DiaBlogue: Orthodoxy, Generously

While I’ve been busy with various projects on my other blog, Alan replied to my quest for Enlightenment? and Truth and Trust with discussions of:

* On the Evolution of Religion [not formally part of the series]
* (In)coherent Mumbling

I was particularly encouraged by his promise:

“to explain more fully the variety of reasons that I find Christian beliefs untenable, what preferable alternatives exist, and why they are preferable. I think we have had too many claims and too little explanation and support of those claims.”

I wholeheartedly agree. My one concern is that I’d like to make sure the Christian beliefs he is critiquing are not limited to American Fundamentalism. [Read more] for a generous proposal to help with that…

As I’ve mentioned before, I actually agree with many of Alan’s critiques, especially as they apply to Western Christendom, and most particularly to American Fundamentalism. The real difference between us is that I think solution lies in going deeper into Christianity, whereas he thinks the solution is to go away from Christianity.

I am glad to see he is finally preparing to propose some “preferable alternatives” to Christianity, so I get to throw stones from my glass house for a change. 🙂

Conversely, while I have done my best to define my own idiosyncratic beliefs, I can appreciate Alan being unimpressed at my sketchy outlines and lack of a following. Therefore, Alan, I’m offering to buy you any or all of the following three books, which provide a much richer picture of Christian orthodoxy I am proud to believe in, and a set of reasonings I would be happy to defend (and would love to see you work on refuting):

* Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesteron
* The Pilgrim’s Regress by C.S. Lewis
* A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren

They are available at http://urlx.org/amazon.com/3ce1e, in case you have trouble with the links. I think I still have your address, so let me know which (if any) you want, and I’ll have Amazon ship them over. Chesterton’s book in particular is pretty short (almost shorter than my blog posts!), so I hope you take me up on this.

Just to be clear, I don’t for a moment think they will convince you to adopt Christianity. However, I hope these will at least induce you to focus your efforts on the “real” issues with Christianity, not the trivia which modern Protestantism has caricatured as “real” Christianity (which is like defining physics based on our positions on supersymmetry :-).

Best wishes,
— Ernie P.