Monday, January 30, 2012

Sacred Cows

 I have decided to do an introductory blog later on.  Maybe next week.

In the meantime, here is the first article that I wrote, about a year ago, for my local newspaper, The Choteau Acantha.  The name of my column is "Fresh Brewed Theology" (think coffee or beer, it's your choice!) and it runs once a month.


Fresh Brewed Theology: Sacred Cows
Traditions are strong. There are family traditions, cultural traditions, and even national traditions. Traditions bind us together on many different levels. In other ways traditions divide us. Drive around any town and you will see a variety of different church buildings. Many hold to the same core traditions yet are divided over a plethora of other traditions. 
Questioning our own traditions is not something that comes naturally. It puts us outside of our comfort zone. We want to believe that our tradition is the right one. We want our sacred cow fat, happy and roaming free in the pasture of our mind, yet Jesus led the way in questioning the traditions of his day. He reserved his harshest words for the religious and political leaders who used tradition to wield enormous power over the masses. 
In our modern internet era a new reformation is happening among religious circles. People are stepping out and re-examining the traditions they were taught and are willing to engage in conversations in order to gain insight and understanding of different perspectives. 
When Gutenberg invented the printing press with movable type in 1440 it gave way to an explosion of communication. Books became easy and cheap to print. The average person could finally afford to read for recreation or engage in the study of a topic of their choice. Even the Bible emerged from the prison of “dead languages” and was given new life in the everyday language of the common man.
We are privileged to live in a similar age of information explosion. Thanks to the internet, the average person has many powerful tools at their finger tips. Anyone can go on and compare English translations with the original Greek and Hebrew text and learn the definitions of such words. Even these “dead languages” are coming back to life and are accessible to the common man thanks to the internet. Never before has it been easier to search out commentaries and writings from any period in history.
This is the type of atmosphere where traditions are tested. Some will ultimately pass the test and become stronger while others will be discarded on the ash heap of history. Some sacred cows will flourish while others will become a juicy steak on the dinner table. 
This column aims to bring the readers of the Acantha a fresh look at the religious traditions, trends, questions and issues of the day while maintaining a local perspective. I hope to inspire people to look deeper into their motivations and beliefs and to become confident in not only what they believe but why they believe. 

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