Flirting with Faith

Flirting with Faith


Why Do You Write?

posted by Joan Ball

I’ve been thinking about Caroline’s Ferdinandsen’s post on ConversantLife.com called A Case for a Little Spiritual Quarantine. One line in particular has haunted me since I read it.  Caroline writes, “my Christian faith has suffered from my chronic reading, interfacing, and networking this past year.”  
I find this to be a chilling statement. 
I do not know Caroline beyond her published articles in faith-based magazines, blog posts, comments and Conversant profile. But, if this writer/educator is finding it difficult to discern among thoughts and perspectives of the bloggers and authors out there, who else is reading books, blogs and articles and struggling to find a foothold?
This question led me to ask my writing-self some probing and personal questions. Specifically, I wondered what part my words play that struggle?  Why is it that I write what I write? Do I take the time to consider how my words might impact a devout reader? A questioning reader? An unbelieving reader?  Does it matter? What is my intention? Am hoping to entertain? To teach? To win an argument? Am I just trying to sound smart? Or to impress? Or be funny?  Are my choices of topic and tone and perspective serving the reader? Or am I serving myself? In a nutshell, are the things I write part of the problem or part of the solution?
In her piece, Caroline made a somewhat counter-blog suggestion–for people to take some time off from reading to get alone with God and the Bible to gain a little clarity. I wonder if I might add my own counter-blog suggestion and ask that we take a break from writing long enough to consider these questions here together.
All you writers out there…would love to hear your thoughts…



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TitforTat

posted December 1, 2008 at 3:41 pm


Caroline writes, “my Christian faith has suffered from my chronic reading, interfacing, and networking this past year.”
Ironic isnt it, the more information people of faith get, the less inclined they are for “blind” faith. Now you know why the Catholics only wanted priests to have bibles.



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Joan Ball

posted December 1, 2008 at 4:09 pm


TitforTat: I cannot speak for Caroline, but I think this may be the challenge of some people who grow up believing that one manifestation of faith is the “right” one. When other versions are presented, things that seemed absolute are less so. I think it begs a question not about having what you call blind faith, but whether that blind faith was in God or in the processes, procedures and doctrines. As for the Catholics. I know that there is a no-Bible history there, but that has changed dramatically. While I am not a Catholic, I teach at a Catholic college and listen to Catholic podcasts (I like to hear from everyone) and they talk about and encourage Bible-reading all the time.



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Trish Ryan

posted December 3, 2008 at 2:18 pm


I run hot and cold with this. There are times when I’m a voracious reader of all manner of thoughts on faith. And then other times when I need a sabbatical from all that input, time for God and I to sit down and sort it all out.
It’s fun that not every day of my spiritual journey looks the same–there are great resources out there when we need them, but we’re not tied to them for our spiritual balance. Thanks for sharing this provocative post!



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Bradley J Moore

posted December 3, 2008 at 10:05 pm


Hi Joan – (I also commented on your Conversant Life page, but really wanted to find your blog. I found it!)
I read Tony Jones book a few months ago and really enjoyed it. FOr those of us brought up in the EVangelical Faith (and who can actually think for ourselves) it is a refreshing perspective on a potential transition in the church. I especially like the part where he talks about how Apostle Paul used a common “curse” word that never gets translated as such in our bibles. I guess that goes to show how easily amused and shallow I am, I guess.



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Joan Ball

posted December 4, 2008 at 12:41 am


Hey Brad: I responded at CL, but thought I would check in with you here as well. So what are you writing at Salon?



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