What this is about
The idea for Believers Next Door grew from conversations I have had over the past few years. I want to have more of these conversation– with a variety of different people from diverse backgrounds of belief and supposed disbelief. So far, conversations like this have brought me to accept several key concepts:
We all believe. No matter how we label ourselves, or how we define and structure our belief system, we all believe something about the nature of the universe, its origins, and the human purpose within it.
We rarely listen to those who believe differently. I suspect this is true because we have an intrinsic motivation to want to believe the Right Thing, and we reinforce our feeling of being on the right track (or just being “right”) by not entertaining ideas that might be divergent, or apart, from ours.
We can learn a lot about our own beliefs and about The Object of Our Belief by listening to and observing others’ beliefs.
Some things I believe
Here’s your chance to decide if you’re going to engage or not engage in the conversation, to listen or to not listen, or to reflect or reject. I’m going to tell you up front where I’m coming from, belief-wise. I’m not going to tell you every detail, because, quite frankly, I don’t believe all the details matter (to me or to you). I am going to tell you just some of the few things I hold confidently.
I believe, just like Agent Mulder, that The Truth Is Out There. I believe there is a Reality that is both in me, and separate from me. This Reality is Truth. It is true all the time, in all places, in all circumstances. It is Absolute, which means that it applies consistently without regard to time, place, individual or culture.
I believe that this Reality — this Other — is responsible for the reality that you and I encounter and experience in all realms of experience (physical, non-physical, mental, spiritual, etc.)
I believe that this Other is relational, not impersonal. The Other has purpose, intent and love — and all of those involve me, personally.
I believe this Other Person, this Creating Other (at one point called the Unmoved Mover) wants to be discovered and is intentionally self-revealing.
I believe the Other Person has thoughts and ways so much higher, deeper, and broader than mine, that, even with self revelation, my finite mind is not capable of fully understanding. I can only see through a cloudy, dim, dark glass (like looking into a heavily tinted BMW from the outside.)
Some hopes I have for you
I hope you’ll engage, not just by reading and commenting, but by reflecting.
I hope you’ll listen to divergent points of view honestly (i.e., listen with an intent to understand and learn, not with the intent to refute). This doesn’t mean I don’t expect disagreement, I do. I hope that disagreements are articulated with the intent to learn, not to win.
I hope you’ll benefit by reflecting on these things — and that you encounter the Other Person.