When I was a first year seminary student, not so very long ago, one of my professors told me that it would take me about three years in ministry to sort through my theology and know where I stood.
I wonder whether it will take that long. I think I might be there. (The only other option I see at the moment is Buddhism.) (That is not intended as a pejorative remark.) My son's death altered my life trajectory considerably. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually ~ true, some things take a lot longer than I might have once expected. Some are simply no longer possible. But some move with the speed of light when I had thought that they would proceed more slowly.
There are some things pertaining to Josh's death that I do not discuss. Maybe a couple of priests know one or two of them. But they have changed me in irrevocable ways. And because of them, certain aspects of theology have sorted themselves into place without waiting for me to catch up.
Here. Now. My non-negotiables:
Both/And. Applies to almost everything, at least in this life. No other way of explaining most of it.
You can tell me your either/ors if you wish. I will always listen. But they will make no sense to me, if they ever did, which was probably not the case.
God's love and grace: Lavish and inexhaustible. No exceptions. If that is not true, I'm done.
You might think that the last one is an either/or.
Another professor (and you know who you are) said to me, maybe during my last year of seminary, "You want there to be free will, but you also expect God to fix everything."
So God's love and grace are also both/ands.
This gets me into trouble.
You try knowing some of the things I know and see if you think differently.