Jump to content

Paul Tillich: The New Being


Recommended Posts

I like that Tillich points out that the scriptures says the Pharisees were the righteous, not the sinners, and we shouldn't try to demonize the Pharisees as these evil people who only had bad intentions. I think sometimes we as liberals fall guilty of this demonization when we try to compare the Pharisees to the modern day religious fundamentalists. I had read before that the Pharisees were actually the religious liberals of their days and it was the Sadducees who had the more strident literalistic faith contrary to the caricature of the Pharisees presented in the gospels. I also think that sometimes we as librals can fall into the trap of holier than thou thinking too. I think of a recent controversy over at another Christian site I go to, Gay Christian.net, where they had invited Alan Chambers of Exodus to be a guest on their panel so they could have a dialog with him about the dangers of the ex-gay ministry. Even though GCN admitted they handled the conference poorly and they apoligized for how they handled it, the rest of the LGBT blogosphere still refused to forgive them for their bad mismanagement and the mere idea of trying to have a dialog with Alan Chambers about these difficult issues turned GCN into traitors in the eyes of many others. They were simply unwilling to forgive them no matter how times they apologized for it because they weren't being judgmental enough towards Chambers or something.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 117
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Also, if anyone has a nook, you can download it for free from B&N

I agree the bible story could apply to anyone who identifies as a misfit or outsider.   Dutch wrote, "Tillich's portrayal of the righteous is always a challenge, but does it mean that one must be bo

I come back periodically to see what is happening here. For the most part I don’t see much change in the dynamics here that caused me to leave some time ago and so I don’t intend to become real acti

This is my first deep read of Tillich in a long, long time, and yes, it seems somewhat dated. And after reading some of the remarks above, I can see how he has indeed pigeonholed those deemed as righteous. But it left me pondering most of the day the overall importance of compassion in life. And for that I am grateful for this first sermon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate the way Tillich explores the psychological dimensions of the biblical passage, and connects it to Job and the prodigal son parable. It's also reminiscent of the Pharisee and the publican in the temple. Or the young ruler who approaches Jesus, saying he has obeyed every rule all his life...but his heart has become hardened.

 

The terms righteousness and sin could perhaps be seen more as conventional morality vs alienation.

 

To me, Tillich is very careful to point out the difference in attitude between righteousness--ethical conduct-- and self-righteousness. Jesus never rejects sinners, only people who refuse to acknowledge their flaws. As others have noted, feelings of warmth, tenderness and humility are rooted in acceptance despite faults and weaknesses. We don't really experience love, or show compassion, until we've experienced being forgiven.

Edited by rivanna
Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole notion of "the new creation" is outlined more in Hebrews. Rivanna I like that you mention Tillich's distinction about righteousness and self-righteousness, a point that Bonhoeffer develops in "Life Together". Jesus seems to me to have the intuitive sense to never reject sinners, but rightly chastises those who resist him - even his own disciples. I used to think this was the humanity in him, being almost inpatient, but then I've come to realize that he's rightly getting upset because of that resistance as some (even all?) resist his yoke. He's leading us somewhere, but we don't know where so we resist.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt, thanks-- however, to me the image of a Jesus who "rightly chastises those who resist him" sounds too much like an evangelical claim...in my eyes, and I think Tillich's, Jesus was not forceful or aggressive but more the suffering servant.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

glint, yes Tillich's sermons are somewhat dated, but they are still have some impact if you go in his direction. I mean, I started reading John RObinson's Honest to God and got a sense of that impact. Also, there are still some who are critical of Tillich's work, which makes him somewhat relevant.

 

I think the woman was "unacceptable" in terms of social stigma. We can substitute "homosexual", "muslim" "illegal alien" "progressive christian" for "woman" and you have the same relationship. These are people who are seen as being unacceptable, but who are all ready forgiven.

 

I hope I can keep up with the sermons as I feel that his sermons require three or four readings to appreciate them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree the bible story could apply to anyone who identifies as a misfit or outsider.

 

Dutch wrote, "Tillich's portrayal of the righteous is always a challenge, but does it mean that one must be born again to experience reunion and resurrection?" I think not...Tillich's only real critique of the righteous in this sermon is that the people at the table with Jesus cared more about propriety than the spontaneous outpouring of gratitude and devotion by the woman weeping at Jesus' feet. Tillich focuses on the contrast between acting out of obedience, conformity, convention --and acting out of love. He is affirming humility as opposed to complacency.

