Monday, June 9, 2008

the breezes blow

I'm feeling kind of small right now, kind of young. Lately Josh and I have been thinking a lot about denominational affiliations and so forth. Since we're considering church planting and recently attended an EFCA church planting "boot-camp" (aptly named, really), our thoughts are expansive. I think my class in the Catholic Modern Novel is also affecting all these ponderings.

We read Chesterton last week (just two chapters from Orthodoxy), and I was struck by his discussion of the usefulness of structures and boundaries. Once you know your limits, it's almost as though you have more freedom to explore and create. This is sort of abstract, I realize. For instance, though, in the classroom, I feel like my students are much more likely to take risks when they have a good understanding of my expectations, and when I've given them some "scaffolding" (to use a pedagogy buzzword). Or in my own daily life: if I know that I do laundry on Wednesdays, clean on Fridays, etc., I don't have to spend time worrying about when I should fit in the laundry or how it's piling up.

Some people probably benefit from structures like these more than others.

But in terms of denominations, as Josh wrote about recently, I personally feel compelled sometimes to just up and join a church tradition, and submit myself to it, knowing full well that it will be pockmarked, instead of trying to build everything from the ground up, develop my own mishmash theological statement, etc. This whole ascendancy of the individual in religion doesn't strike me as such a good thing just now. I want a tradition, perhaps even a liturgy, something I can bump up against in my thinking.

Does this make sense? I wonder if it's a generational or reactionary thing. Thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. To answer your last question, probably a little of both. But whether it is reactionary or a generational thing isn't the point. The question is, are the boundaries of a particular tradition a theological necessity?