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Showing posts from April, 2019

Emerson opened the door - we didn't go through

As I have thought about the development of my Unitarian tradition I have come to the conclusion that there was a point when it took the wrong pathway. The point was 1838. In 1838 Ralph Waldo Emerson preached his Divinity School Address - a seminal sermon in the history of Unitarianism. In that sermon Emerson preached a religion based not on repetition of the stories of the Bible, but on an unmediated relationship between the soul and the divine. He said, in part, "It is the office of a true teacher to show us that God is, not was; that He speaketh, not spake.... dare to love God without mediator or veil... Yourself a newborn bard of the Holy Ghost, -- cast behind you all conformity, and acquaint men at first hand with Deity." Emerson's writing is not that easy to read in the twenty-first century (and perhaps it wasn't that easy in the nineteenth) but amongst all the flowery language I think these words seem to me to be very profound. For me these words open

Protestants and Practice

One of the great differences I have noticed between Christians and Buddhists is how much more confident Buddhists are in their faith - and more specifically their practices . I read a lot of books about church planting, mission, fresh expressions of church, etc, etc. There's always a new book about how the Christian church should change to become more relevant, more post-modern, more this, more that. There's always a new fashionable theory: secular church, emergent church, fresh expression of church, ancient-future church, liquid church, organic church. You can write one of these sorts of books and people like me will buy them and read them. These books are always agonising about how church has become irrelevant and what needs to change to make it attractive to people again. We go to conferences all about this. We talk about it all the time. What I have noticed is that my Buddhist friends do no such agonising. They display a deep confidence in their spiritual practice t

Unitarian theology free downloadable booklets

The two Unitarian theology booklets, based on two conferences in 2016 and 2017 are now available and free to download. Click here to download the 2016 booklet, including my talk on "Some Foundations for Unitarian Theology". Click here to download the 2017 booklet, including my talk on "Dialogues of Faith: An Adamsian Approach to Unitarian Evangelism."