1. God
    Although God is an entirely human construct, humanity is also a divine construct: and divinity came first. I owe the privilidge of God-making to a God that I didn’t make, and whose identity is largely beyond me.
  2. Jesus Christ
    As one who claims both full divinity and full humanity, Jesus represents an anchor point for me, regardless of whether his claims are ultimately factual. His life is a kind of redemptive paradox, on which I have arrogantly and arbitrarily decided to base my own.
  3. Atheism
    I am an atheist insofar as I see the limits of theism: (my own) attempts to conceive of God are inherently flawed and inaccurate. But that sounds a lot like the doctrine of the fall, which historically is found in theistic camps. I do get the sense that God tolerates my misconceptions, since I feel that I can thrive in (spite of) them.
  4. The Bible
    Consistently inconsistent and yet fully infallible, it’s another important anchor point in my life. In the progression from Yahweh to Jeshua, I’m forced to come to terms with genocides and infanticides of my own perpetration.
  5. Authority
    When reader-response theorists suggest that the author is dead, aren’t they committing suicide? You have to honour the source of good things. I’m just not sure that I have yet found the original spring.
  6. Family
    Among the privileges of circumstance to which I owe my present reality, I include my family. In the context of this family, I acquired the values of discipline, compassion and commitment, grounded in the committed religious practice of my parents, and their compassionate, disciplined carrying-out of their faith in their manner of raising us (my siblings and I). Though I’ve often encountered other, equally compelling flavours of these values (e.g. among Artists, Scientists, and Hindus), I have for the most part embraced the rigidly confessional reformed Christian bias that marks the birth of my own pilgrimage. Insofar as that embrace is rooted in the emotional ties of family and church community, rather than in intellectual honesty, my religious convictions may have more in common with ancestor worship, than with what they claim to be: “worship of the one, true God, through participation in the one, true church”. If that is willfully blind and arrogant on my part, I’m sorry. The alternative is something I continue to consider, but I currently lack the capacity to make such a paradigm shift in truth and in love.

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