Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Seeing Christian theology from the outside

I ran across an interesting bit of journalism recently: a self-proclaimed athiest's thoughts and reflections during a multi-week membership class at a conservative Lutheran church.

Well, I did it. Last Thursday night I went to the first (of 15) classes in a series offered at a local Lutheran church. I’ve written up the first class experience below; to cut to the chase (for those who want the Cliffs Notes version) it was educational in exposing me to: conservative Christians who aren’t evangelicals, some questions Christians ask in a class like this, the sensation of having asked a question that the instructor does not like what seemed like an odd (imo) combination of appeal to historicity and fact, followed by denigration of rationality and logic, and generous use of (what I saw as) a logical approach I don’t “buy”, which I’ve heard called “Appeal to consequences of a belief”. I do plan to go back, though if the pastor stares at me every time he mentions the Devil, it may get uncomfortable. (Truth be told, I have already sinned in his eyes: I have read ahead in the text booklet, which we were warned not to do. But I did it after class.)
I found her analysis fair, incisive, and tremendously helpful in remembering where a lot of folks are coming from the first time they step through the doors of Cascade Hills. In all honesty, had I attended the same class, even as a believer, I would have thought a number of the same things at the same times. The detailed step-by-step approach Eliza takes to her reporting resonated with me, and though I find myself with different convictions regarding the claims of Christ, I imagine we might have found a lot to agree with had we shared a conversation following the event. Eliza, thanks for being forthright and honest!


Dwayne Hilty said...

Extremely good read. There's probably much to say and write in response, but I will say that I wish more Christians could read accounts (or better with people) such as this.

Definitley makes you more aware of where people are at.

Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed my comments! There are now 3 class reviews up, see here.