Friday, May 9, 2008

About core belief

I apologize for the lack of updating on my events page. For some reason the site won’t update as it should. So I’ll mention an event coming up this coming Monday, May 12. At the Village Bean in Avon, I’ll be talking to a book group about God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky. Other reading groups have taken it on—it’s that kind of book. I encourage readers to discuss its topics with others and to delve deeper into them by reading the works I cite in my bibliography.

As some comments on this blog indicate, it’s not easy to open up to a wider, inclusive view, when we’ve had a lifetime of training in following, without question, a line of thinking laid down by authority. Well, to be accurate, by some authority. I haven’t posted all the objections that came in to “Ultimate Authority” because they were repetitive and insulting. This sums up their outrage—that I “still claim identity in an organization where you outright reject its core beliefs.”

What I reject in God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky is literal belief. A thorough understanding of the distinction between literal and figurative can lead to a deeper appreciation of Christian doctrine. And doing so does not contradict core Catholic teaching. For evidence, I refer readers to Kathleen’s comment.


Florian said...

Okay, enough of this stereotyping. I think you are trying to fit me and others into this stereotype of Christians who have a phobia toward views different from theirs and who decide to simply and unquestioningly accept their church authorities. I would say at least my comments indicate that I am thinking about what I have been brought up to believe, and yes, that thinking has even involved questioning those beliefs, and no, that is not the same thing as rejecting beliefs.

I am also frustrated by a subtle but significant mischaracterization of my comments. You have been focusing your complaints on authorities, namely, our church hierarchy. Even Protestants don't accept the authority of the Catholic hierarchy, but I would still regard them as genuine Christians as far as their core beliefs are concerned. As I made clear in a recent comment that was not posted, the issue is not about accepting a certain authority like the Catholic hierarchy, but about acknowledging the common consent of Christians for almost 2000 years, whether those Christians are Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox. There has to be a point where if one has drifted so far away from that common core belief that Christians assent to then it is doubtful that the label "Christian" applies anymore to such a person.

Yeah, I got to shake my head at this last paragraph. You are jumping to conclusions if you think we are forced to give up literal belief in this post-Enlightenment age. At any rate, it is clear that dropping literal belief does contradict core Catholic teaching. Just read the Cathechism. I don't know how you can make statements that are plainly false, like that one in your last paragraph.

Anonymous said...

Florian- I have to echo your thoughts. The blogger seems to consider anyone who disagrees with her thesis as neing outraged, angry, insulting and misinformed. That comes across as a deflection to sidetrack the challenges that were posed not to the character of the blogger, but to her core beliefs and subsequent practices.