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
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
When God breathed Spirit into us and set us on the course of evolution, God built into us the potential to feel and to think. In the real world, we all too often fail to balance the two, but the direction we're headed in suggests that One Day, if we remain true to the path we are on, we will learn that balance. We will learn to feel with our minds and think with our hearts. In fact, it may be better not to speak of "balance" at all because balance implies a scale while the direction of evolution is taking us toward a deep unity between feeling and thinking that, paradoxically, also maintains the separate integrity of each while blurring the boundaries between them into insignificance. We will learn to think with our heart and feel with our mind.
On That Day, the ongoing battle among Protestants between those who lead with their hearts and those who lead with their heads will finally come to an end—not in a truce, but in a profound marriage of mind and heart. On That Day, our churches will read the deepest theologies with enthusiasm and worship with thoughtful joy. We will learn passionate patience. Our hearts will sing in harmonious silence. We will mock neither the revivalist nor the scholar nor will we honor one at the expense of the other. Indeed, On That Day, our scholars will lead the revival and our revivalists will call us to sit down and think. On That Day, we will celebrate the end of absolutes and the demise of relativism and live in thoughtful-joyful worship of the One God who is Beyond all and Present in all. On That Day.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.These figures and the whole AP news posting are worrisome. If it is true that racism and racial prejudice are always wrong and always threaten the nation's well-being—if that is true, then the election of the president has taken us slightly backwards in a very scary direction. As many of us have felt, much of the motivation behind the tea party movement, the birther movement, and perhaps even congressional intransigence is racially charged. The increasingly deep divide among Americans is likewise racial, at least in part. Looking forward, it is likely that all of this is going to get worse before it gets better. We are on the cusp of a radical social change as the white percentage of the population continues to dwindle. Evidently, it is possible that in this coming election the Hispanic vote will already determine who will win the presidency. A Pew poll (here) taken less than three weeks ago found Hispanic voters breaking for Obama at a 3 to 1 rate. By 2016 and 2020, the influence of Hispanic voters will grow still more, and with a rising crop of Hispanic politicians it is only a matter of time until we elect our first Hispanic president.
It is hard to believe that the demographic shifts taking place in our nation will be peaceful. How much overt physical violence will be involved is hard to say, but it is also hard to believe that we aren't in for a period of racially charged political, social, and maybe even economic conflict that will sorely test our political institutions and greatly influence the entire future of the nation. Little did our colonial ancestors realize the heritage they were leaving us when they decided to import the institution of African slavery into the colonies. It is God's Law: when we practice injustice we reap the devastating consequences of injustice. Racism destroys.
Monday, October 29, 2012
Boyd feels that churches need a different approach to pastoral ministry. They need pastors who slow down, take time to read and reflect, spend time with their family, engage in contemplative exercises, and ground their ministries in scripture and providing spiritual guidance for the folks they serve.
In many ways, Boyd could just as well have been speaking about most mainline churches, large and small, when he complains of the consumer mentality many (most?) worshippers bring to church on Sunday morning. We can't blame pastors alone, however, for creating this mentality. It is the nature of our society, too. The whole country is in a hurry, wants instant gratification, and values hyperactivity over contemplative quietude. Our urban centers are worse about this than are folks in the countryside, but few of us escape it entirely. Now, what to do about it is not quite as clear. In a hyperactive culture, the church is going to be hyperactive too. Most pastors are going to value going fast and doing things over slowing down and engaging in quiet time reflection, contemplation, and spiritual growth. That being said, there is a place for Boyd's message and for working with congregations to be less focused in the busy-ness of church.
