We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, RPK

Today marks one year of Rom Phra Khun postings.  Time flies.  In some ways, I've come full circle.  In the beginning, RPK started out giving a good deal of attention to the question of the relationship of science to religion, and you may have noticed that recent postings have gone back to that focus.  There has been a shift, however, from the debate about the science-religion relationship to spending more time exploring the value of science for faith and theological reflection.  I didn't share it with you here then, but fairly early on last year I ran into one of the so-called "new atheists" who turned out to be a cyber-bully.  What looked like it might be a dialogue turned quickly sour.  But it was a good experience in one way, because it taught me rather forcefully that debating about the relationship between science and religion is pretty much a waste of time.  We in the church have much to learn from science, and it is time to get on with the learning and leave the debate to the biblical and scientist literalists (who prove the idea that extremes tend to converge).  In any event, now that I have moved the Mark series over to Rom Phra Khun Bible my attention here has returned in part at least to the vital theological task of learning from modern learning.

Of course, my progressive political orientation leaks out now and again.  Readers get enough of that elsewhere, and I am trying to keep it to a minimum here.  Sometimes, however, I just can't help myself!  And issues concerning church renewal have obviously been another theme this year.  Many of the pastors who have a blog use their blog to augment their own pastoral ministry.  I have to confess, especially to parishioners who may read RPK from time to time, that I haven't done that.  RPK is an opportunity to go back in a sense to my previous life as a research historian who enjoys playing with ideas and trolling for interesting thoughts.  Still, I trust that things I chew on here will be of benefit to the church I serve as well as to other readers.  RPK has averaged about a thousand visits a month, which is tiny by Web standards but feels comfortable to a small-town preacher who is content with being just that.  So, here we go into year two!

Peace, Herb