A serendipity today was my turning to a youtube discussion between Lawrence Freeman and David Tacey. You might like to watch it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB-d7W94Uu8.
There are several very interesting approaches which the two men use. One is a very different view of sin. In a post-Enlightenment world, we can brush the concept of sin aside, rejecting quite rightly the guilt and fear ridden way it has been treated in the church. However, sin can be reconceptualised as something which we do naturally and from which we learn. Under this understanding sin is separated from punishment and judgment. It is seen more as something from which we can develop and grow. Sin is not ‘illegal’ under this understanding but more therapeutic, needing healing not judgment. Quite a different take. It’s worth hearing their full argument. (In the process, David Tacey’s comparison of progressive thought to an engine missing all its parts, is worth thinking about!)
Connected to this conversation is the really good study group on Sunday. We were going to finish and began looking at Religion as Metaphor. This led to a fascinating discussion on what myth is. We tried to think of myth as it was used in our society. It became apparent that our usual way of talking about myth is a poor relation of what true Myth really is. Myths (with a capital M) are huge stories which govern our lives and the wellbeing or otherwise of our society. We live them out in ways which are extremely significant for our health and wellbeing. They are more than simple nursery fairy tales and more than urban myths. Usually, in everyday language, myth is used to mean something isn’t true, or is a coverup for something wrong (e.g. NZ’s myth that is it 100% pure, clean and green). I noticed this particularly strongly in the talk on Sunday. The Enlightenment’s move to privileging only rational thought has impoverished our understanding of Myth. I could say more about cataphatic and apophatic thinking, but that’s enough theology for a Friday! To be continued!
On Sunday we are looking at the work of Amnesty international, led by Mike Wespel-Rose’s enthusiasm. Afterwards in the social justice education group slot, there will be the opportunity to write letters to and on behalf of prisoners of conscience. Envelopes, paper and pens provided. See you there!
Organ pipes are being sponsored left, right and centre! Have you sponsored yours? Don’t forget the organ fundraising concert tonight at 6.30pm. Martin Riseley plays violin for your delight.
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