a bone to pick

with my in-between-y theological views (but does anyone have ideas that are not in between something and another?), i’ve often felt ostracized by one group, and then another.  i’ve been told to stop reading the footnotes in a bible study because it will prevent me from gaining access to ‘god’s truth’.  and on the other hand, i’ve been judged for not being extreme enough, not being left enough, very much not being prophetic enough.  most people tend to fall between the extremes, and it is among we middle-grounders that dialogue and compromise is most prevalent.

because of this, a sojourners article caught my eye on my twitter feed that made me consider the middle ground again: caught between two worlds: progressive and evangelical. the author, aaron taylor, speaks about the ostracism he felt while working with a Christian Peacemaker Team in the west bank of palestine, and at first, i was able to relate with his sense of isolation.  the only evangelical of the group, he worked alongside theologically liberal christians for peace, and experienced their questions and probing about why he feels that jesus is the only true way to god.  he questions, “I wonder if we’ve gone too far in laboring to share physical bread with the masses that we’ve neglected to share the “Living Bread” with the masses.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Commissioning my self

This week, my heart is in a state of delicate preparation: I will graduate from seminary. The past three years at Union have been those of a constant prodding: a loosening of scripture from bonds of intolerance and injustice, a massaging of my heart to understand (if not to forgive), and an unfolding of my mind to questions, to uncertainty, and to flexibility.

Some years ago, before coming to Union, I went to the Boundary Waters (on the Minnesota-Canada border) with a group of friends from bible camp. A seemingly endless chain of cold, clear lakes linking upon lakes, the Boundary Waters provides peaceful respite from motor-boats, pontoons, and other forms of civilization. There, one’s heart can wander amongst the stars even as the body submerges the mind, relentlessly sweeping away useless thoughts as a paddle cuts through water.

Lake Saganaga, Boundary Waters

Lake Saganaga, Boundary Waters

This trip, however, my heart could not wander freely with the stars. Instead, it is the moment in my particular history to which I pinpoint the death of my ‘faith’, at least as it existed at that time. Read the rest of this entry »