Invitation October 8, 2008Posted by caseyww in Faith.
Tags: Christian, doubt, Faith, God, religion, science
Welcome to Valence!
-What?!? Casey is blogging? The end must really be nigh now.
I know, it’s kind of a cliché thing to do these days isn’t it? I’m certainly not the first person to decide that my thoughts need broadcasting across this expanse of the internet. In fact, I’m a bit intimidated to add my meager voice to the mass. But alas, into the din we go dear friends.
-Where am I coming from?
A short explanation is probably in order. A couple of years ago, for reasons I couldn’t pinpoint at the time, my faith seemed to be grinding to a slow and painful stop. I felt dishonest. Experiences I would have called divine were authentic but far from overwhelming. Not for a lack of investment, my relationship with God seemed to constantly fall short of friends’ testimonies and the reality painted by the Bible. Drip dry. Instead of confronting this quiet dissatisfaction I spent most of my inner spiritual dialogue making excuses for God, trying to justify his inaction.
Additionally, the ineptness of my traditional Christian worldview to mesh with the scientific discoveries of our age compounded the issue. I felt like faith required me to ignore or write off so many critical questions about the validity of things like evolution or the historic accuracy/infallibility of the bible. Faith, by definition, taught me to trust that God had all these things under control. Flirting with willful ignorance I submitted. But the more I ignored questions the more their persistence made me feel as if I was inauthentic. My walk with God dwindled to little more than a façade maintained in order to keep from alienating my wife and Christian friends. This was no way to live. So I decided that that if my faith was true, in the cosmic sense of true…the everlasting and omnipotent brand of true…then it certainly would not be threatened by my prodding. Then I did a very dangerous thing. I started reading, listening and thinking with the express purpose of resolving that which seemed in most conflict. Unfortunately, threatened has been exactly what my faith is.
-Oh no, this isn’t another one of the science/religion blogs is it?
I understand the concern. My wife has already accused me of being trendy. But trendy or not I feel at the precipice of making decisions that should not be made alone. I’m starting this blog because I want to invite all of you into a thoughtful conversation about belief, doubt, science, salvation, culture and community.
As those of you with the hard luck of being closest to me know, I have thought and spoken of little else over the past couple of years. I’ve appreciated nothing more than those who have been willing to engage with me on my…well my?…some have called mine a journey, others a season, for some it’s a breakthrough, or a faith crisis, a struggle, doubt, sin, eye-opening or sacrilege, back-slide, blasphemy or honesty.
For me the past years have been like living at altitude. The air has been more clear and sweet than ever; though it’s harder to get at. Heart’s beating, oxygen is low, head is throbbing but, God damn, the sky has never been so close. Only here, above the tree line, do the heavens spill ink at midday, staining the sky a deep unimaginable blue that reminds us how small and humbled we are by the universe.
-What is this all supposed to accomplish here?
Well, I want to be vulnerable. I want your input, support, arguments, rebuttals, and even vulnerability in return. I want to be influenced by and influence my community, believers and unbelievers alike, from you pastors to professors. I want to work out faith with fear and trembling. Like the newly minted Large Hadron Collider at CERN, I want to smash together the most fundamental particles of who we are and see what comes spilling out. I want to marvel at physics, chemical reactions and evolution. I want to wrestle with the angel of the most high, clinging to his ankle until he is forced to either wrench my hip into submission or vanish with the morning day break like a phantom. I want a new name. Anyone in?
-No really. Enough with the ambiguous prose. What can I expect from this blog?
Okay, okay, fair enough. Here’s the logistics as I see them now. I’m planning to post about once a week for now. I don’t have much of an agenda. Hopefully enough of you want to participate that the comments section will develop into an interesting conversation space and things can develop fluidly. I suppose that’s also predicated on me having some actual interesting things to say in the first place. Uh-oh. Now I’m intimidated again and just when I was hitting my groove.
I’m also hoping in the future that a few of you may want to actually contribute with a post now and then yourselves. We’ll see what happens. For now, if you have any ideas for topics I’d love to hear them.
All right, that about wraps ‘r all up. Look for Post #2 coming soon! It’s going to be about…wait for it…I scream, you scream, we all scream for…Skepticism! Mmmm, yummy.