The Broken Signposts of N.T. Wright: Part 7, Spirituality

N.T. Wright's next broken signpost is spirituality.

Despite the protestations of fundamentalist atheists, most people are supernaturalists. We long for spirituality and recoil at the suggestion that human beings and the cosmos are reducible to a materialistic, scientific description. Science is a powerful tool, but it's also inhuman.

So we yearn for spirituality. And these yearnings point us somewhere, toward our true home and rest. And yet, spirituality is also a broken signpost. We shop around and dabble in all the various spiritualities on offer, from paganism to yoga to herbs to astrology to traditional Christianity. We mix and match to taste to create a "spirituality" uniquely our own.

And yet, we can feel the shallowness and arbitrariness in all this, this consumeristic approach toward spirituality and faith. Spirituality is supposed to give life depth of meaning and value, but we feel the falseness in our boutique spirituality given how easily we can pick it up and lay it down in passing trends and fads. Can something so easily discardable really infuse our lives with purpose and value?

In short, we feel the spiritual yearning burning in our hearts and souls, but we struggle to keep this quest from devolving into superficiality and triviality. We long for spiritual depth, but fear our "spiritual but not religious" approach to faith is just some mystical tinsel we have sprinkled over our consumerism and self-absorption.

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