Recently I've exchanged correspondence with a American gentleman who was an early, active and constructive force in the transition process within our shared sectarian heritage. Neither of us have remained there, but his current understanding tends toward a more traditional appreciation of Christian belief. He noted:
To be direct: I think we are coming at events from different world views these days (I largely view secular humanism and methodological naturalism as both shallow and self-refuting)...
I ... remain convinced that purpose and directionality are basic to the universe, but find the Bible descriptive in a bottom-up sense rather than prescriptive in a top-down sense.
That's a pretty darn clumsy way to say whatever it was that I was trying to say, so my correspondent thought he might help me out:
You mention purpose and directionality, and I wonder if you are a theist at all. Perhaps agnosticism would be an alternative.
So here I am, pondering a further response. I don't like labels. Labels are, as the saying goes, disabling. And once you've attached one it's also a devil of a job to remove it when it's outlived its usefulness. I certainly have my doubts about theism, but so surely does any sane individual, at least part of the time. Theism is as much about Zeus or Odin as it is about Yahweh. In fact theism raises a whole lot more questions than it solves. Agnosticism is a relatively modern term (1869) that often reflects lazy thinking. We're all agnostic about some things, but on others we are all likewise prepared to take a leap of faith. We simply differ in which things we put in which categories.
Then I ran across these words quite by accident... or perhaps serendipity:
Humble in the face of a spiritual reality whose essence we cannot 'know', we speak in metaphors. Our 'truth' is a truth of the heart no less than of the mind. The 'facts' we assert are those of the hopeful spirit.
These wise words are found in the introduction to the Reform Jewish prayer book, Gates of Prayer.
Humility, metaphor and the hopeful spirit. That about says it in any tradition.
Perhaps those of us who are Christians struggling under the garrulous burden of propositional dogma, might wish to whisper a quiet 'amen' of our own.