I believe that what I believe is beyond words, thus making a 250 word definition unfortunately limiting.
I believe that things like this are both necessary and unfaithful to describe our experiences with the Divine (as is associating such experiences with some Thing known as the “Divine”).
I believe that the words we spill in the name of “faith,” “theology,” and “orthodox” are the least faithful, theological, or orthodox things that we do when we believe they give us answers and the most faithful, theological, and orthodox things they do when they bring us to endless questioning.
I believe that the only things capable of being are unbelievable.
I believe that my belief is mostly a choice, while at the same time something that I mostly inherited from my upbringing and surroundings in the Bible Belt—even if such an inheritance is the direct result of somewhat violent reaction.
I believe that tradition is vitally important but isn’t static; it tells me where Christians have been and lights the way for where we might go without telling us what will be.
I believe that the actual act of the Eucharist is the most profound theological statement Christians ever make.
I believe that Jesus incarnated all of these ideas.
And I believe that my saying so at this digital table is meaningless compared to the fact that all who read it are “sitting” together to share silly, unfaithful, and limiting words.
And it must be said–though it will cause me to violate my 250 word limit–that these are the stumblings of a person with a cycloptically singular and blinded eye, the catches and snafus of a cane searching for the next step, and the scratches of wildly swinging hands against the harsh edges of a dark cave. In other words, these are the unwelcome and unfaithful speculations of a short-sighted and recovering addict of the Enlightened Eye or I.
And God stands alone on the threshold.
by Matt Gallion
Matthew Gallion is a graduate student at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, where he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Religious Studies. He studies responses to American evangelicalism in postmodern contexts, particularly the emerging church and the emergent conversation, and the intersection of faith and culture, particularly in crossing the “digital divide.” Matt recently presented a paper called “The Body Disrupted: Homosexuality and the Body in Emergent Christianity” at the 9th Annual Graduate Symposium at Florida State University and at the annual Midwest American Academy of Religion meeting at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. He is also the author of “The Price of Freedom: Bribery, the Philippian Gift, and Paul’s Choice in Philippians 1:19-26,” which won the prize for best graduate paper at the annual meeting of the Central States Society of Biblical Literature. He received his B.A. from Southwest Baptist University in Biblical Studies and recently served as a campus minister in the United Methodist Church at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.