I recently had the pleasure of hearing Tony Campolo lecture on Apologetics for Youth Ministers (which could have also been titled Apologetics in postmodern times). In his fascinating presentation, Campolo pointed out that while in recent history the debate has been between Christianity and Science, he no longer believed that to be the debate. He said that we always tried to make Christianity "work with" science or it was assumed that Christianity couldn't be true. In this construct, Christianity was subservient to science and faith, in effect, became viewed as a kind of science. However, as Campolo points out, Science is no longer on the throne. Postmodernity itself is throwing and has thrown science out of its place of power, causing many Christians to worry that faith is in the crosshairs as well.
I was recently listening (again) to my Audio Version of Rob Bell's book Velvet Elvis. As I listened, it became clear that faith isn't science to Bell. It's art. All of the impulses that Modernity cultivated in me recoiled at the thought. Art? What about facts? What about Truth? Then it occurred to me that just because something is art does not make it any less true. In fact, it may make it more true. The Bible, for example was never meant to be a cold, sterile thing. It is a beautiful, creative, living story about a beautiful, creative, living God. The Creation narratives were not written as science. They are beautifully poetic. That in no way makes them less true. Faith is not empirically deciding on a set of facts relating to God and then living by that proven set of rules. It is the creative expression that pours out of a life that is encountering the living God. It is our expressing the story that we are a part of with every fiber of our being. Church is meant to be dynamic and ever changing, not a repository of facts and patterns.
I want my faith to me more like art. I want it to express in dynamic and exciting ways the story that I live in and the God whom I love. I want it to overflow with truth, not merely be stuffed with facts and made servant to a system that is lacking.