I have a Facebook friend by the name of Rance who occasionally will rattle off a string of his beliefs on the popular social media site. As I read them I find myself simply nodding my head and thinking, "Yup, yup, yup, ok, yup, got it, check... and so on" in a long list of agreements like we were old friends from way back when really we're quite new friends from not so long ago.
What Rance has that I admire is his simply-said, common sense Christian wisdom, that tells it like it is while refusing to buy the popular line of Christianity that the media would have us believe (if not the Christian presses themselves). Its a kind of street wisdom that doesn't pull any punches unless they're headed right for your nose, and when you get back up off the ground you would mostly likely say, "Thank you. I needed that," in as kindly a manner as you may.
So, from time-to-time, with Rance's permission, I'm simply going to rattle off a "Rance segment" to allow his heart and mind speak to us from a long life of living, serving, conversing, reading, and "figuring things out." Kinda like a "thinking man's" list of proverbs and observations that have been hard won and had gained.
At the last, I would simply like to say "Thank you Rance" for being willing to ramble so we might gain a little insight into a Christianity that has become too harsh, or uncaring, to the guy or gal on the street. Jesus spoke plainly... and when He did He spoke in love. In tenderness. In humility. And with a lot of wisdom.
March 18, 2014
Quotes from my friend Rance
I suppose, in broad sense, I should be viewed as a conservative Evangelical, but not as an Evangelical conservative. My conservatism shows up mainly in my solid core commitments to orthodox theology. I believe in the Apostles Creed and affirm faith in the one Creator of heaven and earth, the saving work of Jesus Christ, and the gracious enabling of the Holy Spirit in my life and the life of the ...entire church. I await the renewal of the world and the resurrection from the dead at the future royal appearance of God's Son.
However, unlike many of my good friends and colleagues, I am no longer an Evangelical conservative. Politically, I fit more comfortably in the intellectual company of folks like Ron Sider, Greg Boyd, Tony Campolo, N. T. Wright, Roger Olson, Rachel Evans, and Jim Wallis than I do with folks like Marvin Olaski, Franklin Graham, Doug Wilson, and Carl Thomas.
In addition, I find myself affirming of the following 10 ideas:
1. That the biblical theological view of creation is not incompatible with the theory of evolution.
2. That the Bible can be primary and inspired without being infallible and inerrant.
3. That one can somehow be both pro-life and pro-choice.
4. That one can believe in wealth distribution without believing in Socialism.
5. That one can find many strong examples of Christians from the past who were politically, theologically, socially, and economically progressives.
6. That one can affirm both the sanctity of traditional marriage and the freedom for same-sex unions.
7. That one can believe in debt forgiveness for poor nations.
8. That one can be patriotic without being nationalistic.
9. That one can be loyal Americans while refusing as Christians to bear arms or go to war.
10. That one can peaceably share this great country with atheists, agnostics, humanists, Muslims, and foreigners.