"My quest is this: to live the ultimate biblical life. Or more precisely, to follow the bible as literally as possible." So begins A.J.'s year-long sojourn, which he has made into a funny, informative and thought-provoking book. You can learn how You too can live biblically, see before and after pics of A.J's hair (see if you agree he resembles the unibomber,) and view a link on How to be good at at A.J's website.
At the project's start, A.J. decides to get himself some good biblical studies resources. Upon walking into a Bible bookstore, a sales clerk offers A.J. some advice, as he points to a suggested bible, which is, "designed to look exactly like a Seventeen magazine: An attractive (if long-sleeved) model graces the front, next to cover lines like, 'What's your spiritual IQ?" Open it up and you'll find sidebars such as 'Rebeca the Control Freak.'"
"This one's good if you're on the subway and are too embarrassed to be seen reading the Bible,' says Chris, [the sales clerk] It's an odd and poignant selling point. You know your in a secular city when it's considered more acceptable for a grown man to read a teen girl's magazine than the Bible." (p 9)
This interchange caused me to think about this quandry/opportunity:
1. What does it mean to be unapologetic and open about our humble walk with God when so often we feel ashamed and very apologetic about certain aspects of our religious "families of origin." and the dogmas that often supplant life in the Spirit? What can we claim from our origins that abides in light, love and truth in place within our spirits where deep calls unot deep? And what could it look like when we let that Light shine?
On page 39 A.J. writes:
...one of my motivations for this experiment is my recent entrance into fatherhood. I'm constantly worried about my son's ethical education. I don't want him to swim in a soup of moral relativism. I don't trust. I have such a worldview, and though I have yet to commit a major felony, it seems dangerous.I thought it was funny to observe that A.J. actually agrees with fundamentalists about relativism, even though this is the view he espouses. I wondered,
2. Is there an alternative to relativism and absolutism?
3. Have you wrestled with "what to tell the children," either in your family or spiritual community? I am curious particularly in areas of sex, salvation and evangelism how your own journey/ambiguity or ambivalence impacts what you say, avoid saying or otherwise communicate to a younger generation.
4. What approach do you take to instilling, offering, modeling and otherwise helping nurture young disciples, whether they are your own children or spiritual children you feel are entrusted into your care in friendship and/or ministry?