I had planned on taking a vacation from this, but too many thoughts have captured my attention for such a vacation to occur.
Though this blog primarily exists to promote reading, the majority of my readings (in case you didn’t notice) are theological in nature. I studied tons of theology in college, and I still read mountains and mountains of the stuff today from a wide range of traditions, from the ancient traditions of Catholicism and (recently) Orthodoxy, to the newly formed and openly heretical (read: different) radical theologians (e.g. Peter Rollins). It’s amazing what I’ve learned just in the last two years from reading the different authors I’ve picked up in different places.
What’s difficult about the whole thing is that it’s left me feeling homeless, denominationally speaking. Because I’ve read such a wide variety of traditions, I find myself in strong agreement with one area of a church and in sharp disagreement with others. Take this and apply it to any denomination, and I find myself at a loss.
I concern myself with such things because I think that it’s important to belong to a church body. Christianity is not solitary; it is communal. The Christian not a part of a church community (in whatever form) will quickly lose touch with his faith. (Further clarification on this matter: I’m also seeking pastoral work, and since most church plants tend to die within two years of starting, I’d rather attach myself to a denomination and work from within it).
However, whatever community you find, you find its own set of rules and beliefs (no matter what they tell you)…
I find Catholicism to be a church rich with beautiful philosophy, mysticism, and reverence for the divine…but I can’t accept papal infallibility in good conscience.
I find Eastern Orthodoxy to be driven by direct experience with the divine, and I love their church polity… but the labeling of anything outside the church with the ambiguous adjective of “heterodoxy” bothers me greatly.
I think the Quaker doctrine of a universal priesthood is spot on biblical, and I’m also a pacifist…but I can’t sit that still for very long.
I admire the Reformed dedication to scholarship, and its desire to uphold truth…but I feel like it often subjects “truth” to its own creeds and confessions, and reject anything that involves honest inquiry into the scriptures and theology.
I love how Emergents are so focused on loving their neighbors and effecting social change…but I really hate how anything involving divinity is treated so flippantly in an effort to be inclusive.
Then there’s Anglicanism….yeah, the idea of a state-sanctioned church is a little strange to me.
What’s a man to do when he’s denominationally confused?