Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Dogma part 3: Ideas vs Beliefs

Rufus: Mankind got it all wrong. Taking a good idea and building a belief structure around it.

Bethany: Are you saying having beliefs is a bad thing?

Rufus: I just think it’s better to have ideas. I mean you can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier.

An interesting concept here.

I've been thinking quite a lot about beliefs this evening. I am very much aware that the second years of SAOMC are meeting for the first time tonight and that I am not with them. It's not without regret that I'm not there but it was time to move on. I miss you guys. Let me know how you're doing!

Also this evening I have had a long discussion with my friend Ben about the nature of prayer and intercession. We have a curious habit of chatting over MSN about fairly HUGE theological topics. This is usually as the result of Ben (a Roman Catholic) asking me (an Anglican) about certain beliefs which he (and, as he would say, the established church) holds and whether or not I share the belief.

So far I've avoided being burned at the stake as a heretic. Though I'm not sure if this is only because I'm far enough away! ;o)

I like Rufus' idea of having ideas not beliefs. In the modern world where we have seen a resurgence of extremists dying and killing for their beliefs I am rather inclined to think that ideas are safer.

Is it better to have an idea of what God is like than to have a belief that might be wrong?

Certainly I think we have sometimes overcomplicated things by "taking a good idea and building a belief structure around it" Often the clearest conception of God and our relationship with God is not through highly intellectualised academic theology but through our own internal idea of God.

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