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
Friday, February 22, 2013
Two Presbyterian Roads
The website, Celtic Christianity Today, contains a page on "Celtic Theological Attitudes," which provides a good orientation to the Celtic tradition. For a longer description of Celtic spirituality see (here).
The extent to which PC(USA) and other American Presbyterian denominations are heirs to Celtic spiritual traditions is not clear to me. A brief article by J. Philip Newell with the title, "Celtic spirituality listens for the heartbeat of God: Presbyterianism is influenced by ancient Celtic and Mediterranean traditions," actually seems to indicate that we have not been influenced by that tradition but should be. It seems more likely that the un-evangelical wing of PC(USA) might become more interested in Celtic spirituality because that spirituality more nearly expresses the temper of our times, which as is becoming less and less dualistic, than because it is a part of our Scottish Presbyterian heritage. In any event, Standish does touch on a central difference and source of conflict between Presbyterians today. On the one hand, those who are leaving the denomination in increasing numbers tend to begin with a generally clear dualistic theology and work toward a consistent spirituality. On the other hand, at least some of those who are staying tend to begin with a less dualistic spirituality and work toward a more inclusive theology.