Thursday, March 10, 2011


I'm reading an interesting book that I identify with. Much like the author, my youth group was a magical time for me and I excelled and knew all the answers. I was unabashedly Christian, invited many to church, talked about faith, and won every competition revolving around Bible verse memorization, trivia questions, or bringing the most visitors to church. I was so very good at this thing. And here I am now, armed with all the right answers and yet, I still have so many questions.

"It occurred to me that in worldview class, we laughed at how transcendentalists so serenely embraced paradox and contradictions, but then went on to theology class and accepted, without question, that Jesus existed as both fully God and fully man. We criticized radical Islam as a natural outworking of the violent tone of the Qur'an without acknowledging the fact that the God of Israel ordered his people to kill every living thing in Canaan, from the elderly to the newborn. We sneered at the notion of climate change yet believed that God once made the earth stand still. We accused scientists of having an agenda, of ignoring science that contradicted the evolutionparadigm, but engaged in some mental gymnastics of our own, trying to explain how it's possible to see the light from distant stars. We mocked New Age ambiguity but could not explain the nature of the Trinity. We claimed that ours was a rational, logical faith, when it centered on the God of the universe wrapping himself in flesh to be born in a manger in Bethlehem.

Most worrisome, however, was how we criticized relativists for picking and choosing truth, while our own biblical approach required some selectivity of its own. For example, I was taught that the Bible served as a guidebook for Christian dating and marriage, but no one ever suggested that my father had the right to sell me to the highest bidder or to take multiple wives, like Abraham. Homosexuality was preached against incessantly, but little was said of gluttony or greed. We decried the death of each aborted baby as a violation of the sanctity of human life but shrugged off the deaths of Iraqi children as expected collateral damage in a war against evil. We celebrated archaeological finds that supported the historical claims of the Bible, yet discounted massive amounts of scientific evidence in support of an old earth."

Evolving in Monkeytown: How a Girl Who Knew All The Answers Learned to Ask the Questions by Rachel Held Evans, pages 79-80.

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