So I left off last time with computer programming and while I will come back to that, first, a digression of sorts.
Being a Christian has been a part of my life for a long time. I’ve spent a number of years figuring out what that means – as well as trying (and often failing) to live up to my own standards. I’ve spent a lot of time on personal stuff, working on trying to become a better person. I’ve read a number of books on prayer, Bible study, and so on.
Lately, however, I’ve been bothered by this: I haven’t spent much time…on others:
James 2:17, NIV: “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Also, Matthew 25:30 – 46 (The separating of the sheep and the goats, by their service to others).
I don’t feel like I’ve put this into action. And as i look to the future, I ponder how I need this to become a part of my life. I read an excellent book in the fall by Ken Wytsma called Pursuing Justice, and it touched on this. For Lent, I’ve been involved in praying for those caught in the web of modern day slavery (see the book Not for Sale for more). I am also currently reading The Hole in Our Gospel by Rich Stearns, and whatever your feelings on the World Vision situation, it is well worth reading. Serving others, mercy, and so on, are not subjects that are popular today in America, especially from certain sides of the aisle.
But that brings up another point, in that I don’t have a real theology of God. This is ironic, considering that I’ve been reading the Bible and Christian books for most of my life – the Bible alone three times. A lot of what I’ve read, though, has been either polemic – from both sides – or baby food. In a world where Christianity is under attack that’s not very helpful. I don’t worry about whether or not we’re “winning the culture war” – Christianity was never about that anyway. Win believers, make disciples, and you win the culture war. Even if you’re driven underground, there is always a remnant. forcing others to follow your beliefs never works. But having a solid foundation to stand on, that’s important. Especially when talking to those on the fence.
So I’ve starting reading Theology. At the moment, I’m reading a little introduction to Thomas Aquinas in the Armchair Theologians Series. I want to be able to build a foundation on reason, as well as what I’ve already learned and experienced.
The above books are informing my journey as I seek my calling, which I think will involve computer programming, data analysis, development, and so on. I think Computational Social Science and complexity are a part of that as well. I don’t know, at this point, where the journey will lead. But hopefully I am following God’s lead.