Concerning the so-called “Nashville Statement.”
Christian Faith & Life
In my experience, the main problem isn’t so much Christianity itself as much as the cultural baggage that has been heaped upon it, which I feel is a problem that every generation of every era needs to address.
I’ve had to think very intentionally about what I am trying to do in these intro classes, and it boils down to this: respect the students where they are while at the same time embracing my responsibility to not leave them there.
I have begun to see that those who cry out to God may be perched at the very point where true communion with God begins, because they are in the unique position of surrendering fully from self to God.
To utter one’s deepest fears about their faith is for some only slightly less risky that buying heroin on a street corner, and such fear is too common a phenomenon in the various iterations of conservative Protestantism, i.e., for traditions rooted in the importance of detailed and absolute knowledge on a wide range of topics.
The true expression of faith is its best defense, because it transforms broken lives.
All of which is to say, when I place my sorry self on the grand scale of things, I can’t help but feel a bit decentered.
But we live our lives within the cycle, and our lives have meaning. Not a meaning handed to us, but a meaning we forge—right here, right now. Not by transcending our humanity but by looking it square in the eye, shedding any notion of being above it all, getting to work, and living.
If we think of salvation as a one-time deal, a transaction with God, the ways that the Bible speaks of salvation, save, savior, etc. (Old and New Testaments) won’t make very much sense—like this story of Zacchaeus.
Maybe changing our minds on some things—even on points where our “authentic commitment undergoes change”—is part of what it means to be a thinking Christian.