Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The wrong questions

I live in an age of wrong questions. Everywhere I turn, it seems those in charge are asking the wrong questions. Abraham Joshua Herschel says that philosophy may be defined as the art of asking the right questions. So what are the right questions when it comes to talking about community, about what it means to be the Church?

I'm more than a little hesitant about addressing topics like community and the Church. They're being talked about everywhere. The reason I feel like I want give my two cents is this: None of the answers that are in abundant supply in countless books, sermons, blogs, and websites answer the questions I am asking.

Can I trust you? Will you trust me?

There's a reason not many are addressing these questions. It's much easier to discuss theology, form and function, worship techniques. And those who do address the questions I am asking often provide ethereal, fluffy answers that don't touch me in my day-to-day life. I've got a little too much Charles Sanders Peirce in me to embrace Thomas Merton. I've got too much Merton in me to embrace Francis Schaeffer. I've got too much Schaeffer in me to embrace Jacques Derrida. And I've got too much Derrida in me to embrace, well, anything.

I hate my questions. So, touchy-feely. So, narcissistic. I want to be satisfied with sitting around talking about things like perichoresis and interpenetration and postfoundationalism. But I'm not. At least not right now. As the Church struggles to redefine itself, I, a branch on the vine, ask: Can I trust you? You, sitting next to me on the pew, on the thrift store couch, across from me in the coffee shop: Can I trust you? Do you trust me?

Trust is the springboard of love. And love is the greatest witness to our age. But if all this touchy-feely stuff is boring you, we could just talk about a great article that I read on theology and science without dualism.

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