I finished reading Silence last week. I can’t find adequate adjectives to describe what the experience was like. Words like excruciating, profound, challenging, and disorienting come to mind, but they seem too paltry.
Among the myriad observations and questions it has left me with, I’m attempting to focus on some that seem more pertinent to the concerns of this forum.
After sharing some of these thoughts with my parents, my mom said, “So it sounds like you highly recommend it.” And my reply went along these lines: “Well, I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. To someone whose perspective on the ‘victorious Christian life’ is defined by the peddlers of prosperity that are flourishing in North American evangelicalism, I’m not sure I’d recommend it. It would be very unsettling. It portrays essentially the polar opposite to that victorious Christian life.” For someone who is willing to reckon with what faithful Christian discipleship and service looks like among downtrodden peasants in a society whose leadership is determined to eradicate Christianity, I absolutely recommend it. For someone willing to consider theological questions like “What is the significance of Judas in the Gospel message?”, I recommend it.
Brad wrote previously about Answers in Genesis after his visit to the Creation Museum:
…the ministry of Answers in Genesis is not first and foremost about Genesis—it’s about Answers. …the most striking feature of the Museum is its insistence on answering everything. Every possible question or mystery is defeated by a clear, simple presentation of the Bible’s message. Over and over, the Museum is insistent that the worldview presented by Answers in Genesis can answer all of life’s questions with different combinations of the same short, snappy, unassailable one-liners.
And there has been a fascinating discussion about BioLogos’ messaging in this forum that I’ve tried to follow the past two weeks. That discussion is far too lengthy and deep for me summarize it here, but one thing it has done is encourage me to consider whether there is a particular theological orientation that many hold that makes them virtually innoculated against BioLogos’ message. Call it fundamentalism if you will (though I think that term carries varying nuanced meanings for different people) or perhaps answerism (if I can invent a term) as described well by Brad.
My observation is that the kind of issues that BioLogos addresses are most relevant to those who are willing to take their faith with a healthy dose of questions. In short, I suspect that the people whom I would not recommend Silence to are by and large the same people who would be most resistant to BioLogos’ message.