The Omega Course
- how to be a Christian without believing things that are unlikely to be true
Religion is traditionally expressed in terms of the duality between the natural and the supernatural. But there is no such duality, because the supernatural does not exist, and even if it did, it would just be part of the created world: more of the same.
The real duality is between the world of facts, which is the realm of the scientist, and the world of values or meanings, the world of language. It is the latter, not the supernatural world, that is the domain of the theologian. Theology is about what gives meaning to life, and why some things matter absolutely and will still matter, even when the actors have left the stage.
God is not (pace Daniel) an arbitrary old man with a white beard. He is to be found in justice (Amos), forgiveness (Hosea), humility (Micah), patience (Second Isaiah), wisdom (Proverbs) and above all love (John).
All these were embodied in Jesus, who was the icon of God (Paul), and they live on, not only in the Church, but in the whole enlightenment culture of the dignity of man. They continue to be a potent source of value in the world, opening our minds to the needs of others and saving us from a self-defeating preoccupation with our own. They are the constant challenge to materialism, nihilism and despair.
Much of what constitutes Christianity as we know it consists of metaphors which, though they were valid and meaningful for people 2000 years ago, no longer function in public discourse today. Those metaphors are still usable by believers as part of a private religious language - it would be hard to have a church service without them - but they are potentially misleading. There is always the danger that they will be taken literally and misinterpreted.
If you believe that superstition has no place in a modern interpretation of Christianity and religious language has to be used with care, click below to download the Omega Course
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