Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Theological Trapeze Act

I've been looking around for a way to describe my theological journey lately and have not been able to find a useful enough analogy. I am not sure this is it, but trapeze is one analogy. I just got done talking with j's friend, who has also gone to Seminary and has read "If God is Love" and "If Grace is True" by Gully & Mulholland. While we were talking he mentioned how he spent some time looking for new theological community after reading those books. Not thinking it was helpful to just create his own theology.

The way I pictured this for me is that in my wresting with all that I wonder about I am on a trapeze and need other people with their hands outstretched to grab onto. I know that the things I wrestle with are more progressive than my family thinks and it helps me to know I am not alone and to know smart, godly people have traveled the same journey as I have and come to similar theological understandings.

For j's friend to know of pastors and scholars who think differently than his evangelical upbringing gave his exploration and 'different' thoughts more credibility or validity. I feel this way too. Even if we think we explore on our own, we don't. Our belief is impacted by the family that raised us and then the family we choose--theologically.

For me this can feel a bit like letting go from one trapeze bar to grab onto someone's hands whose legs are wrapped around another one swinging towards me. There is some risk. Still it's the only way to get across.

The conversation about the Gulley/Mulholland books did not solve any huge mysteries, but it did offer me more dialog partners. He recommended two other authors.
  • The One Purpose of God - by Bonda
  • The Heart of Christianity - by Marcus Borg

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Definitely read "The Heart of Christianity." I credit it with keeping me from being a raging agnostic. His paradigm shift concerning the way we view God, Jesus, and the Bible had a profound influence on my spiritual life.