It's a rocky road for the religious these days. I laughed aloud at this from youtube (thanks, Neil) the other day, and followed with some irritation the story of the Pope's supposed blunder - and yet I'd just been to church, and felt involved/affected/whatever it is we feel when faith is an active feature of our lives. I've always wondered if it were somehow feeble of me not to be a fervent door-banger or street-corner evangelist, but only in a detached sort of way. For in reality I always knew these activities made me cringe.
Today I had further thoughts on the matter, during a training session for lay leaders. While exploring just how much (or how little) we knew about the Old Testament (or indeed the entire Bible, but the OT more so, or less so) I came to the conclusion that I am a Christian despite the bible. Now that's an over-simplification, but there is so much written about which I feel sceptical or even - in the case of stories like Jael and Sisera - repelled that the outsider would wonder what remained for a faith to be built on.
And it's there that poetry comes to the rescue (again). I've just been quoting this over on Following Columba, and it gave me the third leg for today's thought to stand on. R.S.Thomas, in his poem "The Absence", talks about "a vacuum which he [God] may not abhor" - and that's it. Not so much something to build on, but something breathless which is kept alive by faith. No dogma, really, just emptiness. And the words of Christ to give form to the God who comes.
All a bit vague for bashing people with, really. And you should try explaining it to a fundamentalist ....