Monday, June 15, 2009

"What's That About? Killing Muslims and Jews?"

I find Religious Dispatches an excellent resource for tolerance and polite reporting about religion. This is the web site:

Photograph from Religious Dispatches Blog.

Recently, my eleven year-old daughter told one of her fifth grade Sunday school classmates that her mother had written a book on church history. He replied, “What’s that about? Killing Muslims and Jews?” That pretty well sums it up—most people think that Christian history is about wars, inquisitions, crusades, and a corrupt church. I don’t deny that—it would be impossible to—but many people have managed to live admirable lives despite Christianity’s institutional failings. And I write about those people. I’m a realist when it comes to history, and part of that is a realistic assessment of when Christianity has lived up to the teachings of its founder. A People’s History is about war; it is about love of God and love of neighbor.

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In this my personal Christian blog, I hope to be discursive and now and then critical. What I write here is tentative and tensive. I post thoughts, feelings, and observations somewhat randomly and often in immediate response to current events and posts on other blogs.

"Serendipitous Creativity" from Gordon Kaufman

"I suggested that what we today should regard as God is the ongoing creativity in the universe - the bringing (or coming) into being of what is genuinely new, something transformative; …

"In some respects and some degrees this creativity is apparently happening continuously, in and through the processes or activities or events around us and within us(…) is a profound mystery to us humans(…) But on the whole, as we look back on the long and often painful developments that slowly brought human life and our complex human worlds into being, we cannot but regard this creativity as serendipitous …

"I want to stress that this serendipitous creativity - God! - to which we should be responsive is not the private possession of any of the many particular religious faiths or systems …

"This profound mystery of creativity is manifest in and through the overall human bio-historical evolution and development everywhere on the planet; and it continues to show itself throughout the entire human project, no matter what may be the particular religious and or cultural beliefs."

Gordon Kaufman, Mennonite Life, December 2005 vol. 60 no. 4

Melville is a rational man who

"Melville is a rational man who wants God to exist. He wants Him to exist for the same reasons we all do: to be our rescuer and appreciator, to act as a confidant in our moments of crisis and to give us reassurance that, over the horizon of our deaths, we will survive." (John Updike)

And that is a problem for me.

Fragmented Notions

Fragmented Notions
Copyright © 2007 Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

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