Monday, November 12, 2012

The Best of Christianity and the Bible

Just as a general impression, it seems to me that the things most lovable about Christian thought are things that one has difficulty finding in the Bible. I could point to C. S. Lewis as a possible embodiment of this: his ideas make the world a very exciting place while also providing us a fear and a comfort in God. But when you read Lewis you have to wonder what his ideas are rooted in. Surely scripture is a part of it, as well as Anglican tradition, but, again as a general impression, it seems as though most of Lewis's thought is based upon what keeps Lewis comfortable and engaged.

But, then, it is just convention and tradition that elevates the Bible so high that we regard it as the only appropriate foundation for Christian thought.

How can we regard the Christian thinker, then? I suppose we must regard him as any other thinker. His work is an amalgamation of what he finds beautiful, what he finds useful, what he finds necessary to support the former, what appeals to his biases, what draws him out of himself, what he was educated into, what he must rebel against, what makes him feel strong, what makes him feel safe, in short, what he can live according to.

But what then is Christian thought? Orthodoxy can only exist in a relative sense. Define "good thought" and then you can compare your definition to whatever someone offers for consideration. But then, they can merely reject your definition. Sound doctrine, orthodox thinking, this is merely the attempt to align one's thoughts with an arbitrarily grasped form of truth.

Which is probably why the best Christian thought seems to depart so far from what we could reasonably derive from the verses that inspire the thought - because the scripture is a trigger, but the individual and the totality of his life provides the content.

As an atheist, I say that this shows the unreliability of all religious orthodoxy. As one who is and probably always shall be interested in becoming a theist, I say that this, coupled with a kind of determinism, is the nature of revelation.

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