Feel Like Thinking?

by sarahmfry, May 11, 2008
Bum Da Dee Duuumm..........Introducing.....

the thoughts, studies and opinions of David Fry!

I would like to put in a plug for my huband's blog. Most of you know he's in his residency for a PhD in Systematic Theology at TEDS (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School - in Chicago). Let me tell you, it's every bit as, uh, thrilling as it sounds....
I find myself at times struggling to get my brain to change tracks from diapers and dishes to philosophy and theology as he shares his latest exciting learning. But being married to him has been one of the absolute coolest things God has done for me. He is an excellent thinker and applies himself to studying God's Word like his life depended on it. I have reaped the benefits of living with his thoughts.

Which brings me to his blog title. "The Pensees of a Wesleyan Theologian". I know. He obviously did not consult me before naming his little corner of the internet. Otherwise I would have warned him of the confusion that would entail.....
"The what? of a Wesleyan what?!"
So please allow me to interpret from theolog-ees to mommy-ese. Pensees (pronounced pahn-seyz) is basically French for "religious and philosophical thoughts." As for the theologian part: David believes that we are all theologians, in a sense. There is often a wall up against all things theological. ("We need pastors with passion, not education!" and "Let's not confuse everyone with theology.") But really, we all have theology. Theology is what you believe about God and His world. So trust me. You have theology. Even if you don't know what it is. Those core beliefs that have shaped you and trickle down into how you do life every day. That is your theology. So I am very much enjoying learning more about what I believe and why in a more systematic way.

Let me warn you about a few things. His blog will not always be easy reading. Like most of us, he writes the way he thinks. And believe you me, he thinks about everything in that systematic, logical way. This summer he will embark upon learning his 6th language! Sometimes I wish "female" was a required language for doctoral studies. (Those of you who know me will understand at this point why the combination of our two brains under one roof is comical at best, explosive at worst.)

But stick with him. You'll find him refreshingly honest and brilliantly clear in his thoughts. Sometimes his honesty may make you wriggle a little. He will not say what is status quo unless he finds it to be theologically sound. There may be times when you want to pick up your little cell phone and call someone important to tell them what a heretic he is. But if you will allow your brain to stretch, you will learn that his thoughts and studies actually call for a deepening and strengthening of your beliefs. A higher call to holiness. A deeper anchor into the beliefs that ground us.

We believe that if your beliefs are too weak to be challenged, then they're too weak! But believe me, sometimes the digging gets really scary. If you've always believed something, but never knew why, and all the sudden someone starts probing around that sacred cow, your first reaction may be to grab your righteous robes about you and run off in a frightened huff. But once you have opened your mind to other thoughts and found your beliefs are rich and strong and true, you are able to accept other believers with new freedom. They no longer threaten you. And something beautiful happens. Your God gets bigger.

David with the kids and puppies at the park.

So - if you dare - crack open the lid on your beliefs. Open your mind to ideas. Don't give up when the reading is tough. And don't leave when you first disagree. Because trust me, it is very likely you will read some things that you find controversial. But he is not threatened by controversy. He is at his best in the exchange of ideas. So post a comment, ask a question, send an email. Before you leave confused, give him a chance to clarify what ails you. Not all of the posts will interest you. He covers a wide range of topics. Sometimes you may wonder why-in-the-world all of this matters. But then you will remember that sometimes we make a humongous deal out of small-ish things while completely ignoring the very beliefs that shape our foundation as Christians. If your foundation is solid, and your principles are sure, then the practice comes more naturally.

I suspect at times you may find yourself breathing a deep sigh as the clarity you have longed for sinks into your soul.

To simplify, you can sign up to receive his new posts into your email inbox if you'd like. If nothing else, he's honest. He listens openly to other opinions. And he's willing to admit when he's wrong (should the unlikely event ever occur). Just kidding. I've actually heard him admit to his congregation that after further study of a matter he was changing his position. That takes a lot of guts for a preacher-man.

And don't miss his humor. It's dry. And sometimes it may slip by you if you're listening for his chuckle. Look instead for a twinkle in his eye.

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