Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Epic Struggle

What happens when a simple Sunday School faith slams into a liberal arts education? Something like what one finds in this well-written post at November in My Soul:
Early on in college I read The Epic of Gilgamesh, and to borrow a cliché, nothing was ever the same again. It was a huge epiphany, or maybe a reverse epiphany, as it pushed me away from The Truth. I began to see the forest, or more correctly I began to realize that there was a forest and not just my little sacred grove. When I realized that the Noah flood story, as well as many others, was common across many cultures my already tenuous acceptance of the Baptist indoctrination stretched beyond the breaking point. Like so many before me I thought I had found the answer and felt content in my newly minted agnosticism.
The full post Far on a Dark Wind is here.

I once preached a sermon which worked with the Gilgamesh Epic called Competing Stories: Which do you make your own? The challenege is a real one for whether the Biology or Sociology or whatever you study in college may challenge your faith, or it may be a big event like September 11, Hurricane Katrina or the death of a loved one, each of us can have our faith tested.

I don't actually mean to pick on Sunday School as shallow. But how can you go beyond a too simple view of faith (one which doesn't get you through the real tough times Christians face) without losing child-like wonder Jesus considered essential? How can we raise the next generation to have more robust faith?

the Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church


  • At 8/29/2006 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You should read the entire blog posting from "November in my Soul." As a(n) [anonymous] college chaplain, I find that students often come away with a stronger faith once their Sunday School faith collides with a liberal arts education. Read further in the blog and you'll find that this writer's agnosticism was short lived and a stonger faith in Christ grew out of the initiate shock to find that his Christian experience was just one treat in the forest of Christianity.
    The blogger writes: "Understanding Christianity in a mythological context enhanced my faith, providing me with an infinitely deeper comprehension. We have been given the complete Truth for which these myths were aiming. We can see them for what they are, attempts to see the face of God, to know His mind, to find solace in a cold world."

    The blogger also said:"Let me be clear. I am not saying that Christ is a myth. I am not saying that Christianity is disguised mythology. I believe that He is the Way, the truth and the Light. Coming to a deeper understanding or the role of myth across time led ME back to the true faith."

    I find that most Sunday School faiths expire at the first life tragedy, but a well thought-out faith leads to an even deeper love of Christ. But you raise a good question, how to you help a younger generation have a robust faith? I think exposing them to the wider world is key to this goal, for, if God is not God in the wider world, then, it is a pathetic faith indeed. However, further examination of the wider world may reveal what the mathematician Pascal said years ago, that all truth is God's truth.


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