Learning To Be People of Faith
Salacious Argument: Church Should NOT Teach You Who God Is
In graduate school, one of the first things you learn is that it is your responsibility to learn your subject. Classes in graduate school often provide some content, but the bulk of the instruction is in the process of learning and gathering information, rather than in delivering information. Direct instruction is replaced by seminars where the emphasis is on how you think about content, how you organize an argument, and how you connect the material to reveal new perspectives.
This is the process for developing life-long learners and true experts. No class could possibly teach you everything you need to know about any given subject. Learning how to learn, learning how to think critically, these are the skills that allow each person to thrive in the world and become powerful. This is the role of church in the post-modern age.
As the Pastor of Admiral Congregational Church, I cannot teach you who (or what, or how) God is. I can share my perspective, but as we discussed in September, I know I have just as incomplete a picture as everyone else. And more importantly, you already have a direct, embodied connection with the Creator, one that is more powerful and true than my thoughts could ever be for you. Church is a place not to receive answers, but to learn to ask better questions.
During October we will build on the work we did in September, focusing on how our internal lives make honest transformation and faith-in-action possible. We will start from the basic premise that God is already at work in our lives, and always has been. If we take this premise seriously, it will be imperative that we develop and hone our observational skills so that the God-At-Work comes more clearly into focus. To do this, we must be ready to question our assumptions, set aside our distractions, and engage in practices that reach deep to the center of things. We will be hosting MAPS-AMEN for our Ask A Muslim event, as part of this work of getting free from misinformation. As always, we remember that no matter who we are or where we are on life’s journey, we are all in this together.
In Peace and with Love,