Thursday, February 11, 2010

For Sabio

Recently, Sabio published a series of "Declare Thyself!" posts in which he asked his readers to state their positions on sets of religious and philosophical issues. I have been hesitant to "declare myself" despite, as he has noted, a willingness to state my positions elsewhere. My reasons have more to do with Sabio's choice of a title than anything else. When I declare my position on some topic, it's because I want to engage (argue with) someone on that particular issue. It is of no importance to anyone that one of the opinions expressed is Laughing Boy's, the issue is the issue. In contrast, when asked to declare myself, I am the issue, and that doesn't appeal to me. It's probably true that by blogging at all I am, to some degree, making myself the issue. Inherent in expressing my opinion is the idea that other people should care what I have to say. But in my mind I've gone too far if I simply say, "Hey, World, these are my views." It seems to me that statement implies that I think the world wants to know (or should want to know) my views. I don't think it does or should.

On the other hand, I don't want to give Sabio the cold shoulder. So with this disclaimer, in the interest of congeniality, here are my responses to Sabio's "Christian, Declare Thyself".

My Denomination: Presbyterian Church in America.

God's Nature: Trinitarian. Personal. Omniscient, omnipotent, omni-present. Perfectly just. Perfectly loving.

Christology: High.

Theology of Scripture: Inerrant and infallible in all it teaches.

Soteriology: Exclusivist, Calvinist.

Atonement Theology: Penal substitutionary with elements of governmental and moral influence theories.

Literal Bodily Resurrection: Yes.

Cosmology: Old Earth.

View on State of Israel: Israel-neutral to moderately pro-Israel.

Missionology: Service first.

Eschatology: Tentative amillenialist.

View on Science: Science friendly, scientist-neutral, scientific establishment-leery.

Women can be priest or minister: No, but my opposition is highly apathetic.

Homosexuality can be valid life style: No, but another's sexual preference is none of my business.


Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I grew up Presbyterian USA, ironically I left because they were too liberal for me. If only that old me could see the current me, he'd be appalled. ;-)

This just reminded me of The Layman which i used to receive in print, I see they are on-line now.

Several of my friends and I stayed for quite some time and felt sort of like missionaries within the church.

Laughing Boy said...

I attended PCUSA churches for a couple of years. They weren't particularly liberal, as far as I could tell, but were pretty "soft" theologically.

Thanks for the link. It looks interesting.

One of my favorite bloggers is PCUSA pastor and author Dr. Mark D. Roberts. He has written on why he has stayed with the PCUSA. Last time I checked he was trying to save it, or at least a little part of it, from within.


CyberKitten said...

Your posting certainly confirms my level of ignorance of most things theological..... as I barely understood one word in three or maybe five [grin].

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

The liberalism wasn't blatant in the church I attended, at least not so much in the preaching.

Much of my early theology and my approach to studying Scripture was heavily influenced by a friend who eventually went on to the Evangelical Friends church. I haven't spoken to him in years, in fact he's one of the people who never responded to my de-conversion letter.

Sabio Lantz said...

@ Laughing Boy

Great caveats and I agree with much of your hesitation. But in real dialogue, there is no idea in and of itself in one sense. We all have our histories, our experiences, our investments and our emotions attached to ideas. By declaring theyself, on shows transparency and willingness to take a change. It goes unspoken (in my world) that we can change anytime. It is more of an effort to expose ourselves -- perhaps I should hove named it that, "EXPOSE THYSELF" -- but I am not sure that would have flied. What would you name it in order to capture what you and I both share about the value of dialogue?

By the way, you should make an "About Me" tab and put this info there so that when people come to read they can quickly see you exposed and ready for open dialogue.

I am happy to see, by your exposure, that I have read you fairly correctly. But each time you comment or post, I appreciate your articulate nature even if we disagree.

Laughing Boy said...

What would you name it in order to capture what you and I both share about the value of dialogue?

"Tell Me About Yourself"

This is a personal request for information. "Declare Thyself" is an object-free imperative.

I think that we declare ourselves adequately, perhaps more adequately, over the course of many specific conversations than through one questionnaire. The questionnaire seems more efficient, but it's a shortcut that serves more to categorize than to understand. Understanding a person requires patience. This, I'm sure, you know.

Laughing Boy said...

P.S. I was thinking of having my readers fill out my form. That would have made much more interesting reading.

Sabio Lantz said...

@ Laughing Boy
I really like your suggestion and looking at my posts, now, I agree. My real intent was to have people "tell me about" themselves. But I did want to make a catchy title -- but I may have sacrificed some of my intent.

So, I took your suggestion to heart and went and up-dated(changed) all the posts to say:
"Share Thyself"

Hopefully that captures some of your insight. Thank you.

BTW, I added Hermeneutics to the list. But I have to work on a list of the various hermeneutics people embraces and how they differentiate types of believers. If you have any thoughts, let me know.