What are the values that form the backdrop to how we live? It’s an interesting question. Are the values which underpin our thinking at a subconscious, engrained level always the same as the ones we claim to espouse? If not (and I think for most of us there is at least some gap) how do we deal with that dissonance?
Especially for those of us who now live with a faith which we were not brought up with, the occasional clash between what we presently believe, and the values and ideas we imbibed in childhood, is inevitable. I know it happens to me. It is a very long time – more than half my life – since I would have claimed to follow the atheism with which I was brought up. Yet still occasionally a thought will intrude which belongs to that mindset, and not to my dearly and sincerely held faith.
I know this is also the case for many who have left a faith, or changed the way they experience and express their faith. In particular, it is a well-documented phenomenon in the ‘post-evangelical’ movement.
Whatever the values we claim – and aim – to live by, it pays to be aware of the background against which we hold them, and the potential for tension between the two.
This year for Advent Book Club we are reading “Unearthly Beauty” by Magdalen Smith. Join in on Facebook or Twitter using #AdventBookClub.