Brian McLaren was featured in an interesting interview on the FERMI Project podcast discussing his new book, Finding Our Way: The Return of the Ancient Practices. I picked up a copy last week but haven’t finished it yet. At the beginning of chapter one, he tells about interviewing Peter Senge at a pastor’s conference. McLaren opened the interview by acknowledging for Senge that the audience of pastors was probably different than his usual gatherings of business leaders. Senge replied,
McLaren returned the question to Senge, “How would you answer that question?” Senge’s answer was, I believe, profound and very intriguing:
This was a wonderful statement for me personally because it speaks very pointedly to my own faith context at this particular time of my life. (I alluded to this in a blog post a couple of months ago). I have found my received Christianity-as-belief-system increasingly problematic as I move through my life. The fact that this belief system began 44 years ago as an extremely fundamentalist and literal form of Christianity has had much to do with my discontent. It simply could not bear the weight of life and circumstances and I found I could no longer ignore the empirical evidence of life lived outside the bubble of Christendom. And yet, I couldn’t leave “the church” or faith or Jesus.
Several weeks ago, I attended a 5 Day Academy for Spiritual Formation. To be perfectly honest, I began the experience extremely cynical and with very low expectations. I left that experience with a profound new understanding of my own faith journey and of my practice of faith from that point forward. Specifically, my new understanding revolves around this tension between practice and system of belief. I would love to hear some of your thoughts on this.