Welcome to Seeing Faith – a blog where I will be exploring the multitude of questions I have about Christianity, religion and faith in contemporary society.
The seeds for this blog were planted several years ago when I experienced what would probably be called a spiritual awakening of sorts. This story is a long one, but the bottom line is that after having been raised a secular Jew who really didn’t believe in God, I discovered a new spirituality through studying about Jesus – a spirituality that has profoundly and positively affected me.
Here’s the catch: this was not some ‘born again’ experience where suddenly I realized that every word in the Bible was true (I didn’t even hear angels singing in C-Major). That would have probably have been a lot simpler to deal with – but unfortunately – what I got was something much trickier: a new awareness that there is ‘something more’ to our existence, but I am really not all that sure what it is. That’s what this blog is about – exploring the nature of that ‘something more’.
Yes – that’s a pretty big task. In fact, in one sense I already know the task is impossible – because one thing I’m pretty sure of is that God is ultimately unknowable. However, I view this as a journey on an asymptotic path – something that will hopefully help me clarify some of my thinking and bring me closer to what I know I will never fully reach.
I will be traveling this path by exploring a number of questions I have about God, Jesus and faith. My posts will usually be tied to one of these questions, and will hopefully be informed by research I will be conducting. This research will draw on a number of fields – theology (obviously) but also philosophy, sociology of religion, psychology, history and science. In fact, a key role of this blog will be to post the responses to the books I am reading in a more legible form than the scribbles I have been leaving in margins for the past few years. I will be building up a bibliography on this site as well.
Finally – perhaps the most important purpose of this blog is to serve as living proof that there can be such a thing as a ‘seeing faith’ – a faith that grows stronger by being questioned. I have been religiously reading the New Atheist books over the past few years (yes, I realize the irony of that statement) and there is at least one New Atheist argument I agree with wholeheartedly: that religions that require blind, unquestioning acceptance are dangerous. While I know that many people feel no need to question what they were taught as children, I know many others who have challenged their childhood religious education – and in many cases have ended up abandoning their faith altogether as a result. I believe that there is room for a third way – for the creation of a faith that is open to questioning, where in fact the actual act of such questioning can in itself be a spiritual exercise.
So this blog is not intended to evangelize or convince people to adhere to a given set of doctrines. It is not intended to provide a daily dose of biblical inspiration (in fact, I most likely will not be writing daily because I am a busy mother of three who is doing this in her spare time). Rather, this is a space for active questioning of the most basic tenets of religious faith – but with the goal of strengthening that faith rather than destroying it. I hope that this focus will attract others who can help sharpen my thinking or suggest new material to read or study. Or perhaps it will just help some of you to think differently.