And she reminds us that we are too
Your blog here reminds me of several years ago when doctors were trying to definitely diagnose a complex auto-immune disease I was suffering with. The "best" diagnosis for me didn't work that well because of some big differences between my symptoms and typical symptoms. The specialist deadpanned, "These darn autoimmune diseases have such nerve! How dare they not conform to the boxes we have created for them."
Wow. Just wow. Loved every word of this blog. Your sound and thoughtful reflections in both Jesus and John Wayne and this post gives me courage to stand firm in my faith even when it seems to go against the Christian mainstream. Thank you for your good and encouraging work.
What a tremendous article. This quote sums it up so well. "Placing their trust in their own articulations of their own truths, they have taken upon themselves the ceaseless task of defending every last card they’ve propped up lest a single one be nudged out of place. Enter Beth Moore, whose understanding of her faith rests not on a stack of cards she’s assembled, but rather on her sense of the Spirit of a living God, a Spirit that blows in ways that sooner or later will dismantle every last man-made house of cards." Thank you!
This is so well stated. Thank you! For many years I was a Calvinist. It was very important for me to be "right." First Moody, then TEDS, then the pastor of an urban church for 33 years. In the 90s I started reading Dallas Willard. His life and thought began to change me. The the growing arrogance of TGC, et al, just did me in. Finally the moral failings on the "top" pastors left me grieving deeply. Now, I am not a Calvinist. I am not a complementarian. And there are other things i am not. I am a committed follower of Jesus Christ and continue to learn of Him.
Just today I was realizing how I worked so hard to look perfect. Well I want to read Beths book. Thankfully for your endorsement. Again I’m 85 and just beginning to get it right.hahaha. Thanks Kirsten. So much more could be said. Wilma rabidoux Hudsonville.mi about three years CRC and a recovering Baptist.
Such a great discussion. Our tendency to think in black and white, in or out, all or nothing positions really does not foster nuanced conversations that may actually forge connections with each other. It takes way more energy and attention to live in the liminal/ grey spaces. Personally, I like the idea of not boxing myself in completely. I admire your ability to speak into those populations and spaces that get people (including me) thinking. Thank you
This was just a delight to read, my brain is exploding in so many good ways. I had no idea there was a Calvinist tradition that “emphasized restoration, Shalom, and human flourishing”. Thank you for connecting all these dots! I’m eagerly awaiting my copy of Beth’s book from the library!
Beautiful work - I'm not mentioning this for your endorsement :-) but 10 years ago I did some field research around the centrality of women in the evangelical church (industry) and even managed to get in published under the George Barna brand. It's called "The Resignation of Eve- What If Adam’s Rib Is No Longer Willing to Be the Church’s Backbone?" https://tinyurl.com/3thburu4 You might find some stories interesting and maybe helpful for your ongoing research. A central discovery was that if Evangelical women organized and together agreed to skip one Sunday morning Service they would suddenly be taken seriously and many male pastors "theology" of women would magically change overnight. Thank you for leading. This is fun to watch
I appreciate your work very much. Your voice is essential in today's environment. I do, however, have issue with one thing you said in this article. When you wrote about people who would shun LGBTQ+ Christians and Christians who refuse to shun them until their son or daughter comes out and they then are relieved to find a place in the church for them, you write, "This is not hypocrisy, this is what it means to be human." I would argue that it is the very definition of hypocrisy, which is a hallmark of our humanity (and our fallen state). It is a minor issue, perhaps. However, I feel that the people who are the most vocal advocates of shunning those they deem to be sinners steeped in a deeper shade of sin than the rest of us are the most hypocritical.
This is so well written and quite literally brought tears to my eyes at a few points because of how it so perfectly put words to the cries of my soul and the wrestling in my own mind over my faith and the messy uneasiness that just won't let me rest in the status quo of evangelicalism. I was at Baylor and just finished Beth's book and similarly found her story to be an encouragement that there is value and beauty in the nuance. It won't always be appreciated, but is the most honest expression of what faith is.
Thank you for posting this on International Women's Day. Much to learn from your observations and spirit.
Wow! Ongoing thanks for your smarts!
Beth sounds intriguing (thanks to this piece), even for heathens like me...;-)
What you captured in this blog reflects so much of my own experience of grappling with "the nature of religious faith itself" - a grappling that is shaped by my own early faith formation in the Reformed tradition but rests in the freedom that comes from trusting the Spirit to lead me into new and life-giving comprehensions of that faith.
Wow! This not only encourages me to read the book, but you’ve encouraged me toward Christ, who in his glory has proven time again that he can handle the mess—my mess—and who also intends to empower me by his Spirit to engage with others who desperately need to see him present and active in their mess, too. Thank you, my sister!
Every word resonates, but here’s the quote I need on my fridge...
“Sin has corrupted everything. Our relationships, our behaviors, our identities, and our understanding. We get things wrong, all the time. Maybe we’re especially prone to getting things wrong when we are most certain that we are getting things right.”
I was much more sure of myself 20 years ago. I think (hope) that means I’m growing up.