It seems somewhat typical of me that I used th occasion of my first post over there to problematize the reason for that blog’s existence.
I resonate with the identity of the Crowded Handbasket blog – the fringe, the heretics, the outliers. And I have a penchant to like underdog views, and underdog composers in music. If I was more into sports, I’d support underdog teams.
But when it comes to faith, I wonder whether there isn’t a sense in which all faith and all the faithful are “fringe”. After all, Christianity began as a fringe movement within Judaism (itself a fringe faith of a fringe people on the world scene). And those who have taken their faith completely seriously have always been a small minority.
What about those who have defined the faith, who composed the creeds? They may have been a powerful minority, but they certainly were on the whole better educated, and undeniably more influential in the church, than the vast majority of Christians. And so when it comes to Christian faith, the “official” version has itself always been defined by a fringe group, a minority, albeit a powerful one.
I’d like to suggest that all faith is fringe faith. All our experiences and all our convictions and all our points of view are always a small subset of those of human beings in general.
So as we engage various other viewpoints on this blog, let’s remember: they’re on the fringe too. They may think that their fringe viewpoint is obviously correct, and ought to be what all people of faith everywhere think. But go easy on them. That’s just a defense mechanism they use, because unlike us, they are living in denial of their fringe existence…