10.01.2006

First Things First...

I first must admit, I'm really not a big fan of the "blog" scene. I apologize to those whom this refers, but there's something about me writing a blurb about my life every day and expecting the whole world to care that's just a little sad. Now, to those of you out there who write poetry and try to express your artistic side or even your commentary on relevant issues via the blogosphere: right on, I salute you. But if you're writing a blog to tell the world that you had Cheerios for breakfast.....well, you get the idea. My point is that this particular blog won't consist of any Cheerios.

In any sense, you could consider this first post a continuation of the blog description, since I was only allowed a few words up there. In essence, I have spent several years in the evangelical Christian bubble and almost all of that time working in Christian leadership of some kind. I've had influences from all over the place and it has definitely stretched my brain a bit. During my sophomore year of college at a Catholic university (studying theology, no less) I began an intense struggle with and new appreciation for different approaches to understanding faith. That process hasn't ceased to continue ever sense and, as a result, has drawn me farther and farther away from the mainstream Christian sub-culture. For some time I simply avoided the issue by not talking about it with others that I was involved in leadership with. But the more I studied, the more I found that many of the ways in which we do this "Christian" thing just didn't seem to be right. However, for the first time in years I am no longer involved in ministry leadership and I thought it would be a good time to pursue this discussion head on, thus the origin of this blog.

An important blurb: I would still consider myself a Christian in the sense that I believe that there is compelling truth to the life of Jesus and I do my best to follow him. However, many western evangelical Christians might not qualify me as a Christian myself if they were inside my brain, since it seems that there is more to being considered a Christian today than just following Jesus. The unnoticed irony of that statement, of course, is that we do not agree on what it means to "follow Jesus."

So in the following posts I shall do my best to approach more specific issues. If they interest you, reply. If you think they might interest others, tell them. Let's have a discussion and learn from each other.

To spark any interests out there, here are a few topics that I would like to approach (sooner or later):
- what it means for God to be omniscient (all-knowing)
- heaven and hell and why people actually like this concept
- pragmatism and it's role in the development of religions (including Christianity)
- the "authority of scripture" and the fact that there are over 40,000 versions of Christianity
- the role of emotion in shaping our personal theologies

peace,
Tony

p.s. In case you were interested, the origin of the blog title "A New Paradigm" comes from the honest realization that as I attempt to approach an new understanding of truth, I am undoubtedly influenced to varying degrees by everything I learn. In other words, it is impossible for humans to develop an objective worldview, and even if we could, something tells me that would be quite boring. And even though we do our best to think outside the box, for too long now I think that only means that we've done so only to find ourselves inside yet another box. Here I will do my best to avoid boxes, but I have little doubt that they will creep in here and there.

4 comments:

mike said...

welcome T to the blog world!

looking forward to reading more bro.

hope you are well.

dm

Caine said...

You beat me to the URl by a few days. I look forward to seeing what you come up with, and will contribute.

Go check out my stuff, contribute if you like (be aware that I moderate):

www.a-new-paradigm.blogspot.com

T.D. Newton said...

I'm definitely interested in reading and contributing. Thanks for letting me know about this.

(P.S. Half the reason I created my faithfinder blog was so that people who wanted to read my "serious" entries didn't have to wade through my numerous "Cheerios" entries, so I appreciate you pointing that out... and I also hate reading inane blogs of people just ranting or recounting their misadventures because they're usually BORING/unchallenging.)

Also, as Gabe advised me when I started my blogspot blog, you probably want to enable the setting in Comments which makes you type in the set of characters... otherwise you'll get comment-bot-spammed, or something.

Mike said...

hey more posts please.

i have a post about UNIX christianity v. mac christianity. head over and add your two bits if you will. i would be interested in your take.