 

Also, Tillich points out that we need to face the depth of our own anxiety and despair before the sense of ultimate acceptance enters in ...."In the midst of our futile attempts to make ourselves worthy, in our despair about the inescapable failure of these attempts, we are suddenly grasped by the certainty that we are forgiven." This down and up, dark to light movement seems to me one of the vital truths he repeats through the bits and pieces I've read, at least.

Edited by rivanna
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ezekiel 3:20 New International Version (NIV)

20 “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.

 

I was puzzled by the term righteous. I feel everyone is forgiven spiritually; people just have to forgive themselves first to progress to the next stage. The second step seems to become spiritual, which I feel is what he means by righteous. I like what one post stated that it was different than self-righteousness, which I would venture to say is an act of removing oneself from righteousness. We all fall out of the spiritual consciousness of love, unity and spiritual bliss by following our own ego so we die to the spirit. It seems we learn this way by mentally suffering in the positive and negative physical world to realize the eternal bliss in spiritual world of righteousness

Link to post
Share on other sites

rivanna, I understand your feeling about Jesus rebuking smelling of evangelism. But not just in this case, but in most, if not all accounts, Jesus is always stuck in the middle of two type of followers, or between believer and non-believer, debating something that has to do with him, whether something they think he should do, or how they should act around him. Though taken as a rebuke, I see him essentially saying, "Dudes, chill out, stop fighting. Here's the way things can be without all the fuss." He draws both sides back to him and his take on it, which without getting too religious, is a more moderate, "middle way" to deal with situations. He never seems to let anyone all the way off the hook, but doesn't really get on their case unless they are hardheaded about not seeing the point he wants to make. He seems to already have sized up the situation and the people and could defuse the situation before it erupts into violence.

 

I appreciate the way Tillich plays off the tension in each scenario and gets to the existential message of it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking just at this chapter, I don't see that Jesus is stuck between two groups, or that violence was a possibility. IMHO, he was not so concerned with what people believed or didn't believe about him, as with their actions and heart attitudes. In this scenario, he gently chides the Pharisees for their scornful judgment of the supplicant.

 

I think Tillich uses the term "righteous" here somewhat differently than in the bible--he suggests that people who feel sure they're doing the right thing all the time, never doubting themselves, probably aren't open to the process of inner transformation he describes.

 

Maybe I should add that I have always seen myself as a bit of an outsider in this group, and it makes my communication problematic at times. I was raised in a secular, liberal environment, and only "discovered" Christianity in my twenties. So Tillich appeals to me because his intellectual dialogue seems to be more with existentialism or even nihilism, than with fundamentalism, unlike many contemporary PC writers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your opinion of Tillich is write on. He is dated to some extent and made an impact on religion as is evident from making the cover of Time. I've read some opinions from theologians critical of his work but I have to scratch my head at them and wonder if they read tge work of the same person they do. Theology is as much existential and about us as it claims to be a study of God, I think. He makes scripture valid to modern times whether it is spiriitual or philosophical.

 

What I meant by saying that Jesus puts himself in the position he does has to do with how I see possible outcomes of a given situation. Your right in saying violence isn't a possibility.

 

But I imagine this from the text. Here's Jesus at the home of a Pharisee. We're not told why he's there. Maybe the Pharisee is curious about him and his claims. Maybe he secretly thinks Jesus is who he says he is and doesnt want anyone to know this. Maybe since he is an outstanding member of the community that he will try and "talk sense" into him and tell him to stop all this nonsense about you being who you say you are. So here they are and there's a knock on the door. The Pharisee opens the door and here's a woman who might be known for being a prostitute. Embarrassing situation maybe. Maybe he's upset that she is there. Jesus accepts her as if it were his house she enters. All this is speculation I know but it does have to what they think of him because he's the focus of the story. It is what he thinks that matters to both of them. The woman is all ready saved and righteous. It's the Pharsisee that needs to see this. Right there is no rebuking like in other scenes. If I imagined this scene as a film I would have reaction shots of embarrassment, hesitancy, fear and even anger from the actor playing the Pharisee toward the woman. Jesus cuts to the chase like Tillich does and addresses both of them and shows how personally inbred he is with both of them. He educates both of them and even lifts them out of their old selves to some extent.

