Showing posts from June, 2009

Eckhart's Trinity

The nexus of divinity and humanity lies not in one man but in the inner core of all creation . . . The only-through-Jesus stance violates the Nazarene’s message, but the image of Jesus Christ helps our human minds to recognize the divine-human connection. God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky Language about the Trinity confuses people because meanings of words change. “Hypostatic union” is indeed defined as two natures, divine and human, in one person—Florian was correct about that. And “Trinity” refers to three persons in one God. The center of confusion is the word “person.” We moderns envision persons as individuals, but that’s not what the theologians who formulated the doctrine of the Trinity had in mind. When the word "person" first entered the doctrinal debate, it meant a mask or role—what an actor on the Greek stage put on—and it did not mean a distinct personality or a separate "I" as it does today. Persona may be closer to the original meaning than “person.” T

Christian idolatry

I believe Christianity has made an idol of Jesus Christ. When most Christians pray, they do not distinguish between Jesus and the highest value of the universe, what we call God. Idolatry substitutes an image of God for God, and this describes the worship and belief of most Christians. Serious theology does not teach that God is the same as Jesus or that God is just a great, great, great man, but can anybody tell the difference when most Christians are praying? We can relate to God in a personal way—I do it regularly—but we must know that God is not a mere humanlike individual. I like what New Testament scholar S. Sandra Schneiders says, God is our father and God is not our father; God is our mother and God is not our mother. If we forget the “is not,” then we create an idol—that is, we make God into the image of a creature. This idolatry is what Christianity allows in its prayers. It's not what Jesus of Nazareth wanted. February 10, 2011. Last evening someone called to thank

The other side 2

Here is another story about the other side, this one told by Cindy. As Mom was dying of breast cancer I was fortunate to spend the final 10 days at her side. At one point we spoke about a story I’d heard of a young woman who had lost her father to cancer. He told her that after he passed he would somehow let her know he was fine. After the funeral she went back to her home, a very old house she was renovating. A light suddenly came on for a few minutes in her hallway. She was amazed because this light had never worked before. A few days later she had an electrician come in to check it out. There were no wires connecting the light and the electrician said it could not possibly have turned on. She then realized it must have been her father letting her know all is well. I told Mom that story and asked her to somehow let me know she was OK after she passed. She said she would. A few days later Mom died. I was sitting at her computer in the laundry room when the Cremation Society wheele

Thomas Berry & American Dream

I can’t think of anyone I admire more than Thomas Berry, Catholic priest and radically innovative theologian who didn’t call himself a theologian but a “cosmologist” and “geologian.” He helped me to calmly reconcile my Catholic training with the realization that the Christian story is a myth similar to pagan myths. For Berry this was a given that opened to wider vistas, indeed the whole cosmos, as he combined evolution with theology with ecology with geology. The breadth and depth of his scholarship and influence can’t be overstated, “one of the great figures of our time . . . [who] captured so powerfully the urgency of our current environmental and social crisis.” Read more about Berry's death and work An American Radio Works documentary on MPR, "A Better Life: Creating the American Dream," stated that no other nation in history ever created wealth as America did, within reach of millions. The promise of America said that it matters not where you start, you can have the