Showing posts from February, 2019

Swing Away!

Luke 6.27-38 27  “But I say to you who are willing to hear: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.  28  Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you.  29  If someone slaps you on the cheek, offer the other one as well. If someone takes your coat, don’t withhold your shirt either.  30  Give to everyone who asks and don’t demand your things back from those who take them.  31  Treat people in the same way that you want them to treat you.  32  “If you love those who love you, why should you be commended? Even sinners love those who love them.  33  If you do good to those who do good to you, why should you be commended? Even sinners do that.  34  If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, why should you be commended? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to be paid back in full.  35  Instead, love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing in return. If you do, you will have a great reward. You will be acting the way children of the Most High act

Spirituality Trees

After our discussions about postmodernism and cultural relativism, I’ve been thinking about the roots of faith, both my own and in general. What I am discovering is that personally, a few core beliefs form the roots of my current spirituality tree, the trunk of which is simply  love my neighbor.  Over the decades I have also pruned many ideas to make space for new growth. That’s a pretty natural part of any spiritual journey, I think, but it’s occurred to me that postmodern faith is like a spirituality tree. Subjectively (see what I did there?), trees are one of the coolest lifeforms in the universe. From a tiny seed, these majestic beings spend their very long lives constantly embracing the sky. Yet, the boughs of leaves we see outstretched to a welcoming firmament only exist because of the root structure mostly hidden underground. Without a secured root system, the tree might wither and die. At the very least, an insufficient root system will stunt the tree’s growth, because roots

Progressive, Postmodern Christianity Part 3: Unconditional Love

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been considering the development of both progressive and postmodern Christianity. We took a look at “ The Eight Points of Progressive Christianity ” and agreed with the ideal that God’s love is all-inclusive. Understanding that it is impossible to do anything in the postmodern world without irony, we’ve distilled some postmodern ideas into a couple of mindful mantras: Postmodernism requires a constant state of incredulousness. Metanarratives are subjective. As a reminder, a metanarrative is any attempt to objectively define reality: God created the world, and the universe started with the Big Bang, are both metanarratives. Postmodernism's incredulousness isn’t about merely rejecting everything status quo. Facts are still facts (for as long as they remain that way). The sciences are still foundational to our understanding of reality. The practice of science is a flexible framework that allows for adjustments in thinkin

Progressive, Postmodern Christianity Part 2: "Progressive" Christianity

Last week, we began discussing postmodernism, which demands a more subjective approach to the overarching stories that connect us as human beings. These epic tales—think the creation of the universe in the  Enuma Elish ,  Genesis ,  The Gospel of John,  Big Bang or String theories—are called metanarratives. For postmodern religion, this means a more accepting, pluralistic tone. I’m not sure that postmodern religion’s demand for subjectivity and the idea that non-Christians are eternally tormented in Hell are compatible. So, people of postmodern faith are not typically “my way or the highway to Hell.” (See what I did there?) There are a diversity of beliefs at work in postmodern religions. For example, within postmodern Christianity, which I think is somewhat inappropriately called “progressive” Christianity, some people believe in the need for “salvation,” and others don’t. Living with,  accepting , even while we do not understand, each other’s belief systems should be the goal. I’l