I love to think about and study my religion. I don’t do it in a terribly deep way, but I also love the idea of making that study an academic pursuit; approaching it in a way that is objective, even scientific. Growing my knowledge and improving my critical thinking skills are ever-present goals (not that I’m always working very hard at them). But I keep coming face to face with the inherent subjectivity of the thing, and it frustrates me. Our personal experiences shape our faith. They affect our mental pictures and interpretations of scripture. I think there is both beauty and relevance… and a certain danger in that. Our culture expounds upon the truths we find in scripture until we can’t seem to separate biblical teaching from societal wisdom. But really, what philosophy, what science isn’t subject to these challenges? Doctors, scientists, even mechanics practice their professions according to different schools of thought. Just because people hold different opinions about religion doesn't invalidate it. If anything, it makes it all the more important, because some things are true. Some things are right and real. I’d venture to say it’s much easier to learn answers to questions if we actually ask them. Seems to me, putting our minds to the task of discerning those true and right and real things should be a priority for all of us.