The point of this blog is much different from my last one (not a journal about traveling, but about ideas), which will probably be very boring for everyone sauf moi. So sorry about that, but don't say I didn't warn you. In case you were wondering, the "regardant les nuages" means staring at the clouds in french. "Sauvant la foi" means saving the faith. Which brings me to the point of this. It's time I took the balance of my intellectual integrity and spiritual convictions more seriously. I've spent 3 years studying philosophy, being challenged, rethinking my beliefs, and inevitably deepening my faith. But, despite being under attack at virtually every philo lecture I've ever attended, it wasn't until recently that I truly felt challenged to sort out exactly what I believe and why. This challenge came from one of my professors (whom I respect a ton). He may be a secular ultra-leftist, but maybe I am too. Who knows? (momma, you're probably very worried at this point, but that's okay because you are more liberal then you think, just as many liberals are more "conservative" then they realize...anyways...). So this is where I'm going to figure some stuff out, hopefully with help (though I'm not going to delude myself into thinking that many people will care too much about my ramblings...).
So I guess I'll start with what I do believe, and go from there.
1. I believe in God.
2. I believe that God created me and you and everything else, on purpose.
3. I believe that we can't know how he did it, how long it took, or if we came from monkeys...and frankly, I don't care (because nothing in science threatens my belief thus far, evolution included).
4. I believe that we all mess up, a lot...but that we want to do good, to do better than we are right now
5. I believe God loves us, sent his son to save us from ourselves, and wants us love others in the same way.
6. I believe that Jesus was not a politician, and that any politician that uses the God-card for votes will be held responsible later.
7. I believe that I suck at living a life like Christ. I'm never kind enough, generous enough, loving enough...
8. I believe God intervenes, daily, constantly, in our lives to help us.
9. I believe the Bible was written for us, not to us, and that studying the context of the culture it came from can open up many of its mysteries.
10. I believe any person who professes to be a Christian should not conquer the world with hate, but rather win the hearts of others with love (when they see our good actions, may they then praise our father in heaven..)
11. I believe that no good tree bears bad fruit, no bad tree bears good fruit, and so we can know those who have a heart for God (whether they themselves know it yet) by their fruit...
As for being a Christian, I'm not into religion. If I never went to church a day in my life, I know I could still have a relationship with God. But I do believe God gave us the gift of fellowship to challenge and support each other...hence communities of believers. My faith doesn't make me Republican, but I'm not a Democrat either. I hate politics, but I love to study it- in the philosophical sense at least (don't ask).
It took me long enough, but I finally felt like my intellectual integrity has been put on trial (by total strangers I might add) because of my faith. I'm here to defend both. God has blessed me with an amazing ability to understand, learn and analyze the world we live in. Even given my lack of confidence in this arena (which may surprise some of you, but not others), I am certain that God has given me that gift, for which I am eternally grateful. Now imagine my dismay when I am told that intelligence and faith are mutually exclusive. Therein lies the problem...
Some may assume that while I am perfectly confident in many disciplines, when it comes to the existence of God (or the validity of my specific faith) I am either a selective learner, incompetent, or too far indoctrinated to ever be enlightened. While I resent that implication, I've decided it's time to take it seriously. So many Christians in academia are confronted with this accusation, yet too many of us deny that we are even on trial for it...so how can we possibly clear our names? our faith? That won't happen by running away, being in denial, or using the same accusatory tactics on our opponents. Am I surprised that Christians are labeled as misguided, ignorant, stupid...no. Have the Christians in history/present treated non-believers worse than they now treat us? Definitely. So it's time make some changes. If you don't want to play hardball, you have to change the rules of the game (sorry, reference to philo class). Dialogue, honesty, open-mindedness are crucial...but so is standing firm. So there you have it. My thoughts on various (and probably random) topics will follow, as soon as I can make them comprehensible.
"See to it that no one takes you captive by hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." Col 2:13
"Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given to me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should." Eph 6:17-20