I have to give a confession. I am a Christian. Many of you already know this so this confession is completely unnecessary. Others of you may well be completely flabbergasted by the confession and will probably have to read the second sentence several times over to ensure that you read it correctly.
Because of this, because of me being Christian, and because my faith is such a vital part of my identity, I cannot help but acknowledge that this faith affects every part of my life, or at the very least, it should affect every part of my life. Naturally this will include my postings on the blog.
Sadly, I know the relationship many of my readers have with Christianity is not a positive one. Many of you have been hurt by those purporting to act in the name of Christ. I realize that some of you may be turned off by me simply mentioning the word. Please, if this is you, I ask you to bear with me.
I’m stuck in a difficult position. On the one hand, I want to be able to engage every one of my readers regardless of their faith choices. I don’t want anybody to feel as if they cannot come here, to follow my adventures and to share with me simply because they do not share the same faith as I do. As well, I very much would like to learn from others and their own beliefs, in order to grow in my own. To put it more colloquially: my tent is huge; and I want everybody to feel welcome.
On the other hand however, I cannot divorce my faith from my desire to live well in my place. My belief in God and my relationship with God directly affects, inspire, and shapes how I live. Which of course, is what this blog is about.
As a way to awkwardly deal with these two issues, I’ve begun this series, tentatively and unimaginatively entitled Sunday Series, as a way to more overtly discuss how I believe Christianity teaches me to live, specifically in relation to living within creation. This way, those readers who are interested in how I believe Christianity shapes my interactions with the natural world can do so while at the same time, those readers who would rather not get bogged down with reading about religion can easily skip over these posts, getting to the more interesting stuff that I will be posting throughout the week. In effect, the posts in this series will only ever be posted on a Sunday and will be clearly identified as being a part of the Sundays Series.
Now with that unnecessarily long preamble (those who know me will recognize my love and adoration for unnecessarily long preambles), I would also like to clarify a few things. First off, while the Sunday Series will be the only series that will be overtly Christian, I believe that everything I have posted thus far and hopefully everything that I will post will still be born from that part of my identity. Whether I’m speaking of biodynamic garden techniques, sharing a bread recipe that I recently came across, or showing pictures of a hootenanny that I recently attended, I believe all these things come out my identity as a Christian. I simply promise not to overtly speak in Christian terms.
The second thing that I have to ask is borrowed from theologian N.T. Wright. I ask for readers to approach me with a hermeneutic of trust. It is very likely that when I am dealing with Christianity, I will not discuss a particular issue within it that you feel is very important. I’m asking you to trust that I do not believe that the issue is unimportant. I am simply trying to focus on one aspect of a multi-faceted and incredibly complicated subject. If you would like me to address something, I certainly invite you to either comment on the blog itself or on Facebook, or, if you would prefer, just shoot me a personal message. I would be more than happy to discuss anything with you.
The final thing that I want to point out, arguably the most important thing that I will ever say, something that I want to emphasize constantly… is that I live in a tent. There are two ways you can look this. First you can consider me a modern day prophet, living wild-eyed in the forest spending my days listening for the whisper of God among the trees. Alternatively you can consider me a man who desperately needs to get his life together. Either, I think, would be at least partially true. So please, always remember that all my opinions are the opinions of a man living in a tent. Take them, at the very least, with a grain of salt.
In the next entry (not sure when exactly I’ll post it), I’ll be discussing whether or not I consider myself a Christian environmentalist. Short answer?