 

That's just my reading and Tillich takes it to a higher level about how we can treat others as Jesus seems to.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I come back periodically to see what is happening here. For the most part I don’t see much change in the dynamics here that caused me to leave some time ago and so I don’t intend to become real active again. But I cannot resist a discussion focused on Tillich. Tillich has always been a primary influence for me. I worked closely with Bob Kimball in Berkeley who was the executor of Tillich’s literary estate. At any rate here is my response to the sermon “To Whom Much is Forgiven…”.

 

Tillich works hard to show the ground that exists between “the universal and inescapable dominion of sin over this world” and “something” that happens to persons that is “unconditional” (words can not contain that experience because words are entirely conditioned). Tillich would disagree with anyone who says that one can escape or “rise above” the existential reality of sin into some world of universal consciousness. But likewise Tillich would disagree that this existential reality has ultimate significance and that “something” happens to persons that we call forgiveness. But that forgiveness is not tied to any “because”. In other words it is not tied to any cause and effect that exists in the time/space existence. Forgiveness happens “in spite of” the “universal and inescapable dominion of sin over this world”. There is a sense of being “conquered though not removed”.

 

So Tillich is careful to stress that sin and righteousness are real; they are not temporary states of mind that can be lost in a world of universal consciousness. At the same time when one experiences forgiveness “something” happens so that humans, living under the powers of sin and righteousness, are able to accept the realities of life because they have “received” forgiveness (remember no cause/effect).

 

Tillich’s world is a world of ambiguity. “There is a section of life which is nearer to us than any other and often the most estranged from us”. There is nothing we can do that can overcome this existential reality. Tillich uses the word “forgiveness’ in the sense that Jesus could not forgive and people can not forgive themselves. But forgiveness happens.

 

Tillich says that Jesus can and did give love to those who searched for a love based upon forgiveness. The righteous cannot give that love because righteousness does not ask the question for which forgiveness is the answer. The sinner burns with that question and so the sinner is able to receive the answer and is able to love.

 

We are all both righteous and sinner. Tillich would encourage us to love based upon being sinners while at the same time encourage us to be righteous (“The elder son did what he was supposed to do”. Jesus “does not doubt the validity of the law”.) Tillich reminds us that although the righteous part of others and ourselves is not to be rejected, it does not lead to the question that is answered by forgiveness. In fact, there is a tendency to “turn away from righteousness” because we seek a “love that is rooted in forgiveness”.

 

“It is not the love of the woman that brings her forgiveness, but it is the forgiveness she received that creates her love”. This is Tillich crystalized. This challenges the liberal’s tendency to equate God with love without speaking about forgiveness. This may explain the power of the evangelical preacher’s sermon about the need for forgiveness even to modern minds who want to reject any attempt at truth that is not based upon what can be explained with our cause/effect minds.

 

If this is all true then Tillich shows that there is no truth in the claim that Jesus forgives your sins but “something” happens and so when forgiveness happens it is very easy for the Church to persuade people that Jesus is the answer to the question that has been answered in their lives. Then the proverbial climbing up the signpost instead of going down the road happens. And so the evangelical preachers become rich based upon a truth they do not understand.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my first reading and exposure to Tillich, although I know a bit about him from my experiences with Borg's books and talks.

 

I find Tillich's musings about forgiveness fascinating, but, as others have mentioned, ambiguous. To me, he seems to be challenging the mindset that tells us that our sins keep us from God. There is often a mindset in Christianity, based, imo, on OT typology, that says that we must first be forgiven for our sins before we can come to God or into God's presence. Often, sin is said to be a barrier between us and God that needs to first be removed for a relationship to happen. But Tillich seems to be saying that this mindset needs to be repented of, that our sins have never really been the problem, that they have always been, from God's perspective, forgiven. In other words, forgiveness is something that is ontologically true in all times and places because God is everywhere. But we *experience* that forgiveness in time and space, in sequence, in icons. And even though Christianity lifts up Jesus' cross as the supreme icon of God's forgiveness, people experienced forgiveness through him before he ever died.

