The ‘T’ Word: Trading Our Heritage for a Mess of Certainty A diligent missionary drops out of the Church after his mission, unable to reconcile the rhetoric of inspired direction with the flaws and inconsistencies so evident in his experience and reading. As his father, I am disappointed not so much in him as in the Church, which does not allow him the space to explore his doubts and/or to live with ambiguity. In this paper, I argue that the absolute spiritual and moral certainty and unquestioning obedience to authority held up as the standard for faithful, worthy members has led us to a dead end of self-righteous complacency. This parochial attitude is a betrayal of our liberal roots and an offense to our neighbors. We pay lip service to God as the father of all humanity, but is it possible for us to take a more mature and realistic approach to our own place in God’s family.
Keith E. Norman, J. Frederick (Toby) Pingree