Regular readers of RPK might have noticed that I've been thinking thoughts like this for some time now. See, for example, my recent posting entitled, "Finding a Balance." The church, historically, has sometimes lived as a counter-culture, and I think it is time that it become so again in modern, hyperventilating, ruining our environment, buy-buy-buy consumer society. Amen.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
I am not a Buddhist, but I see much good in Buddhism. In its description of the Dharma, I sense the presence of the God we Christians worship as the One God. My experience of Buddhists is that their religious discipline and philosophy can craft (some of) them into very good people, just as Christian faith and beliefs can craft (some of) us into good people. My respect for another faith doesn't mean I worship God, trust Christ, and struggle to hear the Spirit less. Indeed, exposure to Buddhism has enriched my faith—helped me to get a still better focus on my faith. So, monolatrous monotheism. You heard it here first.
Friday, October 26, 2012
|Loggerhead Sea Turtle|
Source: National Geographic Website
Thursday, October 25, 2012
|Richard Mourdock (R-IN)|
One of the greatest challenges we face, theologically speaking, is to discover and develop an understanding of God that recognizes God as both incredibly, vastly Beyond and yet, inexplicably but deeply Present in the Universe, on this planet, and in our lives. When we worship a tiny little human-like god, we turn God into an idol of our own making, a god as small as we are who uses rape to give us the "gift of life."
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
|Looking down N. State St., Lowville, NY (1911)|
So, last week, I was walking up N. State St. in Lowville and felt a definite winter chill in the air. The sky had that steely overcast grayish aspect associated with winter. It was a winter sky. The cold was colder, whatever the thermometer claimed the temperature was. The morning warned that "real" winter is coming. Then, a couple of days later, I walked up the same street again in what felt like very late summer or early onset fall. The air was warmer. I was in shirt sleeves. Not a hint of winter, but a lingering memory of summer instead. Within 72 hours, late fall with a promise of winter "regressed" to early fall with a memory of the summer. Now, according to the calendar it is fall, but the calendar is a human invention for setting limits on time. In the real world, the first hints of fall this year came in early September and, we can be sure, will linger into November. Winter usually comes before the calendar says it is "winter". The seasons are real, but the boundaries between them are porous, uncertain, and ever shifting. And if you go 30 miles in any direction they are also liable to be slightly different. A few snow flakes have already fallen in the North Country, although none in Lowville.
When we look around at the created world, it is much more like the seasons than the calendar. It operates with only loose boundaries. So, if God is indeed the creator of our natural, evolving, always shifting world of porous and uncertain boundaries, what does that say about God? The second hand on a clock sweeps steadily around the circle, but we do not experience time that way—sometimes it drags, sometimes it passes quickly, and for children it seems slow while to those in their 80s it rushes onward. What does this say about the way God created us? Nature, we're told abhors a vacuum. Apparently, it also isn't keen on sharply drawn boundaries of any sort. And, theologically speaking, that is worth a thought.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Here's the thing: before the Europeans showed up, Southeast Asian nations had very loose, ill-defined boundaries. At the center, there was one central power, but as one travelled outward that power slowly diminished and was increasingly shared by rulers of the outer provinces—then shared even more with the princes of the tributary states. Eventually one travelled out of one nation's power sphere and entered, gradually, that of another nation—again going through tributary states, outer provinces and inner provinces until one reached the center of power. These spheres of power waxed and waned, grew and diminished. The far tributary states were often tributary to two powers at once.
By European standards all of this was a chaotic mess. When the British conquered Burma, thus, they wanted to know exactly and precisely what they had conquered. Down to the foot and inch. And they went to great trouble to survey "the" border between Burma and Siam. The Thai political leadership had to learn this European concept of boundaries and space in order to survive it—and they did.
Now, my point: all of this has a great deal to do with the liberal-conservative split in contemporary American Christianity. When it comes to people of other faiths and religions, progressive Christians usually feel more comfortable with the traditional Southeast Asian view of boundaries. They will "borrow" Buddhist meditation, find meaning in Islamic theology, and happily integrate the latest scientific findings into their faith and theology. Conservative Christians more often than not feel more comfortable with the European conception of boundaries when it comes to religion. There is a desire to designate clearly what is "Christian" and what is not. Where nationality is hard to determine in the older view, in the one imported by the Europeans everyone had a nationality that could be clearly determined. In the same way, evangelical Christians usually care a great deal about who is saved (i.e. lives in the territory of Christ) and who is not.
