gay thursday: change your theology

gay thursday: change your theology January 19, 2012

a gay boy comes out

I had been doing Gay Saturdays. But I’m going to make them Sophia Saturdays so I can faithfully tell her story weekly. Now it’s going to be Gay Thursday.

So about the cartoon: This happens. A lot.

Have you ever considered that things in life are presented to us, not so that we can change them, but so that we can be changed?

Theology is for stretching… for stretching our own hearts and minds.


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  • That is not a Catholic priest, is it? If so, he has probably stretched his theology about 8 or 9 years ago (his son’s age).

    On a serious note: Most personal theology (that which we embrace) is clothing we wear to match our personal tendencies. Thus it fluxes as we flux. Yet we see it the other way around. The mind is a trickster.

  • A mind and a Spirit grow within the space they’re permitted to exist.

    Truth should be a destination we are traveling toward, or a companion along the journey rather than a base from which we launch attacks.

  • @ David Waters,
    People rarely discuss exactly what they mean by “Truth” — usually it is more convenient that way for one or other in the dialogue.

    I hold a pragmatic definition of “Truth”: “Truth” is the best approximation of reality that is useful in a given domain.

    How would you define “Truth”?

    By my definition, seeing Truth as a “destination” is a bit idealistic. Instead, “Truth” is with us at all times and we should hold it lightly and be ready for change. Critisizing (a softer version of “attack”) is OK with my definition but only if we are clear on both the domain, the uses of “truth” and the methodology of improvement. But I think, though our definitions may vary, we both agree that there is not room for arrogance or blind certainty about Truth and thus there is always room for dialogue. But dialogue is difficult without some agreement on words. For if we disagree on these terms, two people could read the same sentence/aphorisms and embrace it as wonderful plabum in their contrary worlds. (see David’s cartoon).

  • Hi David, I did a little creative writing yesterday…that challenges a lot of theological assumptions. It’s all about how we are willing to navigate life, with maps, rigid instructions and rules or from the heart…
    http://thewearypilgrim.typepad.com/the_weary_pilgrim/2012/01/the-parable-of-the-muslimand-the-beaten-gay-man.html

  • marcie

    Theologians study the map pouring themselves over it to remember and know every street, river and valley and claim to be a world traveler? Isn’t it the man that has experienced the world smelled the air, tasted the food and looked in the eyes of the people that truly has traveled the world?

  • kevin

    thanks for sharing

  • Jacquie Kernick

    I can identify with this one, David. When in fundi circles I condemned homosexuality with all the usual scriptures. Then, I believe, God got to me (yay) and yanked me out of all things “church” and began to change my heart…beginning with my critical spirit!

    Down the road a few years, having radically changed my belief our son came out to us and said he was gay.

    The best part of my “story” is…God pre-empted my dealing with this situation…son and I have never looked back…so glad to be free 🙂

    Oh, and there is a lot of other “stuff” that I’ve escaped after leaving funamentalism to… this is one example. Thanks David.

  • Pat Pope

    This is something that so many people miss. They don’t see challenges to their existing beliefs as opportunities for their theology to be challenged, but rather as obstacles or hurdles to be overcome. Or errant thinking to be shut down.

  • Love this. Absolutely Love it! Thank you David!

  • RS

    I’d love to see all of your cartoons carry this quality. I love how you’ve drawn this one and I think it stands far, far above the majority of your other cartoons.

  • it is absurd to think that theology should ever be a static thing–even if we believe God to be static, immutable, whatever. Theology is a human understanding of God, not some gestalt of God implanted in our textbooks (or, gasp, even in our bibles). Theology is a human construct and thus by definition, fallible and finite–ever mutable when human points of view change. Change is inherent in growth, without growth, there is only death–itself a change.

  • RS: I appreciate your kind words about this cartoon, and I agree that its quality is superior to most of my other ones. But there’s no way I could do this every day. Necessity.

  • Christine

    @Sabio:

    “‘Truth’ is the best approximation of reality that is useful in a given domain.”

