Thursday, April 9, 2009

my shoulders hurt

My new favorite blog is Unreasonable Faith, which tells of a former Christian's journey from fundamentalist faith into skepticism. Recently, guest blogger vorjack posted an amazing essay which resonated deep within me. It begins with this quote:
Most of the advanced schools of theology, feeling less adequate in a time of science's empirical miracles and permanent, mathematical truths, protected themselves with scaled-down promises and vague imitations of the scientific method....

Theology, which had once ruled all science as well as all being, was resorting to more and more elaborate shrugs.
Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters, 91.
Vorjack then goes on to describe his personal journey from "unreflective" moderate Christianity to the liberal Christianity he found when reading the writings of Spong, Borg and the like...
I have to admit, there was a sense of relief to the transition. Finally I was finding a way to be Christian that didn’t inflict cognitive dissonance. But the price of that was a Christianity that was vague and maddeningly complex. Spong called it a state of “radical uncertainty” — I called it exhausting.

Christianity had become a series of increasingly elaborate shrugs, and after four or five years my shoulders were worn out.

Wow, my shoulders are also exhausted. I have been journeying through liberal Christianity for well over a decade now. And while at times, the communities with whom I have encountered have been nourishing and supportive, right now, I feel disconnected and isolated. And I have experienced the liberal church being as dysfunctional and abusive as our conservative counterparts. I guess I didn't mind the shrugging so much when I was in the fellowship of other skeptics. Those reciprocal back rubs surely helped. But alone, my shoulders hurt.

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