Could apostasy actually be a sign of a healthy church?
Lauren Winner of Duke Divinity School recently considered the situation of writer/director Paul Haggis’ defection from his faith. Haggis bitterly – and publicly – left the Church of Scientology because of his disagreement with them over gay marriage (turns out Scientology is not a fan). Haggis now counts as an “apostate” from Scientology because he has renounced them and their teachings. So why does Winner care at all about any of this? Because it helps her think about her own church (Episcopalian) and the rigor (or lack, thereof) it takes to be a part of it. She writes,
So while I appreciate that my church makes room for patchwork, for doubt, for moving in and out, some days I think: Would that America’s Protestant mainline could produce an apostate. For one might say that a group that lacks the necessary preconditions for making apostates can’t make disciples either.
Now this is a fascinating angle to get at thinking about discipleship – a group isn’t really much good, or good for you spiritually unless it is demanding enough of you that you might leave (or even be pushed out). So…is she on to something? Or is she really romanticizing a certain “rugged” view of Christian community that in fact is coercive and harmful? What do you think?
Do you see it? We have an immense propensity to take the gospel and turn it into law. We love to take good and turn it into chains. Why do we do that?
- Sam Storms wants to know Why Doesn’t God Save Everyone?
If election were solely based on what God wanted and not anything in us that might differentiate the chosen from the un-chosen and thus account for why this one and not another, why didn’t God choose all? If he could have, why didn’t he?
- And, also from Reclaiming the Mind, Michael Patton asks, Why Did God Put Satan in Eden?
While there is more we could expand on here, the question of the hour is this: If Satan is so evil and “anti-God” why did God put Satan in the Eden? While there is no way to know what would have happened had he not been present, it is evident from the narrative and the ensuing curse that Satan played a big part in the fall.
- Here’s an interesting summary of Peter Leithart’s understanding of baptism and apostasy.
According to Leithart, water baptism has “virtually unbelievable powers” that makes someone a member of Christ instead of Adam, turns someone into a member of Christ’s body, and brings someone into acceptance with God.
- Brian LePort wants to know if we should say that Jesus is God’s Facebook.
- Chimpanzees have not only figured out how to disarm traps, they may have learned how to pass the knowledge on to future generations.
- And, the Onion reports that the gap between the rich and the poor has been named the 8th Wonder of the World.