Sunday, April 26, 2009

E-mail to my brother:

Copyright © 2007 Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

When I was a young teenager or even a year younger, I used to think about the Bible and Christianity in ways that I did not have languages, arguments, and words to explain. I recall our father once in conversation with a professor from Atlanta Christian College who preached for some time at First Christian Church in Forest Park. I guess that time was between the Paul Gibson scandal and the coming of Aubrey Jackson. I don’t know how old I was. I do recall our father describing the Chicago School, which was the object of attack in fundamentalist and independent Christian Church circles at the time.

I did not know what that phrase meant at the time. It referred to the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, especially for the most part during the teens and twenties of the last century. Anyway, dad described what he took to be their outlook. I recall thinking that is exactly what I think and believe. I think that I was what was known as a modernist until I went to Georgia Tech. though I had the good sense never to shave my opinions with our father or anyone else for that matter.

In high school, from I guess about the tenth grade, I tried hard to reconcile our fundamentalist church outlook with modernism, Youth for Christ with Disciples CYF notions. Later at Tech, I became to read Neo-Orthodox theology and began a decades longs journey with naturalistic religion on one side of my brain and some form or other of Christian theology or religion on the other side.

I don’t hate fundamentalism. I think that I understand it pretty well from growing up as I did and where I did. I don’t think that our father ever really quite bought the fundamentalists ideology he taught. From time to time, he would say things that indicated he had counter opinions that he never fully explored at least with me or any other people I know.

Now in old age, I am letting go of a lot of stuff. I am a Christian, at least, in my mind I am, more a Christian than ever before, but there is a lot of stuff that I don’t need.

No comments:


In this my personal Christian blog, I hope to be discursive and now and then critical. What I write here is tentative and tensive. I post thoughts, feelings, and observations somewhat randomly and often in immediate response to current events and posts on other blogs.

"Serendipitous Creativity" from Gordon Kaufman

"I suggested that what we today should regard as God is the ongoing creativity in the universe - the bringing (or coming) into being of what is genuinely new, something transformative; …

"In some respects and some degrees this creativity is apparently happening continuously, in and through the processes or activities or events around us and within us(…) is a profound mystery to us humans(…) But on the whole, as we look back on the long and often painful developments that slowly brought human life and our complex human worlds into being, we cannot but regard this creativity as serendipitous …

"I want to stress that this serendipitous creativity - God! - to which we should be responsive is not the private possession of any of the many particular religious faiths or systems …

"This profound mystery of creativity is manifest in and through the overall human bio-historical evolution and development everywhere on the planet; and it continues to show itself throughout the entire human project, no matter what may be the particular religious and or cultural beliefs."

Gordon Kaufman, Mennonite Life, December 2005 vol. 60 no. 4

Melville is a rational man who

"Melville is a rational man who wants God to exist. He wants Him to exist for the same reasons we all do: to be our rescuer and appreciator, to act as a confidant in our moments of crisis and to give us reassurance that, over the horizon of our deaths, we will survive." (John Updike)

And that is a problem for me.

Fragmented Notions

Fragmented Notions
Copyright © 2007 Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

Search This Blog