Sunday, May 17, 2015

Heroic Christianity and Weak Christianity Compared

The heroic and weak are still at work.

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Heroic Christianity has exemplars that stand on the shoulders of invisible and intentionally forgotten giants.  Heroes never call attention to their debts, only to their debtors.

Weak Christianity has exemplars who always point out where they are and how they got there.  The weak only remember their debts and forgive their debtors.

Heroic Christianity is the effort of great accomplishments of will, innovation, and the hero's personal resources.

Weak Christianity is muddled and rejoices in the resources of others, gladly sharing and shared alike.

Heroic Christianity wants you to listen.  It has the answers and you don't, since you are no hero.

Weak Christianity, since it is muddled, listens and speaks alike.

Heroic Christianity says it is new and getting you what has never before appeared on earth.  It can get you new ideas, practices, and liturgies.

Weak Christianity inherits a tradition, institutions, and people.  It can judge what is truly new by its fidelity to these things which have long appeared on earth.  It can get you new ideas, practices, and liturgies.

Heroic Christianity says it is faithful, purely so.  When it is faithless, it is actually faithful in a pure way.

Weak Christianity is muddled, a mixture of faithlessness and faith.

Heroic Christianity is no adventure.  It is unwilling to countenance anything new except as it arises from the will of the hero.

Weak Christianity is an adventure.  It can countenance the new since it knows the old and sees life as a give-and-take and mired in muddle.

Heroic Christianity says it is the only Christianity.  There may be other heroes but they are the same heroes as this one.

Weak Christianity recognizes it is only one of many kinds of Christianity.

Heroic Christianity despises the weak and needs them as foot soldiers (heroic Christianity is very martial).

Weak Christianity pities the strong and needs no army (weak Christianity abhors the martial).

Heroic Christianity fears the ordinary and the everyday.  It can only succeed in crisis, during alien invasions, and during the apocalypse.  It belongs to the end of the world, the final cataclysm.

Weak Christianity embraces the ordinary and the everyday.  It succeeds in crisis and in the quiet rhythms of life.

Heroic Christianity needs disaster; otherwise there is no hero.

Weak Christianity needs life.  Nothing more.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Your Theological Resolutions for the New Year

Resolutions for the New Year are bunk.  Unless they concern theology.

1.  Unknow a little bit more.

Mystery remains, riddles can be explained.  God, the mystery of all things, is mystery.  Though human beings strive to speak of, think about, and act on God, there is always more of God, there is always more hidden.  So we should perhaps speak less, think less, and act less in respect of this mystery.  The mystery of the cross and the tomb is a mystery we shall never solve.

2.  Have a care for the truth.

Just because you are near a building called a church or walk into a space where people presume to speak of God, this does not make what you say about God true.  If you care for the truth of what you do, say, or think, the haunting question "why is this true" should immunize you from all the tricks, myths, and ideologies that Christians use to obscure the false from the true.

3.   Demand your constructive theology to be practical and your practical theology to be systematic.

We live in a time of blurred disciplinary boundaries in theology, perhaps a canary-signal of the breakdown of theology as a discipline in any sense.  We live in an age when systematic theologians write about poetry and practical theologians write about the atonement.  Theology has never been easy; guild distinctions somewhat ease the burden of that difficulty.  But with the blurring of boundaries there are forgotten questions (why should I care about hermeneutics?), resources (yes, there were a whole body of early 19th century Germans who wrote about divine love and self-emptying in sophisticated and important ways), and goals (theology should matter).  The blurring of boundaries in theology can be a boon or burden.

4.  Heed Charles Schultz.