Friday, December 26, 2003

Why This? Why Now? 

I'm starting this blog, simply said, because I haven't found anything like it as a resource on the web yet. This is a place I want to encourage the discussion of how those who find themselves naturalists and willing participants in a religious (in my case Christian) tradition can navigate between dogma and devotion, amid tradition without relinquishing reason; how we can be both religious and naturalist at the same time--to guide our religiosity with the best knowledge and thinking that we can.

I am a participating member of the Community of Christ, a smaller, somewhat left-of-center Christian denomination that is trying to re-envision itself as a peace church and a world-wide federation (of sorts) of affiliated national churches. Theologically we resemble an American mainline Christian denomination, while our traditions reach back to the Restoration movement in the early- to mid-1800's. This site, and my personal philosophy, does not reflect the standing policy or theology of my church, though our tradition does not mandate that any person believe any one thing in order to be a member in good standing. This is how I can be both a naturalist and a participating member. (Of course, there are many in my faith tradition that would not approve of my being a member, nor of this site. Such is the price of diversity. And I would not have them excluded from my community for feeling that way.)

Hence, this is a personal, as well as public, project for me. Please consider submitting any reflections you might have to me at christianneill[at]hotmail[dot]com.

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