Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One's theology of religions is central

The Band-Boy scores again with this comment:

I think the first piece of literature — whether it be a position paper, a pamphlet or webpage — I think any new Christian church needs to get down is its understanding of and relationship with non-Christians.


To which I would add, this is also true of Unitarian Universalist congregations. UU congregations actually seem to have 2 or 3 (maybe more) observably different understandings of other religions, including Christianity. For the most part, these theological positions do not even have names, nor even much theological reasoning behind them.

There is a strong strain of old-school supersecessionist Humanism: as modern science burns away all superstition, all religions will eventually be purified into a single ethical humanism.

There is a strong strain of supersecessionist syncretic Unitarian Universalism: all religions will eventually be replaced by a single religion that combines all the best of others into one new world religion.

There is a thought that Unitarian Universalism is a Skeptical Liberal Protestantism that looks world-wide for certain kinds of textual inspiration.

Etc.

But I agree with Boy in the Bands that nailing this down is one of first tasks of self-definition of any religious body in this here world.

1 comment:

Ron said...

This seems uppermost in terms of theology on the minds of the folks at our new church; one of the quick handles I have given to them in talking with others about us is that we are a Christian church where you don't have to be Christian or call yourself Christian to be welcome and you won't get any pressure to do so. Of course why that is true is the real theological issue to push.

According to the new Barna study I linked to from my blog, this is apparently a biggie for Americans in general.

One of the questions I have that you allude to in your post I think is whether or not it is easier to be pluralistic if you begin with a particular perspective and see pluralism as enriching that perspective; or do UU churches that root themselves in their own pluralism not then have anywhere to go or any reason to really engage with others pluralistically since they might see themselves as being self-contained pluralistic units already? This might not actually be the case of course; I doubt it is; but the culture or impression of that might be the case.
Thanks.