No Wonder Faith is Dying

This blog comes out of a response I wrote to a conversation happening on the EmDes blog at

Why is it that people of faith are “losing their religion?” Why does faith die? What is it about the Church (the traditional place people “get” faith) that has changed? Why is it that the hope, the joy, the grace, the mercy, the whatever-it-is-that-keeps-faith-alive has seemingly disappeared?

Some will say – we’re just not that naive anymore. And while that may be true, I have never thought it was necessary to have 150% buy-in. Second, third, even 4th or 5th naivete is a natural for us curious thinkers. I see this continual exploration as an essential, life-giving part of the life of a faithful person.  So why, can’t faith thrive and grow?  Why is it dying?

I have come to believe is that it’s our fault.  We (and by “we” I mean the Church because I am part of this thing we call Church for good or ill) have done a pretty poor job of allowing for mystery. Everything should not be answered.  Everything cannot be answered. Even the smartest physicists allow for the influence of the unknown. Yet instead of resting in the mystery, we insist on seeking and finding answers.

In too many places, the we have eliminated the gracious, hopeful possibility that flows in and around mystery. We have traded mystery for closed down certainties, for stone cold assurances, for concretized dogma, for a graceless proscriptive ethic which is sealed, stiff, unyielding. Why have we come to this place where we believe we can “nail down” what the Spirit is doing? Think about those words: nail, closed, stone, sealed, concrete. These are burial words.  It makes me wonder.

2 thoughts on “No Wonder Faith is Dying

  1. It used to be that my faith depended on being able to explain everything. Now my faith depends on that which can’t be explained.

  2. Uncertainty can be a bugger, but I celebrate it in my physics classroom, and my church. And as a piece evolves in my stdio, who can be sure I have chosen the perfect glass

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