Sufjan Stevens – O Holy Night
First, I’m not sure I got word out to everyone, but the pace of one chapter a week was killing me softly. So we are going to ratchet it up to a whopping two per week.
Second, it seems that an apology is necessary. Any book that has the words – epistemology, postfoundationalist, constructivism, hermeneutic, propositionalism – all in the same chapter has intruded on one’s right to read books without requiring the use of wikipedia in order to understand it. Maybe if he had started with the Crystal Meth to Christ bit, this transgression could have been overlooked. But he didn’t, so it isn’t.
Third, he is right. As far as I’m concerned, his description of how we know truth really isn’t up for debate. To put it as succinctly as I can… there is a Reality, and yet that reality comes to us filtered. Our backgrounds, experiences, levels of understanding, mood all color how we “see” things. And naturally, our groups (church, family, school, peers, etc…) are crucial for forming our understandings of reality. Like Belcher, I would be hesitant to go along with the thinking that reality is determined by our communities. Instead, I would affirm that there is a reality, but it always comes interpreted.
If that is so, then the it seems like “Deep Evangelism” is the logical next step. Since our perception of reality is hopelessfully shaped by community, then it just makes sense to allow belonging to precede belief. Not that beliefs don’t matter, but how can one sort our what they believe unless they have a place in which to do so? The image of Rodin’s Thinker which captures the ideal of the individual’s ability to discern truth simply isn’t true. Not now… and not then.
So I’m not sure any of this invites much conversation. Maybe the questions are more along the lines of “so what?” If that’s all true, then how does that affect the way we live? How we worship? How we pursue friendships? How we parent? How we live out mission?
I have had the benefit of being able to discuss the content of the book with individuals and groups. I wish you the same.