 

So my ambigous musings about Tillich' ambiguous musings about this comes down to the notion that there is absolutely nothing separating us from God and God's love, not even our sins. Our sins, imo, prevent us from loving God and others as we should, they distort the image of God in and through us. But they don't affect God's ontological stance of compassion or nearness to us. The woman had always been forgiven, but she experienced God's forgiveness through Jesus' acceptance and love for her. Jesus becomes the tangible means of the intangible truth.

Edited by Wayseeker
Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought David's post made several good points, new to me, that added a meaningful perspective on this chapter. Not sure I really understand the emphasis on "no cause and effect" --forgiveness as something that just happens--but it suggests to me an ultimate mystery, something beyond our control or mental grasp. It does depend on our being open to it. Paul Tillich seems to share a mystical approach similar to Paul of the new testament, IMHO. Also thought it was interesting to view Jesus not as the necessary agent of forgiveness, only an example of it. Perhaps the essence of this chapter could be summed up by David's words, "we are all both righteous and sinner. Tillich would encourage us to love based on being sinners, while at the same time encourage us to be righteous."

Edited by rivanna
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Rivanna for another insightful post. I think you are correct to further explain that “forgiveness happens” only when you are open to it (Tillich says "forgiveness could not come to us if we were not asking for it and receiving it") and so in that sense there may be some “cause/effect” going on, but it is something that is “beyond our control”. I think that Tillich does border on a mystical approach mostly because of the inadequate nature of language.

 

I find Tillich most challenging with his conclusion to this sermon: “Each of us who strives for righteousness would be more Christian if more were forgiven him, if he loved more and if he could better resist the temptation to present himself as acceptable to God by his own righteousness” (let us all forgive Tillich for his dated use of “he” and “him”).

 

Tillich offers some major challenges to Progressive Christianity. The first challenge is that it is possible to suggest that one can be “more Christian” than one is already. In other words being Christian is based upon realities that create the ability to say more Christian.

 

Furthermore, Tillich challenges the assumption that being “more Christian” is related to “more righteousness”. The current emphasis in Progressive Christianity on ethics then is challenged. The point that they will know that we are Christians by how we treat each other ethically is challenged. This is not to say that righteousness is not a good thing. Tillich himself was known for his speaking about political things and Tillich was forced to leave Germany because of his open antagonism towards National Socialism. But Tillich suggests that being “more Christian” means to resist the temptation to be “acceptable to God” via righteousness.

 

It is striking to read Tillich when he says that the woman in this story was rightly judged unacceptable. In other words it was right for her culture to find her unacceptable. She knew. All those around her knew it. The point that Tillich is trying to make is that there is no ethical condition here that makes her “worthy of forgiveness”. Yet she experiences forgiveness and since much has been forgiven her capacity to love is “more”.

 

The “more Christian” is directly related to when “more is forgiven” which enables one to “love more”. This is a challenge to Progressive Christianity, which has not found the ability to talk about sin and forgiveness.

Edited by David
Link to post
Share on other sites
I thought David's post made several good points, new to me, that added a meaningful perspective on this chapter. Not sure I really understand the emphasis on "no cause and effect" --forgiveness as something that just happens--but it suggests to me an ultimate mystery, something beyond our control or mental grasp.

 

Tillich says "forgiveness could not come to us if we were not asking for it and receiving it") and so in that sense there may be some “cause/effect” going on, but it is something that is “beyond our control”. I think that Tillich does border on a mystical approach mostly because of the inadequate nature of language.

 

It seems in those who are most alive, the life of the body is subordinate to a superior life that is within the self. These individuals surrender to a far more abundant vitality, a consciousness that lives on levels that cannot be measured or observed so is considered an ultimate mystery.

 

The outer levels of consciousness measured in energy forms in the physical world are less pure or we can say they have more vibrations. The frequencies can be thought of as parcels of energy or waves that start and maintain all things. The higher levels of consciousness in or minds take the lower layers into their service in the course of the minds development by integrating the unfamiliar with the knowledge that has already been accumulated in the lower layers so a higher wider consciousness can appear. New revelations being considered inspirer the mind to proceed beyond old ideas, which continue to keep the mind in the lower levels so it seems there are different degrees of conscousness, love and forgiveness in the context that one can be more Christian.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike, can we go on to the next chapter?

