I have one of those impossible questions:
Have Christians been ostracized in varying degrees in society because people are hostile to Christianity--or have Christians alienated themselves from others by being obnoxious, judgmental anti-intellectual goons?
Which came first?
This was prompted by an article I just read in the Seattle Times about an astronomer at the UW who is also, GASP, a Christian. Here is the quote that got me:
"You could say Agol’s work puts him at the crossroads of some complex questions, which he answers with faith."
Maybe I'm being paranoid, but as a "person of faith" I find the comment very condescending.
It's like saying that scientists "do math" to solve complex problems. It's like saying that a farmer "works with dirt" for a living.
But the kicker is--maybe it's the way we've told the world to treat us. Often I hear Christians, when posed with a hard question, respond with, "that's just what I believe." Faith.
The word faith could never encompass my relationship to God. I do have a timid faith, combined with a lot of logic, reason, hope, confusion, mystery, doubt, love, community, thinking, considering, ceasing to believe in some things, trying on other beliefs for size, some to keep, some to leave where they lie.
Calling Christianity "faith" is like calling the ecosystem grass. Christians, we can do better.