It would be fascinating to know why we have these differences.
P.S. There must be something about October. Just a year ago, I posted another posting that draws on Tongchai's, Siam Mapped (here).
Monday, October 22, 2012
Saturday, October 20, 2012
|Old "First Church," Chiang Mai|
In a long posting, Quinn summarizes the history of Christian missions in northern Thailand (most of his facts are correct) and then shares with his readers the views of two missionaries that he knows personally. Quinn then observes that while there are some negative aspects to the Western missionary presence in northern Thailand, on the whole he is impressed with the missionaries' good works and good hearts. He closes his posting by thanking the two missionaries who shared their views with him and writes, "Thank you Gary and Gordon for being so open with your responses. People such as you have turned a fairly cynical person into a far more tolerant human being. The positive energy you bring into this world is impressive and long may it continue."
A couple of thoughts. First, it is held among many who reject organized religion and religious beliefs that religion is an evil thing in and of itself. They complain that it causes most of the wars we humans fight and is otherwise oppressive and intolerant. Religion is bad. For those of us who live "in here" this whole notion of the evil nature of religion is simplistic. No one doubts that it has its ugly side. But as a pastor, I see the better side nearly every day, the one Quinn points to in his posting. Second, it is good to see that on occasion we can balance our differences in thinking and believing with mutual respect for the good in the Other.
And a third thought. Some of the missionaries Quinn has come in contact with have evidently been engaged in faith-sharing with him. They have "evangelized" him with their positive vibes and good works as well as their willingness to respond respectfully to his questions. There are kind, respectful ways to share one's faith, and the outcome doesn't have to be in a baptism. It can simply be in a little better understanding between people. In our sadly divided world, such faith sharing offers one important contribution to healing the wounds of our differences.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
|Source: New York Times|
On the one hand, it may well be that these debates test the mettle of the candidates in an important way. They have to think under pressure. They have to demonstrate resolve. They have to employ the rhetorical skills that are a modern-day requirement of the presidency. They have to show that they know what they are talking about—or, at least, sound like they know what they're talking about.
But...really...are we looking for a president who is skilled in interrupting, finger pointing, and other rude behaviors of a kind that we did our best to discipline out of our children? Do we want a president who is praised or criticized not so much for the points he makes as the demeanor or lack of demeanor with which he makes them? Is it in our national best interest to elect the candidate most skillful at gotcha politics? Both candidates are men of private faith. At various times, they have given testimony to the importance of their faith to the way they govern as well as the way they live. The president is a mainline Protestant. Mr. Romney is a Mormon. Where do our churches. mainline or Mormon, teach a gospel that encourages the kind of behaviors we see in these debates? Where does it teach one to be dismissive of the moderator and condescending to the other candidate? Now, I'm sure that both men are indeed men of faith. I hope it at least bothers them that they both have to behave in ways that simply do not reflect the best teachings of their churches. It should bother the rest of us, Protestants or Mormons.
Romney won the first debate because he projected more of a tough-guy attitude than did the president. The president won this second one, if in a less dominating performance, because he "brought his A game" to the arena. So, are we electing a president or a gladiator-in-chief? The media wants the latter, of course, because gladiatorial spectacles make news, which is good for the bottom line. Apparently, the public also takes some delight in these battles. I don't think we should. To the extent that we do enjoy of this kind of debate, we fail to reflect our better natures. It is possible to envision 90 minutes of dialogue and reflection in which the two candidates outline their own goals and policies and engage in a deeper, more civil discussion of their differences without the alpha male antics. That, at least, is the direction our faiths encourage us to explore.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
|"Be Still & Know that I Am God"|
Photo: Xanetia, Creative Commons
One of my treasured little possession from the long-ago past is a little plaque, not even the size of my hand, which reads, "Take time to be holy." The psalmist enjoins us to be still so that we can know God (Psalm 46:10). It is difficult for the average active Presbyterian church member to simply be still. There's a million things to do.
