Friday, April 13, 2012

From the keyboard of Diana Butler Bass

I read this today over at Huffington Post. It seems that this person is zeroed in on some of the issues that we are wrestling with today. I especially appreciated the way she frames the questions that people ask of religion and spirituality, "
Religion always entails the "3B's" of believing, behaving, and belonging. Over the centuries, Christianity has engaged the 3B's in different ways, with different interrogators and emphases. For the last 300 years or so, the questions were asked as follows:
1) What do I believe? (What does my church say I should think about God?)
2) How should I behave? (What are the rules my church asks me to follow?)
3) Who am I? (What does it mean to be a faithful church member?)
But the questions have changed. Contemporary people care less about what to believe than how they might believe; less about rules for behavior than in what they should do with their lives; and less about church membership than in whose company they find themselves. The questions have become:
1) How do I believe? (How do I understand faith that seems to conflict with science and pluralism?)
2) What should I do? (How do my actions make a difference in the world?)
3) Whose am I? (How do my relationships shape my self-understanding?)
The foci of religion have not changed--believing, behaving, and belonging still matter. But the ways in which people engage each area have undergone a revolution"
I agree that we can get mired in the past. The things that once were relevant and life-giving seem to have lost their luster. New positions and, yes, questions arise that demand our attention.

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