 

“The New Being” covers a lot of ground, with some of Tillich’s most eloquent affirmations. To me, his view anticipates the essence of PC --its transcendence of religious doctrines and rituals, its openness, inclusiveness. He states there is no interest in converting others -- “Christianity as such is of no avail….no religion matters, only a new state of things.” The New Creation exists whenever we get past our own provincialism – “personal distaste, racial strangeness, national conflicts, differences of sex, age, beauty, strength, knowledge, all the other innumerable causes of separation.”

 

My one quibble is that in exploring the idea of circumcision he never mentions that it applied only to males. Perhaps Tillich was somewhat patriarchal / chauvinistic, even considering the typical language usage of his times—I don’t know.

 

That said, the second half of the sermon really speaks to me, especially where he says reconciliation is not something to try for, but simply accept; and where he states that “resurrection happens now, or it does not happen at all.” However, Tillich also implies the New Being is not a one time event, a constant state of mind-- we continue to live in two orders.

 

“Having as having not – that is the right attitude toward everything great and wonderful in life, even religion and Christianity. But it is not the right attitude toward the New Creation. Toward it, the right attitude is passionate and infinite longing….A New Creation has appeared, and we are all asked to participate in it: reconciliation, reunion, resurrection.We don’t need to do anything, we must only be grasped by it….Where the New Reality appears, one feels united with God, the ground of one’s existence. One has what has been called the love of one’s destiny, the courage to take upon ourselves our own anxiety. Then one has the astonishing experience of feeling reunited with one’s self, not in pride and false satisfaction, but in deep self-acceptance. One accepts one’s self as something which is eternally important, eternally loved, eternally accepted. There is a center, a direction, a meaning for life…Where there is real healing, there is the New Being.”

Edited by rivanna
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good points Rivanna,

 

Except i think he was speaking to both males and females because circumcision is really not of the flesh nor is their gender in the new being.

 

I think this chapter really makes the book, even though i haven't read past it yet. Paul hits the heart of Christianity and any religion for that matter. In my view, he separates the wheat from the chaff here. Perhaps this Chapter should be required reading for all religions? :)

 

Joseph

Link to post
Share on other sites

After the first chapter wherein I think Tillich challenges Progressive Christianity I agree that this chapter lifts up Progressive Christianity and one can see why Tillich has had such an influence on current Progressive Christian theologians such as Spong.

 

It seems important to me that Tillich gives no preference to “uncircumcision”. He says to those persons that they should not “boast too much that you have no rites and myths, that you are free from superstitions, that you are perfectly reasonable….It is of no avail”. This speaks to my UU background and also challenges many persons who relate to Progressive Christianity.

 

One reason that I like Spong is that, like Tillich, he is challenging for persons within the Christian Church while at the same time telling people that he loves that Church and inviting people to a reformation. My primary interest has been how we can “do Church” when “it is the maturest fruit of Christian understanding to understand that Christianity, as such, is of no avail”, but at the same time saying that being “uncircumcised” is also “of no avail”.

 

How do we “do Church” based upon “boasting about the fact that there is nothing to boast about” but then "boasting" about the New Being or the New Creation. There is a difference between saying that no religion has ultimate significance and saying there is no ultimate significance. Tillich makes a huge claim that the ultimate significance of the New Being or the New Creation judges all religions and also judges those "without religion". Such a judgment is a challenge to the postmodern mind which runs away from such judgments.

 

My hope rests in Tillich’s claim that humanity “still lives, and it could not live any more if the power of separation had not been permanently conquered by the power of reunion, of healing, of the New Creation”.

Edited by David
Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoyed this second chapter. It's been a while since I've read/heard any sermonizing on the Apostle Paul. I must admit that the rhetorical use of "circumcision" seems more and more strange to my sensibilities, but I understand well enough the signification.

 

Karen,

 

My one quibble is that in exploring the idea of circumcision he never mentions that it applied only to males. Perhaps Tillich was somewhat patriarchal / chauvinistic, even considering the typical language usage of his times—I don’t know.

 

I'd be glad it indeed applied only to males. :D

 

But in all seriousness I see your point.

 

 

The idea "new creation" going beyond religion as such, I think, is a good paradigm. It is freeing and yet challenging; it finds unity among various religions but doesn't lessen the demands of realizing religious truth.

 

I also continually enjoy the way Tillich ties theological ideas with very existential ones. God's acceptance is not other-to a deep acceptance of life within us. There's no clear distinction between God and Life itself. Christ is the resurrection and the life, the wellspring of living water.

