Postmoderns Have Nothing To Teach Our Children (and other fables)

Your Favorite Blogger with Courtney, kids, and cousins.

I just got back from a week at a dude ranch in Colorado. It was a celebration of my mom’s 70th birthday, and we gathered 17 Joneses of three generations for a week of horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and eating lots and lots of beef. It was the perfect family vacation (and I’ll post about it more in days to come, including my victory in barrel racing at the culminating rodeo).

I’ve got two brothers, each with a spouse and kids. As in many families, we were raised in the same faith (centrist Protestant), but we’ve gone our separate ways somewhat. Each couple is raising their kids differently, which causes interesting conversations when we get together at times like this.

One of the things that my nieces are particularly interested in is talking about God, especially with a theologian. One of my nieces attended Young Life camp earlier in the summer, so she was particularly keen on talking to me about God and Jesus and faith. She and I chatted a bit, and later she told my mom, “After talking to Uncle Tony, now I’m totally confused.”

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Proper Doubt

This is the first of two excerpts from a book that I happily endorsed: Emerging Prophet: Kierkegaard and the Postmodern People of God by Kyle Roberts. Kyle is a professor at Bethel Seminary and a fellow Patheos blogger.

Doubt is the other side of faith…This ethos may be one of the defining features of emergent Christianity—the willingness to countenance doubt. These doubts can arise from questioning the sincerity of religious faith (i.e. Freud’s “great apologetic challenge” to Christianity), the truthfulness of the Bible, the exclusivity of Christianity, or engaging in philosophical challenges to core Christian doctrines (such as those posed by the “problem of evil and suffering”). The acceptance of a positive role for doubt in the Christian life is consistent with the emergent ethos.

Because emergent Christianity is not terribly anxious about epistemological certainty, such questions are encouraged—or at the very least accepted and engaged. Furthermore, there is no rush to answer the questions in a final, authoritarian way. This openness to the reality of doubt in the Christian journey need not imply a glorification of doubt nor a complete disregard for objectivity (properly placed) in Christian theology…

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Marriage Advice from Divorcées

Since the dissolution of my first marriage, I have been reluctant to give anyone marriage advice. I think most divorcées probably share this reluctance. Fellow Patheos blogger Wendy Murray does, but vulnerably, humbly, and thoughtfully ventures into that space anyway. She has several good pieces of advice in the post, but this is the one that I most resonate with, and the one that I’ve been most careful to attend to in my current, beautiful marriage:

Time is not benign

Wendy Murray

There is a trajectory being set for your marriage, even in these earliest days — in fact especially in these earliest days. Time will do its work, again — for better or for worse. Right now, patterns are being developed between you and your spouse that will continue to increase in magnitude over time.

Read the rest: Advice to Newlyweds from a (Divorced) Pastor’s Wife.

Housekeeping

-Disqus is now fully functional. Thanks to BlogOps at Patheos for getting it up and running. All of your former comments should now be imported into the Disqus system, so please let us know if you see any glitches.

-Disqus allows for some things that I’ve wanted and some of you have asked for. It allows for deeper and more intuitive threads on conversations. And, best of all, it allows you to “like” a comment — comments (and threads) with the most likes get bumped to the top.

-I recommend that you get a Disqus account, or link it to your Facebook or Twitter. I think you’ll like the improvement.

-Patheos is currently working on some other back-end changes that will decrease load times, so thanks for your patience.

-Patheos is also moving to a new mobile platform. That means for the many of you who access this blog via iPhone and Android, the blog will show up in a much more readable format. Again, thanks for your patience during the transition.

-Yes, the pop-ups suck. I hate them. I’ve been assured that they will go away on the new mobile interface. I’ll keep fighting to get them to go away everywhere (at least on my blog).

-I’m getting on a plane to go to Lauren Winner’s wedding (yay!) — I’ll write my thoughts on God’s omniscience en route.

-I’m done quarreling with David Fitch (yay!) — it seems he’s incorrigible.

OK, open thread in the comments today. Do you have any thoughts on the points above, or is there anything you’d like to see addressed in the blog? (As always, shoot me links and questions through my website, Facebook, or Twitter.)


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