If I could only grant that my faith represented only my own reflection and insight. But I cannot. Because who I am suffers the discipline of the Word of God, which is militant and available to human beings here and now. It is an obstinate witness.
There is great peril in religious practise. And the risk is not that of heresy, but of latent agnosticism. And this agnosticism is no where more dramatized than in the churches themselves.
Churches are full of overly competent faithful. Knowledgable. Erudite. Attentive to the views of others. Prolific in explanation. Possessed of a social conscience of some vigour. Active citizens. Adequate conversationalists.
But true discourse is predictably aborted. Falls short of dynamism. Dialogue. It amounts to the classification of predetermined thoughts that is in reality unresponsive. There is no action-disputation, applied-contention, waking-commitment, lived-confession. Only a cataloguing of positions. Pre-described religiously based political planks. Conventional. Illustrious. But at root the churches are full of librarians. Classifiers of material. Cataloguing ideas, trends, schools of thought, generically, chronologically, dully. God’s work in the world – the Word of God – is no actual power. Prayer and Christian education are the poor handmaids to wish fulfillment and magical thinking. The lack of engagement amounts to no-God and have had no more significance and tenure than those of the Puritan or Victorian or Renaissance or Reformation or Pre-Reformation eras…or those of any other time.
They are a self-serving forensics.
I have no objections to the laity becoming theologically literate. My objection comes with the church’s incapacity to promote the actual, experimental, existential encounter with the vitality of the Biblical Word in daily life. Pietistic moralisms have become ridiculously irrelevant and are neither believed not practised in adult society. Nor should they ever have been. Nor would they have been if the Church had done its proper job…responded correctly to the actual dynamics of Christ at work in the world as modelled by the Word.
Everything else is doubleminded.
But let them ask in faith…without doubt…