I address a number of topics on this website. My main concern is to be a theologian who makes the content of the Christian faith concrete and relevant for our world today in a way that subverts traditional approaches to doing theology. The main topics are faith deconstruction, Religious Abuse and Religious Trauma Syndrome, Capitalism, Atheism, pluralism, ethics, Bonhoeffer, the theology of the cross, and radical theology. Below I highlight a few of these subjects.
This website’s main theme is The End of God. For more on what exactly that means I refer the reader to this explanation. Basically, in order to reach the end of God in and through the person of Jesus Christ, God–that is to say, God as a human construction–needs to come to an end. This process can take many forms and may have a variety of outcomes. I cannot be held responsible for these outcomes; I’m merely a small member of a wider movement. I can and will take responsibility for my role in this process. I do this by writing books, articles, and blog posts such as you find on this site.
I perceive the following issues as particularly relevant for what I want to say and achieve:
Deconstruction of Faith
Deconstruction is a term that is borrowed from French postmodern philosophers like Derrida. Theologians in the USA started using the term to denote the process in which many people of faith started taking the system of their faith apart piece by piece in order to forge new ways of believing or “unbelieving.” Deconstruction happens when you detect an anomaly within the system of faith that you belong to. The anomaly can consist of the realization that the theology of your faith community doesn’t add up or the insight that Scripture and science are at odds if your community insists on the Bible being a science book. It can also be initiated when a spiritual leader betrays your trust or when you go through something traumatic. It happened to me–all of the above and I deconstructed.
I write on the subject both to process (still!) my own deconstruction as well as to help others who are in the midst of such a process. A few links to read more about this are the following: Relevant Magazine, the Patheos Progressive Blog, The Salt Collective, or the book Leaving the Fold. A few links on my website are:
One important factor in faith deconstruction is that many people are hurt by the church. Emotional and physical abuse is much more common than one thinks. The reason why abuse takes place is located in the fact that traditionally, Christianity seeks to create a system making God part of it. The systemic approach to the Christian faith leaves the vulnerable, those who actually need protection, care, and love, exposed to exploitation by those who are in charge, presumably on behalf of Christ.
There are plenty of people who have, what is now dubbed, Religious Trauma Syndrome (RTS). How do such people overcome the abuse they suffered? What can be changed in the approach to the Christian faith that will prevent such abuse in the future? How must the Church change? Sources outside this website are the book Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome, the excellent book by Kathy Escobar Faith Shift, the work by Teresa Mateus, and The Naked Pastor’s The Everlasting Supper.
I have recently started writing more about this topic as I realize I have plenty of RTS to deal with myself and because more and more people are looking for information about this topic. The following links on this website deal with the important subject of spiritual abuse:
Capitalism and the Economy
As I seek to forge new ways to see and argue for the relevance of the Christian faith in our secular world I am increasingly drawn to the reality of the economy as it is organized in the West and in most of the world. The capitalist system pretends to be the only viable option today. As we Westerners enjoy the fruits of this system (after we’ve sold our souls to the Mammon and become obedient consumers) we remain oblivious to the injustice of this system both to the marginalized oppressed masses of the non-Western world and the ecosystems of the planet we live on.
The reality of God, or rather, this God’s felt absence, is not so much related to the question of God’s reality or existence. It pertains to the fact that we have rendered the Biblical God unnecessary in favor of the god of capitalism. This god has given us more than we could ever ask for. And this works well as long as we don’t ask questions and examine our own complicity in the system. The Biblical God, however, addresses not the so much the truth of God’s existence but the question about justice. By applying the term God/god to the current realities of economic exploitation and ecological devastation I hope to show that religion is still relevant in our secular West. A few links are:
Secularism and Atheism
A lot of theology is an attempt to shy away from the world and ignore the challenges that are issued against faith from secularism and atheism. I believe good theology is only possible when done in dialogue with those challenges with respect for those challenges. Christian theology stands to learn a lot from atheism and as such, I engage atheism. A few links on my website are:
I studied the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian and pastor who was hanged by the Nazis just before the end of WWII. You can read more about Bonhoeffer here or read the following books: Theologian of Resistance: The Life and Thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Bonhoeffer Reader, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works: Reader’s Edition Set.
Bonhoeffer was more than a courageous member of the German resistance against Hitler. He was an amazing theologian whose work inspires millions today. I seek to make his theological insights useful for today. A few articles about Bonhoeffer on this website are: