Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thomas Moore

There are two ways to be spiritually secure: one is to attach to a fixed and uncomplicated teaching, leadership, and set of moral standards. Another is to be open to life, ever deepening your understanding and giving up all defensiveness around convictions. The first way offers only the illusion of certainty, an illusion that must be maintained by anxious inflexibility. The second is to live from a deeper source, with values that cannot be codified in a list of rules. Central among these values is love, understood as profound respect for others.
Writing in the sand, p.xvi

I am drawn and challenged by these words because as I stand aloof as an on-looker at my own faith, the tradition I am a part of, I see these two tensions exist in futile revelry. Not only do I straddle both these opposing worldviews and philosophies in my working context, I have also colluded with both like a harlot, guilty myself of the illusion it evoked until my reality and the 'shit that happens' rocked me into the reality of failure and rejection. And at that point of isolated vulnerability, it is the latter that has been the most accepting, restorative and the most honest option for me to pursue as a new deeper experience.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Performance and Auntenticity

Christian ministry somehow failed to professionalize:
the clergyman is a jack of all trades...there is nothing which he does that could not be done equally well by a lawyer or bricklayer in the congregation...He does not have a job at all in any sense which is readily understandable today, and today, more than ever before, a person must have a job in order to fit into society...p87

Performing priesthood made him less authentic rather than more: instead of finding unity in a variety of roles, he had come to believe that he was acting rather than being true to himself ...p88

Redefining Christian Britain

In a module on inter-professionalism the above statement hit me like a ton of bricks. My hidden status and profession as a minister, I suggested clergy could be part of this inter-professional discussion. Laughter burst forth as if I was the new comedian on the block. Have we 'de-professionalised' ourselves? Has society? Have we just been left behind, asleep?

I do feel we still have much to offer, some more so than others, but the challenge lay mockingly on the table...can we again be a part of society in a way that contributes and that is valued by society?

The gauntlet perhaps is more personal and boils down to authenticity?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Colin Morris

Perhaps Christianity became a problem solving religion when, instead of it converting Europe as is widely supposed, European culture converted Christianity from being a near-eastern apocalyptic faith into a western problem solving ideology to be harnessed to the needs of an optimistic and thrusting scientific civilization. p61 start your own religion

Monday, April 27, 2009

john shelby spong

Look at him! Look not at his divinity, but look, rather, at his freedom.
Look not at the exaggerated tales of his of his power, but look, rather at his infinite capacity to give himself away.
Look not at the first-century mythology that surrounds him, but look, rather, at his courage to be, his ability to live, the contagious quality of his love. grief situations that i have entered as a pastor, it is inevitably the religious person who is insensitive, who feels compelled to speak surface assurances, who suppresses real feelings with homilies on faith, and who readily supplies pat answers for diffecult and complex questions.

p54...i am glad the realm of spiritual is no more. i am glad that the god identified with this realm is dead. we isolated the god of our religion in a system and located it in an otherworldly ghetto. Now the secular world has killed that god...but a god who could be isolated from the world could certainly not be either the god of the hebrews or the god of the bible. so perhaps the death of that god is only the death of an idol who masqueraded as god for almost 2000 years...for the first time since christianity escaped its jewish origins, we again perceive reality as a whole.

p164...orthodoxy will have no power unless honest heresy is a possibility.