Monday, 5 October 2009

Systematic Non-systematisation

Every now and then I feel the urge to list the Big Issues and start writing on each of them. It's a list that includes things like metaphysics, the meaning of the crucifixion, the meaninglessness of heaven and hell, and so on. I've written about many of them before, but never really with enough depth to tackle the issue.

I have only two reservations on the project. The first is my motivation, and the second is procrastination.

My motivation for the project is questionable. I find myself in discussions with other Christians from time to time, being disagreeable most of the time, and we reach an impasse. In the discussion and after the discussion it's apparent that the impasse is the result of differing foundational axioms. Unfortunately, the discussion of the axioms themselves never takes place and I'm left with a horrible, gnawing hypothetical image of a discussion that could have been. My project to pick the Big Issues and write about them seems like little more than engaging in the hypothetical discussion without the interlocutor.

Procrastination is not what you think, though. It's not that I don't have the interest or the time. Rather, by writing it all down I would probably have created a tenuously justifiable reason not to go and be a Christian. Prayer and Bible study, valuable as they are, are also great things to occupy your time while you procrastinate about being a Christian in the world.

So I don't expect to see a systematic theology move from my mind to print any time soon.


Anonymous said...

While I can understand your motivation for not writing out arguments in full, I think it would be instructive if you wrote on one or two axioms at a time and outlined where they lead and some "gut" reasons why people might hold them.

That would open up discussion with real people without excessive distraction from the act of being a Christian.

Andrew Smith said...

Maybe you're right, Peter.

I also have the feeling that no matter what I've just posted in this blog entry, I'm going to put some words down about them all sooner or later. All good intentions, I suppose.