Friday, May 25, 2012

The Why and How of This Blog


This blog will be a place of conversation, growth and learning for all of us. It is based on my book, What We Believe and Why, and I'd like anyone who wants to engage here to have already completed the book. I'm completely open to questions and even challenges, but I truly believe either of these will be most effective if we start from the same base and context.

Besides that, I've put a huge amount of very serious effort into the content and research contained in the book, and I've often found that some of the most common questions folks have in online religious discussions are already covered there - which is why I wrote it!

So, if you already own a copy, please do read it, and from the beginning to the end. It sets important foundations and builds on them, chapter by chapter. Then join in on the conversation here. You are most welcome!

If you don't own a copy yet, please go buy one. That way I'll get rich and can retire to a villa somewhere in Jerusalem.

One other thought: Now and then I've had someone take offense at something I've said in the book, usually but not always where I've taken some part of the church to task for specific practices or behaviors, either current or in history. Those who were unhappy with me seemed to assume that I was either against their part of the church (Protestants, Roman Catholics, Pentecostals, Eastern Orthodox, Baptists, Presbyterians, Anglicans or whatever), or that I was advocating for some other part of it - taking sides, if you would - and maybe even attacking important doctrine or their view of God in the process.

Not so.

I admit I'm fully capable of error and misunderstanding - which is why I welcome your insights and challenges. But I will testify as plainly as I can that my goal is not division, not dispute, not attack, not partisan advocacy, not denominationalism, but true unity in Jesus Christ. And to find it, we must confess what we have done that has prevented its realization, and positively work to join together on the essentials of the faith. Just what those are is the core and purpose of the book - to bring us to that unity.

If something I've said raises your hackles, then first I would ask that you take it in the overall context of our confessing and forgiving to find unity. That is, we have to face our own shortfalls, and forgive others for theirs.

If it still seems just plain wrong, well then by all means let me know. I'll do my best to either explain it or correct it.

I look forward to our conversation, and getting to know you.


(And if you're in town, come visit at Resurrection, West Chicago.)