In Between the Black and White (MiniBlog #4)

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Life is difficult and complex. Theology should wrestle with tension and complexity not provide blanket statements for them as if all problems and questions can be solved or answered by blanket generalizations and theological platitudes. 

Living in the grey requires patience, love, understanding, and nuance.  Theology that fails to deal with the tension will not survive in today’s world. Platitudes are a symptom of our sick, shallow culture, but for those truly searching for deep waters in the midst of shallow wells they are unacceptable in regards to theology and then questions stemming from it.

Life is messy. Life is not always black and white even if we believe theology to be black and white (personally I think it is black, white, and grey hence the paradox, something else with which to wrestle). Theology should meet people in their daily life of existential anxiety and struggle with life’s complexities and problems. It should not brush aside all questions with platitudes that do not do much to really help. It should be watered-down or arrogant.

Theology does not have to answer all questions or solve all problems; that is hardly my point. Theology and Church teaching,  Holy Tradition, should wrestle with the complexity, fight with the tension, and live in between the black and white. Doing so does not mean nor require we submit to society or succumb to its demands. It simply means we listen and pay attention to the grey, to the complexity of 21st century living.

I do not have life all figured out. Neither do you. No one does. I wrestle so much as a Orthodox Christian living in 21st century America. It is complicated and messy. I do not have all the answers for all the questions nor the solutions for all the problems. Nor should I as a young theologian (I use that title very, very loosely) want to give platitudes.  We all live in the in-between. Let us all wrestle with that and seek first His Kingdom as we try to figure out what it means to live as Orthodox Christians in the 21st century.  I believe the Saints, Holy Mother, and Christ will help us and guide us all along the journey.

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