I am personally convinced that one of the things we need to do in Presbyterian churches is to regain our spiritual balance, which means slowing down, maybe even doing less, or at least programming quiet into all of the activity—making non-activity an activity. In that day, opening a committee meeting with two minutes of silence will be greeted with thanks and relief rather than impatience. In that day, members will spend more time sharing their faith with each other and less on the business of the church. In that day, we will balance our impatient quest for the Kingdom with a patient appreciation for the way it is already here. Amen.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
|Mary & Martha (Luke 10:38-42)|
When our faith becomes idolatrous, it eventually leads to disappointment, disillusionment, and a dead spirituality. It fails to nourish. It no longer brings healing and well-being. Tillich experienced how fearful the dangers of idolatry can become as he witnessed the rise of the false faith of nationalism embodied in European fascism.
Tillich's analysis is spot-on and very helpful—especially if we want to see the speck in someone else's eye. Thus, from over here in the mainline we can see with painful clarity the way many evangelicals really do turn the Bible into an idol, one that forces them into denying the very nature of reality as discovered by science. Other churches, also mostly evangelical, turn numerical growth into a god, the god of evangelism. The Catholics tend to transform their hierarchy into a god—that's one reason we broke off from the Catholic Church in the first place.
What is more difficult for us to see is the plank(s) in our own mainline eye. Historically, Presbyterian churches in the U.S. have been profoundly concerned to reform human society, and we have engaged in all manner of reform movements along with other mainline folks. One of the most curious was the 19th century movement to "keep the Sabbath holy" by preventing the delivery of mail on Sundays. We Presbyterians were deeply involved in that one. The point here is that our search of a more righteous society, for the Kingdom of God on Earth if you will, has become a false faith for Presbyterian churches right down to the present. The pursuit of social righteousness has become the goal for the great majority of us. Ask us what it means to believe, and we will quickly answer that it means to do good to others. We believe in the Golden Rule, and it has become an idol for us. We are driven, thus, to be busy with the work of the Kingdom—endless meetings, programs, projects, and a multitude of tasks and activities. We have lost spiritual balance and lost sight of the Christ who commended the "idle" Mary and, by implication, criticized the always busy Martha (Luke 10:38-42).
The question is, how do we regain our balance? In and of itself, working for the Kingdom is a good thing so long as it does not become the thing. How do we de-sacralize our constant doing? That is the question.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
in the spoon and the chair
that cry "hello there, Anne"
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.
So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.
The Joy that isn't shared, I've heard,
Friday, October 12, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
|The various views of Christ in the Early Church|
Thus, John 1:1 proclaims that Jesus is the Word, the One who is With God and is God. And John 1:14 voices one of the earliest statements of the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation: "And the Word became flesh, and live among us. We gazed upon his glory, glory like that of the father's only son, full of grace and truth." (Wright, The Kingdom New Testament). Jesus of Nazareth was also the Son of God the Father—the only son. John 5:19 further explaines that, "Whatever the father does, the son does too, and in the same way."
The thing is, however, that in the Gospel of John Jesus is not co-equal with the Father. Jesus is subordinate to the Father. In John 5:20 (following 5:19 cited above), we read that "The father loves the son...and shows him all the things that he's doing." That is, the Father teaches the Son, knows things the Son does not know. Further along, in 5:30, we find that Jesus says he can't do anything on his own authority. He wasn't carrying out his own wishes, "but the wishes of the one who sent me." This is not trinitarian thinking. In the doctrine of the Trinity, the three persons are in all respects co-equal. Each is fully God and, in fact, are a unity. In John, Jesus is not co-equal to the Father. The Father has greater authority than the Son and determines what it is that the Son is to do.
