Friday, July 27, 2007

I'm late to the confessing meme

Forgive me, but I'm at least a month late to jump in on the confessing meme--though I have enjoyed reading the confessions of others. This is a start, and I hope to add to it until I've confessed everything that seems proper.

I confess that I think the sturm und drang over Darwinian evolution is the nasty product of a faulty understanding of metaphysical transcendence and of the relationship between the triune God and the world subsumed under the category "Creation." Therefore, I carefully embrace Darwinian evolution as the best biological science that we have, including an old earth, the fossil record, and the mechanism of natural selection.

Further, I confess that I find Intelligent Design to be an embarrassing return to the argument from design, also called the teleological argument. In my mind, not only does it attempt to resurrect that argument at any cost (where the designer could be a god, an alien, a computer, an invisible force?), it represents a theology of glory, and so is no help to either science or theology.

I confess that I think the universe is enfused, baptized, and besotted by the kenotic agape of the Trinity, its creator. This is, perhaps, a pseudo-scientific way of repeating Rahner's rule, as well as saying that history, human or otherwise, is the love story of the relationships of the triune hypostases stretched out upon the wood of time and space. But note that I am also saying that, like mathematics (physics), ethics is encoded into the deep structure of the universe. There is a morality at the very heart of it all, and that morality is trinitarian, it is kenotic, it is Christological, it is universal. And if, then, we should ever meet or discover in this world a being from another, it too would agree that "Thou shalt not kill" and be judged accordingly.

I confess that I suspect at least the first half of Genesis to be closer in genre to a saga or myth whose theological repercussions may still be said to properly inform the edifice of biblical theology.

I confess that I am completely skeptical about anyone attempting to use God language outside of the context of a lightly-held but rigorous hermeneutic.

I confess that I find myself and my fellow human beings so governed and awash in the power of metaphor that some days I barely know if I know anything at all and stew in a kind of mental skepticism. An addendum: that I know far too little about the proper history and place of the via negativa in historical systematics.

I confess that I have yet to hear an argument against women in the pulpit that fairly takes into account the cultural and historical circumstances of the apostles. And, as an addendum, many of the male pastors I’ve met have been egoistic blowhards.

I confess that I find the soteriological argument between free will and the sovereignty of God to be excruciatingly boring. In my mind, the call of the Kingdom of God is primarily doxological and ethical. Orthodoxy in every detail is of secondary importance--not of no importance, but of secondary importance.

I confess that I'm quite suspicious about the wisdom that comes from psychology, and especially in its affect on religious literature, anthropological understanding, and preaching.

I confess that after nearly twenty years and two degrees, I still wonder just what following Jesus should look like, and, I’m ashamed to say, I irresistibly resemble far more the middlebrow bourgeois culture of white America than I do a disciple of the crucified God.

I confess that I don’t know any poor people, and up to this point have been unwilling to change my and my family’s routine in order to do so.

I confess that it makes no sense to me why so many models in theological metaphysics require divine self-limitation. Beside the impossibility of demarcating or limiting a personality that is by definition unlimited and undemarcated, that entire line of thought seems begotten of the limitations of human imagination.

I confess that I should read Calvin, but wind up reading Luther instead.

I confess that the majority of what passes for Christian culture sounds and feels to me like so much voodoo—far more about personal lusts for power than about the Kingdom of God and true religion. I suspect that what true discipleship demands is far more simple, and far more pervasive: not a new font, but a new word.

I confess that I believe the New Perspective on Paul / Third Quest for the Historical Jesus people have the better argument, and that the resistance to that argument is due far more to the human desire to protect our personal projects than to an honest thirst to discover the best hermeneutical horizon possible for understanding what the triune God is doing in the world.