Our conversations tend to evaluate religion through the lens of scholarly interpretations. The problem with religion and scholarly discussion is that we can leverage the dialogue to avoid subjects that might get personal, and therefor inhibit growth.
When people start to talk about feelings and families, about what they like and dislike about themselves, how they might read a book or the Bible as an opportunity to embrace a lifestyle decision that will lead to personal growth and service to one’s fellow man, then the conversation becomes real and has the potential to change a person’s life – even their whole family tree. Fundamentalism vs. modernism, liberal vs. conservative, literal vs. allegorical, Freud vs. Jung, these things are only valuable as they relate to decisions about how we live our lives. If we leverage the debate in order to avoid making a decision about our lives, then we have done ourselves and our neighbors a great disservice.
I think we have to continually evaluate our decisions and our actions, but we need to make decisions and take actions in order to evaluate them. This forum is only marginally valuable to me if it is not translated into some kind of decision and, ultimately, some kind of action.