Dave-ism

I am realizing that the tension I raised in my last post reflects the common tendency in North America to choose faith or truth on the basis of personal preference. One of my professors, John Stackhouse, recently posted on his blog (highly recommended!) under the heading "Spirituality: Informal, implicit, invisible..." His main point surrounds what he refers to as “do-it-yourself religion.” In the smorgasbord of religion, choice is left up to the individual where any sort of faith experience is completely separate from organized religion. Hence the motto “I’m not religious, but I’m spiritual.” Professor Stackhouse is simply describing the modern context in which faith is practiced. This situation of personal faith leads to what he calls “Sheila-ism.” Basically, religion has become a mere reflection of personal choice and experience. All you have to do is take your name and insert it in front of “ism.” While I understand this is likely a reaction against traditional religion where choice was often left to an elite few and then imposed upon society, I just wonder if we perhaps have swung too far in the other direction…

Referring, then, to my question of personality and truth, I wonder if a sole understanding of reality and faith that is completely personal (Dave-ism) will bring sustained meaning and understanding to my life? Somehow, I think there is more, not at the expense of my personality, but at the same time not based on it. What this is, well, that I am still exploring…

So, once again I have not concluded the issue, but I think the question of whether or not my life is simply a “Dave-ism” is a helpful challenge to myself, and perhaps you as well…

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