Monday, February 23, 2009

Faith Development c/o Alan Jamieson... [3]

Synthetic-Conventional (The Loyalist)

This is a stage that I find a lot Christians identify with. It is a stage where faith becomes a form of loyalty and is influenced greatly by the self awareness and awareness and others. This means that faith is expressed in personal relationships with the like-minded and that consensus contributes to an important sense of affirmation.
we hunted as a pack, finger pointing at anyone who offered opinion outside corporately held evangelical orthodoxy. 'Dodgy theology' the most damning of all sentences.


This tribal loyalty can lead to too much dependence on thinking like the crowd rather than for oneself, shielding faith from important questions and admissions of diversity.

I look back to Christian Union days at university and remember how we hunted as a pack, finger pointing at anyone who offered opinion outside corporately held evangelical orthodoxy. 'Dodgy theology' the most damning of all sentences. Fear of being on the outside preventing any sense of critique and questioning, questions left unasked. We looked sadly on those who questioned as having lost their faith and prayed for their re-alignment in between praying for those poor Bulgarian Christians locked up in communist prisons!!

Jamieson notes that this is a tribal stage where the shape of faith is significantly shaped by being part of the tribe. Beliefs that are deeply held are not examined critically and are held due to an external authority outside themselves. Identification with their church is key with worship, teaching and prayer a source of enormous idealistic meaning as they contribute to confirmation of self-hood and faith. Dualism is common with clear black and white demarcation used to locate those who are in and those who are out.

Fowler describes those within this stage of faith as being:
"acutely attuned to the expectations and judgements of these significant others and as yet do not have a sure enough grasp of their own identity or faith in their own autonomous judgement to construct and maintain an independent perspective" pp 116
Faith Development c/o Alan Jamieson... [1]
Faith Development c/o Alan Jamieson... [2]

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