The Questions That Drive This Blog

What is the point of this blog from just another degreed theologian from a Methodist seminary? And I suppose, more importantly, who cares?

My field of interest spans quite broadly. Politics, science, theology, history, literature, philosophy. I’m not claiming any expertise that I don’t have. The fields I’m most well-versed in are literature, history, and theology since I have studied such topics in college and seminary. I’m sure I’ll be touching on all of these topics and more in my own particular idiom. But the main impetus for my creation of a blog is as follows:

I’m Methodist by virtue of being raised one and, later, consciously affiliating myself with this church. I also have Mennonite heritage. For a long time I attended a very charismatic Assemblies-of-God affiliated campus ministry. What a mix!

And yet, for at least seven years now I’ve been fascinated by and drawn to “Traditional” Christianity. That is, Orthodoxy and Catholicism (and perhaps I could get away with adding Anglicanism to that mix, but I won’t in spite of thoroughly enjoying British pub food.)

Seven years is a long time when I look back on it. Roughly one-quarter of my life so far. Sure, the draw to Traditional Christianity hasn’t been quite so constant as I may have made it out. It has come and gone, but throughout the process it has always been there. Even when I ignore it. Sort of like the paint on a wall. When it’s new, perhaps you spend a lot of time looking at it, admiring it. After a while, it’s just there. Perhaps on occasion you examine the paint job because you think it may be scratched. Perhaps sometimes you’re just happy about your accomplishment and so you run your hand over the wall and just look at it. The point is that I now have a very pretty kitchen… No. Wait. I guess the point is that I’ve now belabored this metaphor and probably alienated any random visitor.

So what is driving me?

Well, yes. There is that.

So really, I suppose a unifying point for this blog is for me to consider the various aspects of Traditional Christianity. As the title gives away, it is Orthodoxy that I find in many ways to be far more compelling. However I suppose, like Spock, I will always be a child of “two worlds.” Methodism owes its roots back to Catholicism (through the Anglican Church) and so my theological education is decidedly western in outlook. When I approach Eastern Orthodoxy, I feel as if I’m standing and looking out upon a vast and unknown ocean. Sometimes I also feel as if I’ve been dropped into the middle of this ocean and told to swim. Then I read the works of Graham Greene, Walter Miller, Dante Alighieri, Thomas a Kempis, Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), or any other of a broad array of Catholics and it just seems to “fit.”

However, religion is not only about what “fits” and feels comfortable. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that in many ways Christianity should not be something that makes us feel comfortable. A religion that demands no sacrifice is simply a a pleasant way of thinking. With these two distinctive, and perhaps contrary, thoughts in mind (“fitting” and sacrifice) I find myself often pulled between Orthodoxy and Catholicism. Still, I’ve rarely shied away from a challenge. So I’m ready to be pushed into the middle of the ocean if that’s what it takes. Perhaps the bathrobe of Catholicism can be slipped on after a hard day of swimming.

So that’s it, really. Faith, belief, theology, and life. And of course My Little Pony.

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~ by crossingthebosporus on June 22, 2012.

3 Responses to “The Questions That Drive This Blog”

  1. Fascinating, not least because I know just how you feel. I was brought up low church Anglican, but have become fascinated by the more Catholic wing of my church, and thence to Orthodoxy and Catholicism. I look forward to reading more.

    • Thanks a lot!
      As I said, this has been brewing for at least seven years. Finally I felt the need to just start a blog if, for no other reason, just to get some of these ideas “out there.” My head is full enough as it is. I’m excited about the possibilities wordpress gives to explore these thoughts.

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