Greetings and welcome to Leaf By Me, a blog where I will share and explore ideas, give periodic reviews of books and movies and hopefully generate discussion aimed at knowing God and each other on a deeper level. If you’re interested, you can check out the “About Me” tab on my homepage for a little more info. I wanted to take this time to more or less set the stage for the blog as a whole by briefly exploring the importance of intellectual reconstruction in the Christian faith.
After several years of earnest evaluation regarding my beliefs, I am now at a point where I am standing apart from some of the traditional views of the Church. Much to the chagrin of some of my friends in the faith, I hold what some may call liberal views on various topics (although I believe that is an elementary classification). In the near future I hope to go over each of these topics in greater detail, but for now you need only understand I have undergone and am still undergoing many intellectual revisions.
It was not long ago that I was listening to a podcast where some Christians were calling themselves deconstructionists. Some of the things they were saying seemed on par with where I was at intellectually, but I did not feel right calling myself a deconstructionist. To me, this implied a complete tearing apart of the faith, over-scrutinizing and breaking down of the house that represents the framework we live within. I realized I did not want to tear down the house, but at times I felt it necessary to make some structural adjustments. Like living in a real house, this will be necessary over time. Eventually, the roof wears down and it needs to be re-shingled. Heavy traffic across the floors calls for refinishing, and you may realize you are missing beautiful sunsets to the west, and so choose to add a window where a solid wall once stood.
Reconstruction is necessary as we experience and learn more, and previously held beliefs about the Bible or how God interacts with us may need to be reshaped, but it is vital that the foundation of our house remains the same. The simple answer to what this foundation is would be, you guessed it, Jesus. Determining exactly what that means, however, involves a great deal of reflection and wisdom. You may very well come to slightly different conclusions about this foundation than I have, and that is okay and worth discussing. For me, our need for a savior and God’s provision of that savior are vital, as is believing in who Jesus actually was and is. This involves some work on our part as scholars and historians, but a failure to do this may lead to concocting our own versions of Jesus which could be disastrous. Additionally, I believe the historical event of the physical resurrection of Christ needs to be at the epicenter of our lives. This is the hinge that the door of Christianity swings on and without it the faith is a sham.
We should never assume that we have God figured out. Knowing the Lord is like walking in a dark room, hands brushing against the wall as we strain our eyes to see. Then suddenly, our feet are soaked and we realize we are not in a room at all, but are in fact on the shoreline of a vast and shapeless sea. We do not meet God (or anyone for that matter) once and know everything about Him. It is therefore necessary that most of our minds remain malleable. However, if we get to the point where we have torn the house down and are chipping away at the foundation, we may have a problem. As the astute wizard Gandalf once said, “He who breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.” As with all things, pursuing an understanding of God and ourselves should be done with prayer and humility, remembering that pride can motivate our times of reconstruction and our claims of unblemished faith. So I encourage you to join me on my journey and to take time to reflect, reconsider and if necessary, reconstruct.
If you have any comments, questions or concerns, let’s talk.
Tyler B. Wilson