24 March 2014 Progressive Christianity Lent Course: “A Journey of Faith: Moving On” by John Churcher; Pt 1: ‘The Nature of Spirituality’

The introduction contrasts traditional theology of substitutionary atonement preached by some churches with the fellowship, humanitarian, social work and profile raising of equality, justice and peace by other churches.  Churcher describes himself as a Christian Humanist – does this imply the spiritual dimension is missing? Is it an oxymoron?  Churcher defines it as placing less (no?) emphasis on Jesus’ divinity and more on his compassionate forgiveness and concern/interest for people – especially those at the edge of society.   This is a role much needed even in our much advanced civilisation and higher living standards – compared with the first century. What we do is more important than what we believe.  This prompted a discussion on the role of the church – to save souls or be the social conscience of society or a social club similar to Rotary?

We wondered what was the source of the divinity of Jesus – what he claimed about himself or how the early writers portrayed him which were taken up by the church?  Was his divinity a reflection of his sense of spirituality – note how he made time to take himself out of everyday situations to mediate – interpreted in the Bible as prayer?

Ian Harris

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