A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

I haven't received word from blogger yet on how to retrieve my archives and lost links. I can spend a bit of time to find those missing links, but really do need blogger's help in how to get my archives back. As Father Jake notes, this is a good reason why one needs to save their template, something I unfortunately did not do.

This last week during my school's Faith Week I was given the task to give a short answer to the question: what are the tenets of Christian faith from a liberal protestant perspective. My answer has more personalist language then I would normally use, but the purpose was to a broader range of thought in the mainline, not simply my own thoughts. So in any case, this was my little attempt:

I believe one of the central claims in Christianity is that the universe as we know it is neither hostile nor indifferent to our striving for a life which is marked by meaning and goodness. Rather as Martin Luther King writes: There is some creative force that works for togetherness, a creative force in the universe that works to bring the disconnected aspects of reality into a harmonious whole.

This power, which our tradition identifies as God, is embodied in any number of relationships, including the ones we have with our natural world. But more often than not it’s experienced in our interactions with other people. This is probably why personal language about God has been such a central element of our tradition. And because God is personal, God has purposes, in this case working to make the world increasingly marked by goodness and connectedness.

Our call is to live in right relation with this power, which makes for good; i.e. God. But we live in a world torn by strife, division, hatred, and wars. We live in a world where those salvific connections with our natural environment and each other face continual challenge. Where hatred and division, seems to have won the day. The hope the Christian faith has is that God’s love wins out in the end. But we believe this is not a vain hope.

For the Christian affirmation is that we have seen such love already embodied in a person; in the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. For there never was a division which he did not seek to cross, never a person who was considered an outsider that Jesus did not include, his life was marked by a such responsiveness to this power of love and connectedness that we believe if one wants to see what God is up to, one can look at his life and ministry.

To be a Christian then is to take up the cause of Jesus. This cause, is the reconciliation of humans to one another, to our natural world, and thus to God. The church, scripture, doctrine, practices, theologies, when done well, have sought to do this and when they have not done this, they have failed at their purpose. To drive this home a bit: Christianity is not the object of our devotion, God is, Christianity is a way, a people, a history which has in it’s higher moments sought to embody God’s reconciling love in the world. This is our call, our burden, and our joy in life.

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