Before going further I think it important to indicate why I’m writing about this topic: why I think it’s an important topic and what I hope to gain by writing on it.
First, my general topic is evangelical Christianity. More particularly, given my experience of God “showing up” in my existence, I’m interested in why evangelical Christianity is a good thing and what “works” about it. However, in order to get there much of what I’m going to write about is why evangelical Christianity is a bad thing and what doesn’t “work” about it.
For some people, holding such a contradictory stance (because I really do mean bad—not just “misunderstood” or “regrettable”—and I really do mean doesn’t work—not just “in process” or “fallible”) is a non sequitur. This is because in many cases Christianity as a whole is either a very good thing or a very bad thing. And the matter is settled. If you are in either of these camps, I hope in the course of my writing to change your mind about this.
Literally. In other words, if you are a Christian (or are well-disposed towards Christianity) I hope to have you see the very real problems and failures with Christian belief and practice and to embrace better ways of believing and living: ways that orient you toward yourself, others, your world, and God with more truth and greater love. In essence, “better” because they are more Christian in being more authentically human, and more human in being more truly Christian.
And if you are a non-Christian (or are ill-disposed towards Christianity) I hope in the same course to have you re-consider the possibilities and value in Christianity—I hope to re-open what is likely, for you, a closed discussion.
I hope to do this by offering resources such that accepting these possibilities is not an act of stupidity or desperation but is legitimate and valid. “Legitimate” in that it is commensurate with your best aspirations for selfhood and your clearest understanding of truth about the world and your existence. “Valid” because it engages an essential interaction of affirming (you and your beliefs) while yet critiquing (them in direction of your / their ownmost possibilities). Legitimate and valid, in essence, because their acceptance completes selfhood, understanding, and relationship in the direction of more truth and greater love.
Throughout this writing one of my key presuppositions is that these two things are co-central to both human existence and Christian faith (or more so, to the Christian God): truth and love, love and truth. Yet this is not only where I’m coming from but, actually, where I’m ultimately headed.
Yes, literally. As Augustine believed that the goal of human life was happiness (not God or relationship with God), so I believe that that which is most essential to human existence is love and truth (not God or relationship with God). Now I too, like Augustine, believe that God (the Christian God, whose identity and character do need fleshing out, though we’ll put this off for now) has a good bit to do with how this works out—more on this too, later.
But suffice it for now to indicate my belief that love and truth are the two key constituents to the topic under discussion, both as its goals and its means.