Clearly, the understanding of the person of Christ evolved over time, and in the process Jesus was understood in different ways by different communities within the early church and in different ways over time. The so-called Johannine community's view of Jesus was evolving into a "high christology," that is a view that maintained the divinity of Jesus, but it had not yet reached the zenith attained later in the doctrine of the Trinity.
There's a simple point here, namely, that the church's views of Jesus of Nazareth are always many. Simply translating Jesus into languages such as Thai changes the perception of him by those who speak that language. Phra Jesu, the Jesus of the Thai language, is a still higher divine being, a heavenly king and patron. The Jesus of America is actually a kindly democratic fellow, who loves all equally and never said a discouraging word. It is unfortunate that our differing views of Jesus tend to create walls between his followers instead of being seen as opportunities for dialogue. If Jesus was/is even remotely close to being who the vast majority of Christians claim he was/is, no one theology can contain all that there is to understand about him. Or, so it would seem.
Monday, October 8, 2012
|Page one of Einstein's "God Letter"|
The key paragraphs in the letter, translated into English by Joan Stambaugh, read,
... The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them.We aren't going to end the debate over Einstein's beliefs here in this usually quiet corner of the Web, but this letter is worth one or two observations. First, Einstein's concern was with a word, "God," which he took to be a symbol for a set of regrettable human superstitions. Whether or not he thought that there is a metaphysical Something beyond the physical world is not addressed. Nor does this relatively brief set of reflections allow for the fact that the word "God" can be used in ways that do not reflect theistic "superstitions," be they Jewish, Christian, or of any other religious tradition. Second, he rejects religion in the same way he rejects religious notions of God. He is particularly critical, as a Jew, of Jewish "superstitions" about being the so-called chosen people.
In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the priviliege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolisation. With such walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.
Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, ie in our evalutations of human behaviour. What separates us are only intellectual 'props' and `rationalisation' in Freud's language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things.
With friendly thanks and best wishes. Yours, A. Einstein.
My oft-repeated general rule is that scientists make poor theologians. Because of their disdain for religion, they are usually as ignorant of theology as they are knowledgeable of their particular field of science. They generally take the most superficial, popular understanding of God, reject that view (as many of us who are theists also do), and in the process fail to come to grips with the fascinating possibilities of the best theologies. They do with God what Einstein did with the Bible in this letter. He dismissed the Bible as being a book of fables and pointedly rejected any readings of the Bible that might find more in it than mere fables. He rejected any interpretation that claimed the Bible was anything more than childish, primitive legends. Because it is the Bible, that is, he refused to entertain the possibility that the study of the Bible as literature might reveal deeper subtleties than his own uninformed reading of it suggested to him. On this subject, his mind was closed. And I'm not talking here about trying to convince him that the Bible really is inspired and that there really is a God. Simply treating the Bible as literature might offer insights to something more than superstition, but Einstein rejected that possibility entirely. And, in fact, the close study of the Bible as a literary document does reveal that contains much more than a mere set of silly legends. Apart from any belief in inspiration, it is in and of itself a fascinating collection of ancient literature.
Einstein was a brilliant scientist. He was a lousy theologian. From the tone of this letter, I suspect that he probably was more inclined to atheism than not. If so, he also seems to have shared the inclination of that subset of atheists who habitually cast things like "God," Bible, and religion in the worst possible light.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Saturday, October 6, 2012
With the assistance of Brad, I can now work directly on the website and make changes and corrections myself instead of working through someone else. It has been a long haul, but I feel that I've been able to correct a lot of the problems that had crept in over the years. Documents are easier to navigate and simpler in style. Errors that I couldn't correct directly are getting corrected (altho, inevitably, I've created some new ones).
