A Spirituality blog from our Community

Posts tagged ‘Christianity’

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“There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.” – from an ancient Persian mass prayer

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π Canon

I didn’t make this myself, although I wish I did.

From Peter Hardy, Chaplaincy Assistant:

After our Bible For Bluffers session on the Biblical Canon I was wondering to myself what happens if you skim through the Bible, focusing on verses corresponding to pi (that is, 3.14)? What would the Bible be like if we were limited to these passages? (more…)

Images of Redemption

Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) by  Salvador Dalí (1954)

Recalling the whole of the Jesus story (not just his death, but his life, teaching, way of dying, resurrection, ascension, and gift of his spirit to birth the church) we asked how does Jesus save us? The main points were:

  1. His death was an innocent, in him -a forsaken outcast- God is identified with injustice: new possibilities for divine love are revealed.

  2. The Resurrection gives us a promise of hope against fear and overturns violence with peace.

  3. Christians have access to this promise through faith in God.

The belief in redemption through Christ has been conveyed in a large variety of ways, as the Cambridge theologian David Ford relates:

It is as if the range of significance of the crucifixion was to be indicated by drawing on every sphere of reality to represent it. From nature there were the basic symbols of darkness and of seeds dying in the ground. From the religious cult there were sacrifice and the Temple. From history there were the Exodus and the Exile. From the law court there were judgement, punishment, and justification. From military life there were ransom, victory, and triumph. From ordinary life there were market-place metaphors of purchases and exchanges, household images of union in marriage, obedience, parent-child relationships and the redemption of slaves, landlords whose sons are killed by tenants, medical images of healing and saving, and the picture of a friend laying down his life.” (more…)

Canons Within the Canon

In the last session we explored the Biblical canon in the context of the non-canonical ‘gospel’ of Thomas. Here we look at the issue that different groups of Christians always tend to focus upon and prioritise their own particular parts of the Bible creating a kind of ‘canon within the canon’.We imagined that we were forgetful Christians who had crash landed on a desert island. Four different bands of survivors settled on different parts of the island and each could only remember a few small parts of Scripture. Despite this they are committed to carry on living their Christianity guided by these few passages. (more…)

What Are We Saved From?

The kind of theology we are doing now is called Soteriology, the theory of salvation. There is a distinction between Salvation– the radical improvement of material conditions or people’s ultimate fulfilment, Atonement– the Christian concept of salvation which consists of mankind’s mystical union into the presence, activity and nature of the Divine (also called justification), and Redemption– the Christian concept of the means to atonement whereby God forgives mankind’s sins through the death and resurrection of Christ. (more…)

What is Theology?

The sources of discussion/language about God.

What then is theology? What do you think of when you hear the word?

Etymologically it is the study of God, and if we confined ourselves to that original meaning then the stereotypical derision of it as not a ‘proper’ discipline would be quite understandable. After all, there isn’t any way that we could study God like a pharmacist studies chemicals, and as a result it is often supposed that theology is all made up opinions. Theology cannot be straightforward and descriptive because religion is inexorably mysterious- God is fundamentally ‘other’ and cannot be adequately described in human language. (more…)

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“One does not read in the Gospel that the Lord said: ‘I will send you the Holy Spirit who will teach you about the course of the sun and moon.’ For He willed not to make men mere scholars, but Christians.” – St. Augustine

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