I think the religious red state/blue state divide is a shame.
A difference in emphasis on how to inherit our culture’s twin heritage of the bible and Greek thought has hardened into an ideological divide. Across the divide each half of America regards the other half with some mixture of derision, fear, suspicion, and contempt.
One sad thing about the divide (as if it weren’t sad enough that it paralyzes our nation’s politics and that we regard our fellow citizens with contempt) is that it causes our own views to become less profound and less nuanced. In the effort to convince our fellow citizens that they are jackasses, we end up becoming more like that foolish animal ourselves.
In this podcast I am trying to deepen my own understanding of faith by talking with two theologians who come from the tradition of evangelical Christianity, and who were kind enough to have me as their guess. Each of them is, in a different way, is in a critical dialogue with his tradition and faith community and with “secular” culture as a whole. In many ways although I come from a different background I share their existential situation.
I went into trying to find a common topic of interest that would lie deeper than any of the obvious philosophical dichotomies that separate me from orthodox Christianity. It struck me that whatever else Christianity is it must be a “tiding of comfort and joy”. Whatever doctrine Christians may espouse (and they have espoused quite a few conflicting ones over the millennia) they must share the idea that they have a message of joy. Christians to be worthy of the name must know something about joy. And who, secular, Jewish, or Cthulhu worshiper wouldn’t want to know about that?
So with that end I pursue the issue by investigating two questions with my two partners in dialogue:
1)What is joy; and
2)How can it be communicated.