I started this blog when the world felt innocent and predictable (in 2014). Then, it was called “parliaclete,” which was a ridiculous portmanteau that endlessly needed to be explained. If you search the archives, you will quickly see there was a gap between then and now. But now, we are back, and this time around we’re going with “InButNotOf.” This phrase comes from several places in the New Testament (notably John 17), and it expresses the condition in which Christians find themselves — they are a part of the world, but their primary identities are not defined by the world, they in the world but not of the world. Peter calls Christians “aliens and strangers,” which is definitely fitting.
In many ways, the little phrase “in but not of” describes me: I am a Christian, yet I wasn’t born into the denomination where I have found my spiritual home; I am an American living in Belgium, having come here as an educational refugee priced out of graduate education in the US; and I am also a philosopher rather than a theologian, having studied philosophy at the undergraduate, graduate, and now doctoral level. Alien and strange, indeed.
This blog will be about many things, but primarily it is a place for spiritual, theological (and let’s be honest, philosophical), and political reflection. Why politics? Because human beings are political creatures. Why theology? Because human beings are believing creatures. Why spirituality? Because human being ARE believing creatures. So, you are invited to engage and debate, to wonder and disbelieve.
I hope this makes more sense than last time.