Out of the Silence…

I’m not going make a big deal out of the silence as of late, except to say that I am still here. So if you're still reading my blog, the following phrases represent several concepts that have been running through my mind in the past month. I’m sure I could expand more on each thought, but for now I just offer some questions that have been swirling in my head related to the ideas.

Strategy or Doctrine?

A major challenge facing churches in the 21st century relates to the question of cultural relevance. How do we distinguish between what are mere strategies what is unchangeable truths? Fun stuff for anyone wrestling with the church’s practical relationship in society…

Distracted Loneliness

Is our obsession with technology a form of distracting ourselves from the fact that we are simply lonely but unable/willing to invest in relationships beyond cyperspace? (ie. Facebook, to which I am also a participant!)

God’s Shalom Project

Do we really believe and embrace the hope that God is in the process of restoring reality? Do we as Christians embody shalom in our lives?

Versatility of Love

Realizing the challenge of universal and timeless ethics, is it possible that the principle of love in the New Testament can guide our practical decision making in regards to ethical dilemmas we have in our personal lives as well as society in general?

Stuck In-between Reality and Ideals

Is it okay for Christian communities to settle for the best realistic option, even if that is less than ideal? How do we live in the tension that the Christian ideal, while experienced in glimpses, is not yet fully realized?

Cultivated Doubt

In our age of skepticism towards organized Christianity, both from within the church and from society, how do appropriately deal with the doubts we have? Do we cultivate doubt or learn to live with it?

Freedom – Do we really get it?

How is the understanding of freedom as “freedom from something” give us a narrow view of what Christian freedom truly means? How can an understanding of “freedom into something” challenge individualistic interpretations of the Christian faith?

Paradoxical Authority

Do we really believe that the biblical witness of true power in the form of unprotectedness and vulnerability will ironically turn other types of authority upside down?

Christian Theology of Everything

In a time of continuing scrutiny directed at Christianity from all sides, are Christians willing to engage the task of articulating their understanding of the universe and existence that is both biblically sound and scientifically believable? (yikes!)

If you have any thoughts or questions on any of these feel free to comments. I hope to elaborate on several of these topics as I continue to reflect…


Ryan said...

Whew, sounds like you've been doing some thinking out there on the plains Dave...

The bit you wrote about the nature (and abuse?) of freedom really resonates. Our society is so litigious and rights-obsessed that it's difficult to even imagine anything like a conception of freedom as "freedom to" do or be something taking hold.

One of the thing that I find refreshing in Miroslav Volf is his emphasis on social agents versus social arrangements. In other words, he's less concerned about what kind of societies we conjure up to protect all of our freedoms than with "what kind of selves we need to be in order to live in harmony with others." Maybe this is where the "freedom to" versus "freedom from" comes in.

I have no idea how (or if) something like this could be transferred to a broader cultural level, but it seems like if the church could model this rather than mimicking the general obsession with rights, that would be a start.

dwark said...

Volf does provide some good insight. thanks! His point about social arrangements being somewhat secondary to harmony is interesting and like you suggest, difficult to envision on a broader level. I wonder if the lack clarity for how this harmony plays itself out is a necessary component to being the selves we need to be. A situation where the principles of harmony take precedence over the details of society. This way, our identity as individuals and communities can shape the culture, not the other way around, as the present situation of rights obsession seems to be doing in our understanding of self.

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