Saturday, June 30, 2007

Confession is Good for the Soul

Here is my contribution to the Theological Confessions Meme. Biretta tip to Per Caritatem.

I confess that if I were ever given the opportunity to rewind my life and career, and to start over, I would probably enter the Dominican Order. I also confess that when I look at my wife and children, I am grateful that I will never be tempted with that choice.

I confess that I really enjoy having teenage children. I confess that still having a pre-teen in tow makes me feel younger than I am.

I confess that the Catechism of the Catholic Church has been a more formative influence on my life than Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer.

I confess that Karl Barth has irrevocably changed the way I do theology, and that, along with him, Karl Rahner, Henri de Lubac, Paul Tillich, and, lately, Hans Urs von Balthasar, are among my favorite dialogue partners in theology.

I confess that I wish my theological seminary had encouraged me to read modern theology rather than to avoid it.

I confess that those who have hurt me most in life are those who have used the pretense of orthodoxy to secure my trust.

I confess that theological liberals have often been more gracious to me than I have been to them.

I confess that C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Paul II, and Mother Theresa are among the reasons that I remain a Christian.

I confess that I have given very serious consideration to becoming a Roman Catholic twice in my life.

I confess that Sacred Heart devotion, gawdy statues, St. Christopher medals, scapularies, and other cheap trinkets are among the reasons that I doubt I'll ever become a Roman Catholic.

I confess that the virtues of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer more than make up for its deficiencies.

I confess that George Harrison is my favorite Beatle, that Pink Floyd's Echoes is the perfect musical composition, and that the end of Yes's Gates of Delerium sometimes brings a tear to my eye.

I confess that some of my most profound spiritual experiences occur while listening to Yes's The Revealing Science of God. I also confess that I find more spiritual value in listening to Rush's 2112 CD than in a MegaChurch service.

I confess that Christian fundamentalism leaves me cold.

I confess that I am in the distinct minority among orthodox thinkers in believing that Interfaith Dialogue is not only beneficial, but also necessary.

I confess that I don't exercise nearly enough for my physical health, nor drink nearly enough for my mental health.

I confess that I sometimes resent that, given my choice of career and my own aspirations, I would have gotten much further in life as a woman and/or an ethnic minority.

I confess that Charles Darwin poses the most serious challenge to the faith of many Christians, mainly because he was correct.

I confess that my disenchantment with Intelligent Design theory rests entirely on my commitment to Theism.

I confess that I am convinced that life exists in other places in our universe, perhaps even in our own solar system, and that the eventual discovery of non-terrestrial life will inspire the most serious re-think of Christian theology since Copernicus. I confess every intention of staying ahead of the curve on this one.

I confess that local orthodoxies (i.e., confessions of faith), while serving a certain usefulness, often become "household idols" that stifle theological inquiry, stall ecumenical progress, and stunt the faith of many. I also confess that I am often impatient with Anglicans who revere the 39 Articles as such.

12 comments:

Cynthia Nielsen said...

Confession is so good for the soul! I love the one about Rush and the megachurch ;)

Cheers,
Cynthia

Deep Furrows said...

Walker Percy was ahead of the curve on the ET front - not that it will be necessary...
Fred

SH said...

I confess that I am convinced that life exists in other places in our universe, perhaps even in our own solar system, and that the eventual discovery of non-terrestrial life will inspire the most serious re-think of Christian theology since Copernicus. I confess every intention of being ahead of the curve on this one.


Hello---Very thoughtful material. Forgive my random thoughts on this: http://tcrnewscom.blogspot.com/search?q=life+on+other+planets

Third Mill Catholic said...

For that matter, C.S. Lewis' space trilogy was way ahead of the curve as well.

Cynthia: thanks for dropping by. Your blog of late is becoming my favorite. I only wish your were an Episcopalian! ;-)

Jason said...

I confess that I am convinced that life exists in other places in our universe, perhaps even in our own solar system, and that the eventual discovery of non-terrestrial life will inspire the most serious re-think of Christian theology since Copernicus. I confess every intention of being ahead of the curve on this one.

I'm with you on this one Dan.
______________________________
I confess that I've seriously thought about you becoming Roman Catholic MORE than twice in my life.

Jason

Third Mill Catholic said...

If I were a betting man, I'd place my money on my not becoming a Roman Catholic. Terminally Anglican.

Brett said...

I confess that your final confession is precisely what frightens me most about an Akinola-centric Communion.

I also confess that I disagree with the Articles in places. Although I retain deep respect for their pastoral and conservative tone.

I confess that I cannot approach the 39 Articles confessionally enough to remain in the REC.

I confess that I like the 14 Theses of the Old Catholics much better..MUCH better.

I confess that the above is partly why I have been attending an Anglo-Catholic parish in Norristown..and why the move may become permanent.

I confess that I probably should write my own confessional meme, afterall. Probably do my soul some good. So be on the look-out for it

Brett
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Anonymous said...

More often than not, the abuse of "local orthodoxies" is a veiled form of sectarianism.

Taking a monolithic view of an otherwise admirable formulary like the 39 Articles, for instance, is positively lethal to catholicity. There is more than one way of doing this, but, in reality, each one is a variation on a common theme; for they seek to create a protective hedge around a particular local orthodoxy and assign it unwarranted preeminence. For example, you can isolate the Articles of Religion and make them the criterion of nearly everything else, ( i.e. creeds, conciliar dogma, patristic consensus and the Prayer Book liturgy ); or you can drive a hard-edged notitional barrier between the Articles and the Prayer Book and arbitrarily declare the former as the exclusive repository of Anglican doctrine, etc..

For this reason the most successful treatments of the 39 Articles, in my own unlearned opinion, have come from men like Beveridge, Browne, Bicknell, et al .

( The Beatles, of course, were way before my time. But do you really prefer Harrison, to that loveable dolt, Ringo ) ?

-Mark

Third Mill Catholic said...

Harrison over Ringo? My fav Beatles songs were ones written by Harrison, and his solo career was better than Lennon's, and not compromised like McCartney's. Ringo's solo career was a joke, and his Beatles' vocal contributions range from annoying to somewhat fun.

Brett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brett said...

Harrison is without a doubt my favorite Beatle..and his solo material my favorite. 'Living in the Material World' is one of my favorites next to 'All Things Must Pass'.

Lennon comes in second, followed by McCartney. Ringo..well, I'm sorry to say that he spends way too much time doing cheesey remakes of late 50s and early 60s music to interest me. He's not a creative force in music, at all.

McCartney is actually starting to redeem himself lately..his last, as well as his latest release are quite good. Best work he's done in decades (and I'm actually being literal)

George will always be my favorite, though.

Brett
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Anonymous said...

Like I said, Ringo's a loveable dolt. He hit his zenith as a solo performer way back in the 70's with his first two albums. He's an unremarkable song writer-his very best tunes, such as "It Don't Come Easy", were written in collaboration with George Harrison- and his abilities as a vocalist, barely passable. But he's a terrific showman and a fabulous drummer ( just ask Phil Collins ) notwithstanding his limited technique. The same made be said for Harrison as a lead guitarist and McCartney as a Bass player.

-Mark