Saturday, 9 January 2016
"The Lord formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being." Genesis 2:7 (NRSV)
God is the source of all life.
So if you think dualistically there must be death and a source of death.
This is the bane of religious thinking.
Death was thought to be the condition of men and women separated from God, a way of life not conforming to the commandments of God.
"For the wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23a (NRSV)
And the source of death was thought to be the devil.
"The one who has the power of death, that is, the devil." Hebrews 2:14a (NRSV)
But this is a false dichotomy.
Progressive Christianity invites us to think of God holistically, i.e. as an integrated whole.
Dualistic thinking is like the primary school of religious thought.
Its conclusions will not stand greater scrutiny.
There is no devil in reality, no death, no hell.
Evil is a human concept.
It is the result of dualistic thinking.
Animals have no concept of evil.
Nature cannot be evil.
It is only humans who can choose evil as an alternative to good, which is God.
But God is transcendent - i.e. beyond sin and evil - which is not to say that God is a blending of the opposites.
God is Light without shadow.
Life without death.
Love without hatred.
God is infinite and sublime - beyond our primitive dualistic thinking.
God is panentheistic and immanent.
God is One.
There is no other.
[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.]
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