just read what some in your circle--thankfully not you-- have said equating Jeremy and me with Islamic terrorists. Now that is bigotry and ignorance if I have ever seen it. When I read stuff like that, I wonder at the magnitude of the total disconnect with reality a person can have.

    I'd like to say as well, that belief in Christ or "faith" or "theism" does not put an end to intellectual pursuits. To instantly assume that it does is simply naive. Some of the greatest thinkers of the past and present are theists. I wish I were one of them--"great thinkers" that is.

    I find few secular-minded people willing to listen to good reasons for faith. Many simply put their hands to their ears and call out some derivative of the word "stupid." I'm glad that you are not one of them.

    I, however, do not believe that secularists are stupid. I believe that they are wrong.

    I have gone through serious doubts about Christianity. (And I am sure there are folks encountering serious doubts about atheism, agnosticism, or Buddhism.) I didn't "fall off the turnip wagon yesterday"--as folks 'round here say. I know what it is like to NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE and hammer out issues. As a result, I'm willing to do the same for others.

    A lot of discussion has been about my unwillingness to interact with people. Another disconnect. But an understandable disconnect if such unwillingness is measured by comments on an insignificant blog. I can't grab people by the nape of the neck and force them to leave comments. Is it a crime to be dull?

    I have never put a banner up that said, "Hey Stupid! Don't Comment Here!"

    This shows the limitations of the 'Net, email, and especially blogging. You don't know people till you can sit down and talk a while.

    But I want to make my life NOT ABOUT ME. My goal is to exalt Christ. Thanks for YOUR open-mindedness in understanding that.

    Oh, and remember: reason and faith are not mutually exclusive.

    JRush

  3. Blogger ericdbernasek 

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for the prompt and thoughtful comments. The instant-gratification of the blogosphere catches me off-guard sometimes.

    First off, just so my position is clear, I am not an atheist or a secularist (far from it), I'm just not a Christian.

    I believe that what some of my classmates may be responding to is the exclusive claim some Christians make for salvation and a meaningful relationship with God. I wonder if any of them are also among the faithful, of any religion, but even if they are atheists/secularists I'm sure you can understand that this exclusive attitiude is a little off-putting, at best.

    I am of the opinion that all of the genuine religious traditions of the world are expressions of God's design for us here in the material world, tempered by time, place and circumstance. Any conversation regarding so-called comparative religion would, I think, be better served by trying to find the religion (or religions?) that is most inclusive and comprehensive instead of trying to establish the religion that is "superior" to all others. If we can't gain strength and inspiration from other dear servants of God (whether He has ordained that they be born in the families of Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or Christians) then how deep can our relationship with Him be?

    That being said, I agree with John (rather zealously... over-zealously?) that American culture is currently interested in "restricting, silencing, trivializing and marginalizing theists of any kind". It is a campaign that is both subtle and not-so-subtle, and one that is perpetrated on a mostly unconscious level. The people I encounter who are the most averse to "organized religion" in all shpaes and sizes are almost always completely thoughtless about it. Thoughtless in the sense that they are totally unwilling to examine what a "believer" has to say. The fact that something is coming from the mouth of a theist is enough for some people to dismiss it entirely (thought unheard?).

    Again, _that_ being said, I also think that it's difficult for those who might consider themselves liberals to accept that Christians (in particular)are being victimized in our society. With the present political-clout of the so-called religious right in the White House and Washington, I think liberals find the victimization of Christians to be an altogether ridiculous idea.

    This is a sticky subject to me. While founded on Christian ideals, our Constitution clearly separates "church and state". If we intend to honor the Constitution, then we must keep this in mind, but then I also find it a totally acceptable notion that church and state should not be separate entities after all. I would argue that in a (supposedly) pluralistic society like this one, the possible marriage of church and state might more closely resemble some sort of polygomous union. At any rate... something else to think about.

    Thanks again for your comments. May you remain sincerely engaged in the service of you-know-Who.

    Hare Krishna

    e

  4. Blogger John Rush 

    I'll leave you alone, Eric. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. And I understand where you are coming from.

    JRush

  5. Blogger ericdbernasek 

    Why leave me alone? I appreciated your comments and was looking forward to a little dialogue. I didn't mean to be off-putting.

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