The above cartoon by David Hayward got me thinking about how theology is like a drug.
Some drugs alter your state of mind. Some are designed primarily to do that. Others do that as a side effect, and it is worth tolerating that because of some other benefit that comes from taking the medication in question.
And so I think it is more interesting to ask about the full range of effects that a particular theological system has. These are obviously going to be statistical rather than universal – not all Calvinists will be arrogant and dogmatic, but it may still be a common side effect. Or is that really a side effect at all? Perhaps that is the main function, and belief in predestination is the side effect. Have we studied theologies in the way we study drugs, in order to answer some of these questions? Should they carry warning labels, so that you can “Consult with your Doctor (of Theology) to find out if Deism is right for you?”What do readers think? Do all theologies (and all ideologies, including atheologies) distort reality to some degree? In the case of your own, is it a side effect, or is it what your theology is primarily designed to do?
We often so want something to be true that we will suspend good reason, common sense, intelligence, rationality, doubt, skepticism, honesty, reality itself, in order to believe and possess it.
I love theology. Like I love art! But I love theology, and art, when it is true and gets close to articulating what is.
It took, and it takes, a great deal of courage, even anger and a strong sense of justice I suppose, for someone to finally call foul!
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