 

Tillich develops a view that it is not by our effort that we are reconciled to God. We do not transition from "old being" to "new being" by being reconciled; in the new being we simply are reconciled.

 

Peace,

Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a bit behind the rest of you in this project, but working on getting caught up on both the readings and the comments others have made here. So forgive me if I refer back to Ch 1, and matters of forgiveness here.

Something that emerges from this for me is in the casting of the "righteous" against the "unrighteous", the sinner. That we are not to discredit the righeousness of the righteous. But neither is the righteousness of the righteous itself of any matter in forgiveness.

In reading and considering upon this in Ch. 1, it seems to me that this aparant contrast between different people actually applies to any of us as an individual. By that, I mean, I can see how I have been in both 'roles', or 'postions' and that this may be true of all of us.

 

I see in myself a tendency to take the role, position, as the righteous in some matters, being more judgemental and unforgiving toward those I perceive as being "less righteous than me" in those things, and feeling myself quite "right" in doing so. On the other hand, in matters in which I may feel or have felt "judged" it seemed fairly or unfairly as being unrighteous, a sinner, I tend to be more accepting, forgiving, of others with similar weakness, while at the same time more actively seeking some ways in which those that would 'sit above me in righteousness' in some matter in which my own sin, weakness, is evident, are themselves unrighteous in other ways, generally in ways where I would see myself as being the "more righteous." I.E, I try to find reason to see them as hypocrits, righteous in some way I may not be, but less righteous, even sinners, in some way I percieve myself not. If all that convoluted way of saying it makes any sense.

 

I'm recognizing this as very much related to my feelings of hurt and rejection from within the religious traditions and community of my life experience. I "fell" early in life into some kinds of "sin" toward which that community is traditionally very unforgiving. For example, within that community, one ever divorced, even worse, remarried to another while the first spouse still lives, is never fully forgiven and reinstated as a "first class citizen" within that community. No matter how many years past, no matter one's life since, one ever divorced can never be allowed to participate fully, such as hold positions as missionary, teacher, preacher, deacon, etc. In response to that feeling of rejection, lack of forgiveness, I have found ways in which I can see their unrighteousness in other things. Such as even their very attitude of unforgiveness and judgementalism in this very matter. :unsure:

 

So this Ch certainly does open up to me some new areas I see in myself that need some work.

 

Jenell

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jenell I see forgiveness as accepting what is and that it is meant to be that way. It seems to open the mind and heart to love. Yes, we all have been hurt and in my case when I forgave an opening to love and a new relationship seemed to happen naturally. It also means accepting that people are at different stages in evolution so the hurt they cause is part of their learning period and it will pass with or without our help. I also have a new take on Karma. I see Karma as activity.......................when caught in a repeating action it is just a cycle. The cycle or wheel will turn and the cycle will end or begin again. The key is to sit in the center and not get swept up on the circumpherence. The outer part goes up and down while the center doesn't move, just witnesses the action. Peace

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe the key before that one is to realize you're caught in a cycle to begin with. Until them you don't even know there is something amiss, that you are not actually sitting in that still point in the middle.

 

Jenell

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Tillich has eloquently conveyed meaning to the heart of Christianity, a New Being grounded in love, with an emphasis on reunion, reconciliation and resurrection as pathways to getting there. Wow. What a beautiful lens through which we can grasp more fully living our lives.

 

It's a long story, but the church where I attend has a 3-year confirmation program for adolescents that my daughter has been attending. They do a wonderful job with the kids and the adults of the community really focus on their role as shepherds for these kids during this time of learning and change. The women also have a book club where the focus is on topics pertaining to faith. I have volunteered for the past couple of years as a "confirmation guide" as I see this as a way of encouraging my daughter to participate (without complaining). Imagine that! She actually loves going. But the fact is that I am careful about what I say. This is not a community of "progressive" thinkers, but rather people not really grounded in critical thinking about biblical texts. So when I blurted out at a recent book club meeting - rather hesitantly - that I don't think it is necessarily important to think of Jesus as a "god" or to see the physical resurrection as historical fact, I was looked at as if I came from Mars. At this time in our country, the larger Christian community is strongly tied to traditional doctrine and time-honored interpretations. For those of you that are parents, how do you deal with this?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service