“Do not be afraid” - Stephen Finlan (excerpt)

The Lamb’s War – Christ is here to teach his people himselfThe Lamb’s War – Christ is here to teach his people himselfOriginally published on Quaker Universalist Conversations, 6/13/2014.

Stephan Finlan is pastor of Mathewson Street United Methodist Church, Providence, Rhode Island. He has taught theology at Fordham, Drew, Seton Hall, and Durham Universities. He is author of The Apostle Paul and the Pauline Tradition (2008), Options on Atonement (2007), and Problems with Atonement (2005).

The follow is an excerpt from The Family Metaphor in Jesus’ Teaching (2009; 2nd ed., 2013).

Why is it that religions seem to evolve so slowly, and to perpetuate so much superstition and hostility to other religions? It is partly the fact that religion is always deeply involved in the values and traditions of particular groups, and so with the defining of social boundaries and the rejection of out-groups and out-group characteristics, as a function of group survival. But there is more, having to do with the boundaries of human consciousness, which makes religion the arena for the deep, the delusional, the imaginary, and the uncertain.

Religion often explores the marginal, the outrageous, the horrifying, the unbearable, and the unreachable. But these explorations are not always healthy. They express everything that is in the religious heart: fear, imagination, desire for prestige, the quest for meaning, the impulse to escape, truth-hunger, moral insight, spiritual hope, intimations of immortality.

Religion is a storehouse of good and evil, of maturation and of failure to mature, of vision and of obsession. But the religious life of Jesus shows an instinct for moral unification and love, based on trust in the watchcare of the heavenly Father.

Carl Heinrich Bloch - Suffer the ChildrenWe see the sanity of Jesus in all his interactions with people, his impatience with pompous and unloving teachers, his outrage with hypocrites, and his gentleness with people who had been wounded by life, even if they were not ideal models of family life—the woman at the well (John 4:7-27), the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), the blind beggar (Mark 10:46-52), the woman who anointed his feet (Luke 7:37-48).

Jesus’ revelation is not just his teachings, but his life of trust and familiarity with God, which led to a life with others that was devoid of fear and coercion. “Do not be afraid” was virtually the watchword of his religious life—a religion without psychopathology. (92-93)

And so it is.

Blessèd Be,
 Michael


Image Source

Borrowed from The Lamb’s War – Christ is here to teach his people himself, the blog of Micah Bales, a founding member of Friends of Jesus, a new Quaker community in Washington, DC. A communications and web strategist by trade, Micah is employed by Friends United Meeting– an international Quaker denominational body.

Views: 70

Comment

You need to be a member of QuakerQuaker to add comments!

Join QuakerQuaker

Support Us

Did you know that QuakerQuaker is 100% reader supported? If you think this kind of outreach and conversation is important, please support it with a monthly subscription or one-time gift.


You can also make a one-time donation.

Latest Activity

Kirby Urner commented on Kirby Urner's video
23 hours ago
Kirby Urner posted a video

Experimental Curriculum Concepts (Oregon)

Imagine a public boarding school in remote Oregon that used a School of Tomorrow type curriculum.
2nd day (Mon)
Patricia Dallmann posted a blog post

New essay at Abiding Quaker: On Presumption and Belief in John 11

The following excerpt is from the 10th month post at…See More
10th month 31
David Keel liked Mackenzie's blog post Quaker survey, beliefs into practice
10th month 28
David Keel updated their profile
10th month 28
Kirby Urner posted a video

Some Quaker Ranting about Taxes

Some guy with a cold complains about taxation without representation.
10th month 24
Susan Elizabeth Davis shared Sarah Spencer's group on Facebook
10th month 19
Jim Wilson liked Keith Saylor's blog post The Impulse of Immanent Being
10th month 12

© 2019   Created by QuakerQuaker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service