The fabric of faithfulness

Note: does anyone know how to fix the text below the bullet points? I can’t get it to space properly.

Andrew once raved about Stephen Garber’s Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behaviour During the University Years. Garber writes about how to cultivate explicitly Christian students during the undergraduate haze. Now I haven’t read the book but Leader U has an article posted that summarizes some of the findings from Garber’s larger work.

Garber studied men and women from all over the United States who still had a coherent and vibrant faith 25 years after they finished university. Garber found, without exception, that all of the people with the faith he was looking for had cultivated three habits of heart:

  • they developed a worldview that could make sense of life, facing the challenge of truth and coherence in an increasingly secular and pluralist society;
  • they pursued a relationship with a teacher whose life incarnated the worldview that they were learning to embrace; and
  • they committed themselves to others who had chosen to live their lives embedded in that same worldview, journeying together in truth, after the vision of a coherent and meaningful life. (Link)

I think this blog constitutes a partial fulfillment of the third habit, but it’s obviously not enough. Virtual time will never be able to replace face time.

Part of the problem with habit #3 is the transience of modern life. Friends come and go. People move. They change churches. We get married.

One of the most frightening thought experiments I’ve done is to look at married men that I know who are in their 40’s and over. How many close friends do they have, outside of family? From my limited frame of reference I can say that they have little to none. And I’m sure they all had close friends coming out of their college years.

I guess friendship is something that has to be continually worked at, like a marriage. I don’t know how else to explain the lack of close male friends in many guys lives.