Monday, February 16, 2009
Morning meditation - Are you engaged in a salvific enterprise?
I like Rebecca Ann Parker's book, Blessing The World: What Can Save Us Now, edited by Robert Hardies.
Hardies writes in his introduction:
"Her theology isn't merely an academic exercise but an endeavor through which human beings try to repair what is broken in our fragile lives and world. Seen in this way, theology takes salvation not only as its subject but its task. The practice of theology is, itself, a salvific enterprise." p.viii
And so, theology for me is making up stories that help make sense of our human experience. Some theology is good and some theology is bad depending on its outcome.
Calling Jews Christ killers brought us the holocaust and is bad theology. Believing that God made his own son suffer and die for our sins is bad theology. Believing that the way to heaven is to love as I have loved is good theology. Loving our enemies even when the instinct is for revenge is good theology. Having faith in the beneficence and mystery of the universe when you feel like killing yourself so that you will go on living is good theology.
As a Catholic, theology was taught to us and we were told to believe it or else! Or else was going to hell, getting excommunicated, being bad because you were disobedient. As a Unitarian Universalist I am told I can make up my own theology and pick and choose the ideas that seem right and true for me.
I think I would rather have the freedom and be a Unitarian Universalist but I miss the days of having the "right teachings" given to me.
So, coming with the ability to make up one's own theology comes responsibility to oneself, one's community, one's church, one's nation, one's world.
I like the way the Unitarian Universalists put it - "a free and RESPONSIBLE search for truth and meaning."
I learned a lot from Rebecca Ann Parker and what wasn't new was validating for the most part. I recommend her book to you.
Oh yeah, and when was the last time that you saw the word "salvific" in a sentence?