I read recently that Christian blogs are more interesting when the author is in the stage of faith when they are doubting and questioning – in the way that music and literature is more interesting when written by a tortured soul.
The irony for me is that when I began this blog I was in the grip of a mindset of absolute certainty. This certainty encompassed not only that which I believed, but also that what I believed was absolute truth.
I reflect back on this with some embarrassment, as now many of those beliefs have shifted or changed completely.
Don’t get me wrong, I still hold to the central dogmas of Christianity, as I did back then; however, the assuredness of my ability to fully grasp those dogmas has diminished.
I note with interest that fundamentalist Christians along with fundamentalist atheists appear to exhibit absolutely no doubt. They are cast iron sure. And yet they can’t both be right. And so certainty can be a slippery gauge indeed.
I had certainty at the very time when I should not have. For example, I was certain that private revelation and interpretation of Scripture was the way to truth, and the majority of the Church was in error.
So, at the very time that I sundered myself from the traditions and teaching of the accumulated body of knowledge revealed to the Church over two millennia, was the very time that I held the utmost certainty in my beliefs.
Being my own Pope and Magisterium led me to the insanity of believing in myself.
Nowadays I do have doubts and frequently wrestle with certain teachings of the Church, but I will always now fall upon her as the authority.
I have cast aside the bondage of certainty and am freed to truly explore my faith.
And in doing so I discovered something already discovered. Christianity.
And now I don’t have all the answers and perhaps that’s why I continue blogging.
Vic the Vicar made this comment in response to an email asking: ‘Why don’t you do more theology like the other blogs?’
The second question regarding theology is an interesting one as I think that there is a great deal of theology in what is to be found in this place. What I think the question is asking is, “Why don’t you use theologyspeak?” The answer is that as one who seeks to be a theologian my task is to make the difficult concepts and issues that occur in Christian living understandable and to encourage those who stumble upon the simple concepts to make them everyday occurences. One of the courses of study I undertook challenged us to write about theological issues without the theological shorthand (eschatalogical, soterological, theodicy and the like).
I agree with this. There are many bloggers who specialise in theology and I’m sure they are amazing, but very often I find them boring and dry and rather akin to straining a gnat.
I’m glad I’m not a scholar in theology or philosophy or anything really. It frees me to chart my progress – or otherwise – using everyday language.
As Dr Jim West so rightly says: Everything is for the theological grist.
I often get it wrong, but you know what, that’s OK, as I’m not a teacher but a pilgrim on my journey…..