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Archive for January 30th, 2005

A Good Question

Erica asks a good question: “Why become a theological liberal?” Her question really raises the whole issue of what is real Christianity? What is true Christian faith and life, and why would someone want to deviate from it? If true Christianity is the Christianity that is lived in the Tradition, why isn’t everyone that sort of Christian?

Over at the atheist message boards I visit (far less frequently now than once was the case), which I’ve written about before, I find myself often in a two-pronged argument against the anti-Christian posters as well as the fundamentalist Christians who take great delight in sawing off the branch of the argument-tree on which they sit. The atheists and anti-Christians love it: “Here are two Christians disagreeing over the basic beliefs–so they claim–of their irrational doctrines. Let’s just let them go at it and maybe they’ll off one another and we won’t have to worry about them anymore.” It’s not that I enjoy arguing against fundamentalist Christians, but to make an advancing argument against atheist attacks, I often find myself fighting a rearguard action so as to establish my advancing argument. Frustrating as heck, I must say.

There are two simple answers to Erica’s question, or at least Erica’s question as broadened by me here: Those Christians who do not follow the way Christianity has always been lived fail to do so either from ignorance (this was the case with me and many of my fellow parishioners, for example), or because they are convinced that there is no such thing as “the way Christianity has always been lived.” These two answers, at least, fit the majority of people that I know personally. There is a third answer, which Erica gives in her post, and which I will comment on below. But I want to spend time with the first two possibilities I present here.
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