Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Is eclectic Christianity an oxymoron or a tautology?

I have recently participated in several Christian forums where the content and/or participants have been described by some as "eclectic"?

Generally this term has been used in an endearing and polite sense of "cuteness" that borders on "eccentric" because there were a wide range of topics and points of view presented by people from diverse church/denominational backgrounds.

A dictionary definition of eclectic is "deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources".

On the one hand, some would say that true Christianity is narrowly and precisely defined by a set of very specific doctrinal statements. You are either in or out. If one is concerned with a general statement such as the Apostle's Creed this is reasonable. However, in reality some have much more narrow defining statements.

On the other hand, if you look at the life and teachings of Jesus you see he had a diverse set of followers, was very inclusive, and presented paradoxes that were hard to pin down in certain respects. Furthermore, historically church movements have been rather diverse.

I think this is one of the many dialectic tensions of Christianity: unity with diversity, truth with ambiguity, freedom through obedience, grace and law, ....

No comments:

Post a Comment