Thursday, March 10, 2016

Seminary for the atheists

I had to keep pausing this video. For me it was like watching archeologist after archeologist uncover items and then speak authoritatively about the use and value of something just pulled out of the ground while being completely wrong. They interview a man who wrote a book to tell people they could get close to Jesus without actually doing the things he mandated. They interview a humanist chaplain that thinks what people seek in religion (namely community) is important, but doesn't require organized religion.

Really, religion is certainly about what you do today - how you serve your fellow man and how you find peace with him - but that is not the goal. The goal is the Kingdom. All this centering on the life we live here on Earth without looking to Heaven is like running while looking 2 feet in front of you and not towards the finish line. It's simply bad form.

When I was in high school working out in the gym a coach came up to me and said, "You do really well in the weight room. You can bench over 200 pounds and all that, but you need to put more emphasis on the practice in pads." In essence, this is all well and good, but when it's time to get on the line and grind it out in a game, you're not going to be ready. Going to theological classes to learn how to be better at the practice of this life is insufficient. I can already hear the reply, "But if they can learn a little they can be brought to Christ!" I hear you. I also see from the mouths of the instructors themselves that their goal is "not to evangelize." They are just teaching the lexicon of Christianity; Jesus Vocabulary 101. The problem is that a life in Christ is not studied. It is lived. Taking a class where the expectation for success is well below a functional level of catechesis fools the student into thinking they have things covered much in the same way I thought tricep extensions would prepare me for getting laid out on the second play of our first home game. Looking up at the sky with no air in my lungs and no idea what was happening is not how you want to encounter the next life. If you want to really learn who Jesus is, what He wants for you, and how to equip yourself for both this life in the next, you'd do better to take a semester away from the ivy-covered buildings and spend some time at the Lived Theology School. You'd learn more there than you would in comfortable chairs hashing out ethical dilemmas without having to actually experience the world of hard choices.

1 comment:

  1. While I would never recommend this for, let's say, a catechumen; it doesn't seem like these folks are looking to prepare for the next life. They want to find meaning in this life - and that's commendable. "Eternity in the heart of man," "Seeds of the Logos" and all that. The impetus to search is a sign that one is not totally lost.

    But no doubt, childish things must be put away eventually.