Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bricolage 2: Another Perspective to Searching for a Workable Faith

From Richard Beck, psychology professor at Abilene Christian University, from his personal blog "experimental theology": Another example of Theological "Bricolage".  I'm not as broken as he is in my construct, but maybe I should be. It would be more honest. This guy has captured well thoughts and emotions that I have had and felt, especially in the current church situation in South Carolina. CH +

The Shipwrecked and the Catchers

On my bike ride to work today I was trying to think about how this blog might sound to more conservative Christians and how it might appear to the rest of us. This was the analogy I came up with.

If your faith and doctrine are like a beautiful house, with the clean lines of certainty and the firm foundation of God's Truth, then letting me into your house would be, I'd expect, quite unsettling. Because I'd always be looking at a wall and saying "Is this a load bearing wall? Let me knock it down to see!" Day in and day out, this is exactly what this blog would feel like. Me trying to knock down every wall in the house. In short, from this vantage point--inside a beautiful house--all my work appears to be inherently destructive, breaking down and tearing up this beautiful building. So of course you'd want me to stop that. You'd want to protect the house.

But that's not really the best way to understand this blog. See, I had a nice house once. But a hurricane hit it. From a faith perspective I'm in a post-Katrina situation. All I have left is a bunch of rubble.

So what I do here, week in and week out, is to try to piece this rubble back together. In any given post you'll see me holding up two broken pieces of faith and wondering "Do these go together?" Or, because much of what I find in the rubble is broken and beyond repair, you'll also find me in any given post bulldozing stuff out of the way to clear room for the faith I'm constructing.

In short, when you read this blog you are watching a person pick through the rubble of his faith, a person trying to find anything useful that has been left behind.

So if you come here already living in a nice house what I'm doing here is, given your fireside view, going to feel destructive to you. But if you realize I'm actually standing on a heap of rubble hopefully you'll see that what I'm doing is constructive. I'm building, I'm not tearing down.

And this building is very much a work in progress. I don't know where it all is heading. I just keep at the work, looking for ways to build a shelter of faith from the rubble I'm standing on. And this very personal agenda governs the way I search theology. I'm not a theologian. And much of what passes for theology today leaves me cold. So when I read theology I'm actually looking for a lifeline, some new way of thinking about this rubble that allows me to fit the pieces together.
--Richard Beck
10:28 pm, June 30, 2013

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