I hate melodramatic headlines. The world is full of lazy newspaper sub-editors who never let the truth of a story get in the way of a good headline.
So, you may ask, why have I gone for such a bold title in the run-up to this Sunday’s Father’s Day?
To put it bluntly, because I believe that parenting transforms families for generations. That’s the main reason why I got into this suff in the first place. Good (encouraging, supporting, loving, present, etc.) parenting helps form children who may well go on to become parents themselves, and much of what they do will (at least in part) be a reflection of what they’ve seen and experienced themselves. With any luck, this will be adapted and built on by their kids and their grand-children. And so on. Nearly everything good that I do as a Dad is thanks to the example set by…
I think this is a really interesting topic and one I’ve been thinking about a fair bit since hearing McLaren speak on his latest tour of the UK and reading his latest book, which addresses the issue of pluralism vs fundamentalism.
For a long time I have thought that one of the characteristics of the Christian faith *should* be to be non-judgemental, being aware of the plank in our own eye and all that. As you point out, as soon as you believe that you have exclusive ownership of the truth you elevate yourself above the “other” and becoming judgemental is practically unavoidable, in my opinion. Couple that with a tribal, imperial attitude that the “other” should be feared and our identity is strengthened by hostility to those different to us (McLaren’s observation) and there is little hope, perhaps.
What McLaren asks early on is whether a strong faith identity always has to be associated with hostility to the other and whether acceptance of others has to lead to a watering down of beliefs? He argues that these 2 sit on a spectrum that we move up and down. His hope is that there can be a paradigm shift towards something completely different:
A strong faith identity that is benevolent to the other.
A benevolence that is rooted in a strong faith identity in Jesus (not the church or denomination) because Jesus was benevolent to the “other”.
Was Jesus a fundamentalist?
This from an online dictionary:
1. A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.
a. often Fundamentalism An organized, militant Evangelical movement originating in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century in opposition to Protestant Liberalism and secularism, insisting on the inerrancy of Scripture.
b. Adherence to the theology of this movement.
A poem written around the millennium because I felt it was getting to easy to be environmental as a substitute for caring about people. The original was considerably ruder (as were most of my poems back then).
Elliot, who is 4 years old got to the top of the climbing wall yesterday, and back down again without any problem.
His mum and I met though the University Climbing Club.
So is his ability nature or nurture? Or a bit of both?
I also recently found the following video. A world champion female climber, married another climber and surprise, surprise one of their children is a climbing prodigy.
Where do you place the locus of control for the way life turns out for you? Is it a result of genetics and the hand you were dealt, the way you were treated or the way you melded all those things together with your character?