Confessions of a left wing, post-modern, emergent Christian

So I found myself in this theological mood, wanting to post something.

My natural tendency was to write about areas I’m sure I’m right.

And there are areas I’m sure I’m right.

As I was going through a mental list of issues that I’m pretty good at arguing, it occurred to me: at best this is all silly.  At worst, it’s contrary to the nature of Christ.

What would have happened if I’d gone in that direction is this: a handfull of people would have read it.  A few kind folks would have posted in a supportive manner.  A few folks whom I’d offended would post rebuttalls.  We’d all recite our lines.  And end up basically where we started.

One of the things I know is that Jesus was all about turning everything upside down.  I know that He was about submission, not domination.  I know that he would not have bothered to blog about the same old issues so that He’d have an excuse to spout out the same old rhetoric.

Furthermore, I know that the progressive and emergent understandings of Christ are ones that generally resonate with me.  Wherever there is a disagreement (and I think this is not as often as it’s made out to be) I tend to side with the Brian McLaren/ Rob Bell crowd over the voices of old school, more traditional Christianity.

Having said all that, I realize that I am far from having worked everything out.   There are things that make me uncomfortable about my world view. .. Things I don’t know how to sort out.  In the next bunch of posts I’ll share these.  I invite readers to help me through these issues… Tell me where you’re coming from, tell me how I’ve got it wrong. 

The issues that pop into my head that I’ll cover (though perhaps more will spring up as I go:)

#1) homosexuality

#2) The meaning of innerancy in scripture (and the related issues of interpretation: when should we interpret things literally… when should we interpret them symbolically.)

#3) The role that faith should play in politics/public education

#4) The nature of the trinity and the relationship of Jesus to God the father.

#5) The comparitive importance of faith to works.

I guess what it comes down to is that I see that there are problems with both progressive and traditional views on the above issues. 

As I look at that list, I realize how fundamental most of those issues are.  Despite the appearance to the contrary I actually have a pretty developed faith in many ways… But there are a few (often minor) areas that I’m still wrestling with God in each of these areas.   For example, I’ve got most of the whole faith/works thing worked out, but there’s a few nagging details that I’m still working on.

Looking foreward to your responses,



Published by


The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s