Shuck and Jive

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An Uncertain Faith

I am thoroughly enjoying Stephen Batchelor's Confession of a Buddhist Atheist. It is the story of his life with Buddhism.

What I find interesting is the parallel between his experience with Buddhism and my experience with Christianity. I find in him a fellow traveler who discovered Buddhism as I have discovered Christianity to be too dogmatic and suffocating even as they don't have to be. The problem is both traditions are too insistent. Both are certain that the way they define the world and the place of humanity within the world is the way it is. There is no room for growth.

Both traditions say the opposite of course. They affirm questioning as far as it goes. Eventually you are expected to come around to the right way of thinking. You hit the glass ceiling of dogma. "You cannot doubt this (whatever this might be) and be a Christian/Buddhist."

This is what Batchelor says of certainty:

The problem with certainty is that it is static; it can do little but endlessly reassert itself. Uncertainty, by contrast, is full of unknowns, possibilities, and risks. p. 65

Is it possible to have an uncertain Christianity?

Here is an interview with Stephen Batchelor about his book:

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