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Gretta Vosper


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Thanks for letting us know about this author – there’s a fair amount about her on line, she has her own website, lectures on YouTube etc. It was interesting to read a long review of her book by religion professor James McGrath. According to him, Vosper’s book raises the question of whether it is possible to be a Christian without God, and if so what that would mean. She claims that religion is at its roots about tribal identity (something I’ve often wondered about), and that the supernatural no longer fits with an understanding of spirituality (sounds alot like Spong, Ross, etc). According to McGrath, her critique raises the question Why call this Christianity, why cling to that term at all?


Vosper says “To be Christian, for me, is to do whatever it takes to bind me to a life lived in a radically ethical way.” She defines the core value as love, in the sense of living with respect, justice and compassion. My response would be, yes but how do we find the strength to embody and carry out that ideal? isn’t that the reason people go to church, or practice a more solitary routine of reading/writing/meditation – whichever best supports this longing. We need to feel connected either mystically or communally (or both) to a way of healing the wounds of our own programming, to a source of love and courage greater than ourselves.


Funny - the title With or Without God reminds me --U2 is giving a concert here tomorrow night and I sorta wish I were going :D

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U2 is giving a concert here tomorrow night and I sorta wish I were going :D


I'd jump on that like a duck on a junebug!


Vosper's book sounds like an interesting read. Am I correct that she is assuming the theistic God?


If God is love (or if love is God), then I would say that, no, we can't be all we can be without God. Love is, IMO, all about giving one's self away for the sake or good of another, something we humans desperately need to learn to do.


But many Christians understanding of God is "ex machina" where it's kinda assumed that God's sole purpose is to rescue them and preserve them, not to empower them to give themselves away. Their notion of God takes the tribal deity and puts it on a personal level -- for THEIR sake and for THEIR good, even if it means to the detribution of another. This kinda God, yes, I would say we don't need and is, IMO, harmful. God becomes a weapon used to ensure personal survival, whether in the here or in the hereafter.

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