The website contains a large sample of my research in Thailand, including both my M.A. thesis and doctoral dissertation. It also contains an extensive bibliography of resources for the study of Christianity in Thailand, which I add to from time to time. There is a good deal of other material, mostly by me but also from others, on the website. I have to admit that by the standards of the Web it is a humble site, getting maybe only 40-50 visitors a day, most of whom are quickly in and quickly out. But, occasionally, I hear from a user and take some comfort in the fact that those who need such a tool find it very useful.
Truth is herbswanson.com has become a hobby. Who woulda thunk?
Thursday, October 4, 2012
|Alleged 4th century fragment referring to Jesus' wife|
Leaving aside the authenticity (or lack thereof) of the fragment, a couple of thoughts come to mind. First, all of the media attention given to it gives further proof to how enamored American society is with Jesus of Nazareth. He remains an iconic figure and a newsworthy one. Second, it would apparently be a big deal if it could somehow be proven that Jesus did actually have a wife. Certainly, the Catholic Church would find such an eventually awkward as the whole emphasis on priestly sexual abstinence would be called into question. More largely, it would force all of us to rethink the doctrine of the incarnation of Christ. That's not a bad thing. Suppose Jesus did have a wife. Would that not confirm the depth of God's presence in human history through Christ? It would certainly have an impact on our gender politics, especially in the church, if it turned out that Jesus was married. Thus, just the bare possibility that this fragment opens the door to the possibility that Jesus might have had a wife is highly newsworthy.
Daniel Burke and David Gibson, however, remind us (here) to be very cautious about all of this. They raise the question, "But how many overhyped archaeological discoveries have proven less than world-changing under careful examination?" They cite other examples of the uncovering of supposedly ancient documents or artifacts that grabbed media attention for a moment but proved either insignificant in the long run and/or to be forgeries.
Still, it might be interesting to preach one or more sermons on the subject of, "What if Jesus had a wife." There is no evidence that he did, but it is fun to speculate on what kind of husband (and father?) Jesus might have made.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
|From: 2001: A Space Odyssey|
I have avoided using the word, "God," to describe this Beyond that is Present, because theism is only one system of thought that seeks to explain the "sense" that "something" is "out there" but also very much "right here." Animism is another. The Buddhist understanding of the Dharma is another.
The more social scientists dig into the human mind, the more it becomes clear that this sense of something that is Beyond and yet Present is planted deep within us. A New York Times article entitled, "Is 'Do Unto Others' Written in Our Genes?" offers further insights into how deeply rooted are these religious-like perceptions of the Beyond that is Present. The article reports on the work of Dr. Jonathan Haidt, a moral psychologist at the University of Virginia. Haidt's research into human morality suggests that our human moral faculties are divided into two parts. One part he calls, "moral intuition," which evolved in our evolutionary ancestors long before we developed the ability to speak. The second aspect of human morality is "moral judgment," which developed as we learned to speak. He believes that both moral intuition and judgment are linked to the fact that we are social animals and aid us in protecting both individual and group well-being. He has also found that religion has been the primary carrier of both aspects of morality and that without religion humanity could not have evolved beyond the stage of being small bands of hunter-gatherers.
That is, apparently, since the time we became homo sapiens we have linked our conscious and unconscious sense of morality to that other sense of the Beyond that is Present—not as a matter of intuition but of instinct. Beyond all of the theological systems and the philosophies lies this intriguing insight that seems to be emerging from scientific research that we are constructed for religion—that is that the third level of perception, the spiritual level, is planted so deeply within us that it is as much a part of being human as is our DNA. (The first level is sense perception and the second is cognition).
None of this proves that there is a "God," in the sense of that word as we Christians use it. None of this proves that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. It doesn't prove the Trinity. What it does do is add weight to the likelihood that our widely shared faith in a Beyond that is Present points to a reality that is as real as the one we perceive physically. It points to the possibility that Something Out There built our "God-sense" (for want of a better term) into us. Evolution has direction, and it just may be that the Beyond that is Present is the source of that direction—and the destination.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
24 June 1888
From: van Gogh's Letters