Christian: adj.1. of Christ’s teaching or religion. 2. Believing in or following the religion of Jesus Christ. 3. Showing the qualities associated with Christ’s teaching. 4. Colloq. (of a person) kind, fair, decent. n. 1a. a person who has received Christian baptism. b. an adherent of Christ’s teaching. 2. A person exhibiting Christian qualities.
Rogue Christian: Rogue = adjective, Christian = noun"An non-indoctrinated adherent of Christ’s teaching, driven away or living apart from the church/community."
Living apart from traditional church has it's implications and complications. In addition to being a Rogue Christian it also makes me an Abbaian, a follower of the Father.
Abba: father, customary title used of God in prayer. Whenever it occurs in the New Testament it has the Greek interpretation joined to it, that is apparently to be explained by the fact that the Chaldee "ABBA" through frequent use in prayer, gradually acquired the nature of a most sacred proper name, to which the Greek speaking Jews added the name from their own tongue.1
-ian: suffix var. of –an. Forming adjectives and nouns, esp. from names of places, systems, zoological classes or orders, and founders.Abba + ian = Abbaian: Follower of the Way of God the Father.
As far as church membership goes, I am not a member of any local visible church or denomination (which is not to say I am not active within any local church or churches). Denominational background really doesn't apply. I consider myself a member of the Invisible Universal Church, which transcends denominations. I belong to a Postdenominational Christianity.
However, another implication is an apparent lack of doctrine. What's my views on soterology? Am I a Trinitarian ? Am I an Evangelical?
I am often asked, Calvinist or Armenian? Are those the only options? I find the question somewhat limiting. To be honest I agree with both and neither. I think - from a very simplified perspective - Calvinism and Armenianism are the same thing, but from two very different perspectives. If a man's life - from birth to death - were a movie, we would perceive it as an audience watches a movie. we're experiencing it as the movie "plays" or "flows" forward. However, from a divine point of view - from God's perspective - the movie reel is unrolled and the entire film, every static frame, is viewed at once. "Time" doesn't flow. For the occupants "in" the movie, choices and free will exists. From an omnipotent perspective, God can view the beginning, any and every choice made via free will, and the end and it's consequences, at once. Even though free will choices were legitimately made, God still knows their outcome.
I have a problem with predestination and God's chosen elite. It's the inverse implication that bothers me: We have a loving God who has also created people for damnation and without hope.
Some have told me I'm more Armenian because I do believe you can shipwreck your faith and lose your salvation. I don't think I really am Armenian though. You see, both Calvinism and Armenianism share their defaulted starting positions. In both, man is born in original sin, fallen and condemned. At some future point, salvation occurs. They differ on the point of whether that salvation is permanent or not.
Although I believe you can lose your salvation, I'm not convinced we begin in a default state of being "fallen" anymore and I'm not convinced we "accept" salvation but rather (potentially) choose to opt-out of it.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
The third source, or root, of Islamic law is called ijtihad (“responsible individual opinion”). It has been used when an issue was not covered by passage in the Qu'ran; a jurist may then resolve the issue by using analogical reasoning. Such reasoning was first employed when Islamic theologians and jurist in conquered countries were confronted with the need to integrate local customs and laws with the Qu'ran.
It led to the Golden Age of Islam. The Muslim principle of ijtihad (independent judgment) should encourage and be receptive to new ideas. The Qu'ran itself demanded constant revision and self-examination. (Although it is obvious that much of Islam today has lost or abandoned this). Knowledge was not simply a matter of acquiring information but a process of transformation.
There was emphases on the unity of truth, which must be sought everywhere. A seeker after truth must shun no science, scorn no book, nor cling fanatically to a single creed. However, this form of ijtihad existed in the Golden Age of Islam and has unfortunately been abandoned by most Muslims, resorting to indoctrination over education, blind-faith over thoughtfulness. How many Christians do I know that do indeed shun science, read only certain books, and definitely cling fanatically to their creeds?
It is a shame that much of Christianity frowns upon analytical thinking, most often times resorting to accusations of putting one's thoughts or authority above God's and quoting Proverbs 14:12 (“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” - I know that one was thrown at me more than once). But yet in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” Sounds a lot like placing emphases on truth, which must be sought everywhere. A seeker after truth must shun no science, scorn no book, nor cling fanatically to a single creed. It would seem that most Christians suffer from this closemindedness.
I think there is a good lesson and a great richness to take from ijtihad.
Ijtihad is something I'd like to learn more of and incorporate into my "theology" - into my life. In fact, to some degree, I already have.