    Knowing what the “best approximation” of reality is would first require knowing what is real – in order to judge the accuracy of approximations. What we think might be accurate is just that – not something that we know to be most accurate – nor is there any way to know relative accuracy without already knowing reality itself. Doesn’t seem to be a pagmatic definition at all. It just shifts the dificult “truth” question to an equally difficult “reality” question – where one unknowable abstract is defined in terms of an equally unknowable abstract. Which is no different than most people (an ddictionaries) do, which is to define truth as that which is true, accurate, factual, or real.

  • Christine

    Although, Sabio, it does add additional elements – that truth exists only relative to its context (“in a given domain”), making “truth potentially contradictory, and only if it’s “useful”. Not sure how one could determine usefulness without predefining an objective.

    Were these elements intentional?

  • I wish I had had the guts to say this to my theological gifted Dad/pastor before he died.

  • Glenn

    @Marcie…WOW! Gonna borrow that quote, OK?

  • marcie

    Its for you 😉

  • @ Christine
    Good questions. Yes that was a bit sloppy. But I don’t believe in a “thing” called “Truth”. I use the word “true” when testing something against agreed upon criteria. Then I use it upon claims empirically verifiable but only tentatively because all tests are subject to bias, mistakes and deceit. Yes, I agree, an objective needs to be agreed upon for two people to test many notions of “truth”. Like all abstract words, it is very fuzzy and open to manipulation. Yes, it is subjective to domain.

    All to say, “arriving at Truth” without defining a domain, method and objectives would be meaningless to me.

    Does that answer your concerns? What are the ways you are comfortable using the word “truth” — how do you tend to use it? Do my objections seem to strike any resonance with you?

  • marcie

    you didn’t ask me but…. Lol. And I was attack by some ass for sharing it before (as if I care) I had a dream one night where I felt this incredible love and Jesus spoke “I am truth” wow what a relief that was! I could rest because he had it handled the, sun,moon,and stars wouldn’t fall out of the sky if I didn’t have a handle on it.

  • @ marcie
    I didn’t follow that part about “some ass”.
    But galaxies, planets, stars destruct all the time. Cities are destroyed by Tsunamis. Nature is not kind. We have no evidence that god(s) stops skies from falling. I am happy, however, that in some way this fantasy dream was somehow reassuring for you.

  • marcie

    I said it didn’t depend on me. Your the one! God I hope your arms don’t get tired snicker

  • marcie

    Just thinking today about why sharing this dream both times has caused this response…. I think I know. It levels the playing field. It says that men can not rely on their understand but all must find it in God. Even the simplest of minds can seek and find “truth”. Visited this mans web page and ot is filled with intellectual reasoning. I’m sorry because in the kingdom that carries little weight. And that is why simplicity makes such men so angry.

  • You are right, marcie, if every person’s dream counts as truth, then that would truly level the playing field.

  • marcie

    And if we had to rely on the reasoning of men we would be screwed.

  • “reasoning” never happens in isolation. But it has helped you write me, provide medicine for your family, safe food and water.

    A would dread a world run by dreams. But reason balanced by compassion is important.

  • marcie

    That’s it you desire we come to you ahh thus is thee agenda. Not!

  • Christine

    @Sabio

    Thanks for the response. I get where your coming from – an essentially positivist stance (“empirically verifiable” gives it away), but with a few, mostly semantic-seeming, distinctions.

    It’s certainly practical – something that works day to day. But, as we can’t know whether, how, or to what extent our sensory perceptions (the basis of empirical data) approximate reality, it doesn’t get us any closer to the “truth” question itself.

    The pragmatist, as you seem to be, is more simply ignoring the “turth” question and rendering it unimportant than attempting to answer it.

    But there are other methods of exploring the question. And it seems to me worth exploring.

    But the “within a particular domain” part still seems suspect. For example, in physics, a gravity-based theory is practical for macro, and a probability-based theory works for micro – but physics isn’t satisfied with that, even if it is pragmatic and meets all your criteria above. Instead, the search for a unifying theory (what many physicists might describe as a search for “truth”) dominates the discipline’s most cutting-edge work. What might we learn or benefit from knowing such a “truth”? Who knows? The search continues first for the sake of understanding itself. Is there not value in that?

  • @ Christine,
    I don’t think you follow me, but it is a bit off topic here – you can see me on my blog if you wish to define me a bit more carefully.

  • @ Christine,
    I just remembered this post I did on BIG vs small T Truth.