by N.T. Wright
I'm reading it.
I admit to skepticism right out of the gates. So many of my friends who were struggling with some of the stuff I've read, suddenly felt relieved, vindicated, able to return to old beliefs after reading Wright. Why that bugs me, I'm still sorting out. I think it's that I feel shushed or swept back to the fold with their ringing endorsements and confidently nodding heads. Sometimes their very vocal repudiations of the books/works that have been meaningful to me make me want to put hands on my hips and stick out my tongue, oh so maturely.
My little bruised ego.
Back when I was struggling hard with what seemed illogical to me in Christianity, there were plenty of people who took offense at my questions (especially my formulation of those questions) and felt that their cherished beliefs were being trampled under my high heeled feet. I admit that I was not always aware that I was being so direct and had to learn how to ask my questions without being incredulous of others.
But it's been years since I felt I could express what I really think, fully. In fact, truth be known, most of the people in my life have a misimpression of what I actually believe because they think they already know.
I try to express my truth here on this blog and in my column, but even then, I tread pretty lightly. I don't think I feel the same freedom to effuse about my journey that I did once. I'm tired of being misunderstood or judged or pitied.
What would I really like? I want my friends to think I'm sane, not that I've somehow become a "deceived one," or that I'm on that slippery slope to debauchery or flabby thinking (a much greater sin than your average alcoholism or crack addiction). I want them to think that my journey is not one they have to validate or criticize. I simply want to be known.
So when I think of Simply Christian, I have to fight a tendency in myself to find fault with Tom Wright's arguments, because my inner blackbelt wants to stand up for me in the face of those who'd haul me back to where I cannot go.
My goal is to read this book, to experience it, to let Wright speak to me (without me shouting him down).
I'm slowly crafting (in my head) an explanation for how my way of deconstructing makes sense to me. I need to do this because I get seriously annoyed (like the feeling I get when someone keeps bumping the table while I'm typing on the laptop... STOP IT!) when people feel they can save me with this one better way of reading X. Spare me. Know me.
All that said, I know experience, personal reasoning and limited access to great thinking can all make me stupid and so I'm willing to rethink... continually... much to the detriment of my sex life, I assure you.
So for now, I will read this book and stay quiet about it...
And thanks to one friend whose refreshing lack of agenda gives me someone off of whom I can bounce Wright's ideas without being misunderstood or shuttled back to orthodoxy like a good girl.