Faith in complexity: Finding authentic community

I figure that there’s no better time for deconstruction + reconstruction than during late stages of PhD study in a pandemic. I’ve been deep into complexity thinking about What is school? and challenging my taken for granted assumptions. Especially relevant in world that is characterised by uncertainty, unpredictability and change.

But, how can I not apply the same process to another significant part of my life. Faith. Not so much the existence of God (but, of course that needed to be on the table), but more around, What is an authentic faith-life in the 2020s?

For a year now, we (Bill and I) have not had an answer, Where do you go to church? This 12 months has helped us to think about what matters. So,what does matter? For us, examining our taken for granted assumptions about faith, church and the Bible.

Today, I listened to an episode of the podcast — The Bible for Normal People (Pete Enns & Jared Byas). Enns and Byas interviewed Brian McLaren, whose recent book is Faith after Doubt: Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What to Do about It

At the conclusion McLaren said,

“You’ve created a social dilemma for me. The way you’re reading the Bible will never be acceptable to my pastor, to the church I go to”

then he added,

“there are many people who don’t have a single peer who will give them the room to ask these questions.”

Is that you?

Maybe you’re asking the same questions as us, seeking a new faith reality, and looking for peers. Just perhaps you are experiencing an inner conflict, a fight between ‘I’ve always done this’ and ‘this is no longer authentic’. I’ve listed the books I’ve read that have been important in challenging my thinking. I’d like to open a dialogue to share our journeys.

How do you know if this is you?

  1. Listen to the Enns/Byas podcast (approx 50 mins)
  2. Compare your reading list to mine.

If these resonate, get in touch.

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