Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
Luke 2: 8 – 14
Continue reading “07. Good News of Great Joy”
Editor’s Note: “This is the first in a three-part article discussing the nature and character of God.”
Part 1 – The Changing Face of God.
My oldest son is now reaching the age where we’re starting to have more in depth conversations about the concept of God, and in doing so, it has driven me to think back to my earliest understandings of God. Surprisingly, my understanding of God at 10 years of age and my understanding of God at 25 years of age were not that much different. But the God that I understand and know today is completely different from the God of my youth. I’ve questioned myself on this. Do I actually serve a different God than I did in my youth or that many of my friends and families do today? Was I simply misguided in my earlier understandings, or have I actually accepted bad doctrine and become misguided today? I’ve heard many others raise similar questions as they too move through their deconstruction or reconstruction of faith. And yet, when I look to the Bible, I find that I’m not the first to experience this evolution, nor do I suspect that I am the last. Continue reading “06. Who is God? Pt. 1”
Editor’s Note: “This is the third in a three-part article discussing my approach to the Bible. Previous articles are listed below:”
Part 1 – How it fell apart
Part2 – Real People, Real Times, Real Reasons
Part 3 – The Stories Beneath The Stories
In our previous conversations we have looked into a few different ideas for how we can approach the Bible. In our final article in this series I’d like to take us one step further and ask you to evaluate the scriptures in the context of the thematic method they are being told within. Too often we simply look at the scriptures as a literal, inerrant, retelling of historical events and interactions with God. But this is a problem. Reading the scriptures in this manner strips them down to simple ancient history and removes the much bigger picture that they convey. Continue reading “05. The Literal, Beautiful Mess We Call The Bible. Pt3”
Editor’s Note: “This is the second in a three-part article discussing my approach to the Bible. Previous articles are listed below:”
Part 1 – How it fell apart
Part 2 – Real People, Real Times, Real Reasons…
The previous article discusses many of the explanations and reasoning behind why my faith in the Bible fell apart several years ago, but like many articles on this site it is important to understand that the story does not end there. I did not simply walk away from the Bible, tossing it aside as if it were simply a dated, fictional book with no value. I was, and still am, continually drawn back to the scriptures. There is something beautiful found within. While I lost the ability to experience divinity within because of the literal, inerrant requirements that had been placed on them; I continued to return to them time and time again. Something within those pages called to me, something within stirred my soul and continued to pull me towards a better understanding of scripture that allowed divinity to reveal itself, free of the shackles of my previous conceptions.
Continue reading “04. The Literal, Beautiful Mess we call the Bible. Pt2”
Editor’s Note: “This is the first in a multi-part article deconstructing the way I approached the Bible. This first article explains the issues that led to me losing my faith in scripture, the following articles will explain how I regained my love and appreciation for them. This post should not be taken as an attack on scripture, but rather my journey to an updated appreciation of the scriptures.”
Part 1 – How it fell apart
In earlier articles, I have alluded to the fact that one of the major problems that led to my disbelief was the teaching that the Bible is an inerrant, infallible book which must be taken 100% literally. To read it any other way, I was taught, distorts and corrupts the message of God. While I had heard of other interpretations on scripture, I was taught that their view point was heretical, dangerous, and one that I should avoid at all costs. So for much of my early life I did just that.
Continue reading “03.The Literal, Beautiful Mess we call the Bible. Pt 1”
“I call, I cling, I want, and there is no one to answer, no, no one. Alone. Where is my faith? even deep down right in there is nothing. I have no faith. I dare not utter the words and thoughts that crowd in my heart.“
– Mother Teresa
Doubt is a concept I’ve spent a great number of years pondering. When studying many men and women of faith, I have been interested to discover how many of them have been plagued by the same doubt that you and I often find ourselves mired within. Mother Teresa seems to be no exception. She lived a life of dedicated service, received honors from both secular and religious organizations, including not only the first ever Pope John XXIII Peace Prize but the Nobel Peace Prize as well.
And yet, while she could easily have chosen a life of celebrity, fame, or fortune; she never swayed from her mission of service. What is so admirable, is that she did so while suffering unbearable doubt in the very God and mission she so proudly proclaimed. So why, if doubt is so incredibly common, is it so often discussed in hushed whispers, behind closed doors, and hidden away as a cause for shame?
Continue reading “02. The case for doubt…”
What does it feel like when God dies?
For some of you, it’s an unfathomable question. God is so alive, so real, so moving within your life that the concept of God dying seems no more possible than the far-fetched dream of a child.
For some of you, it’s a ridiculous question. How could something that doesn’t exist ever die? And even if it does, how can that death of childlike fantasy be a bad thing?
But for some of us, it’s a feeling we’ve known all too well. And a feeling we’ve felt, deep within the pit of our being.
Continue reading “01. When God Dies…”