Holy Cross Lutheran Church: A Jewel in the Frozen North

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 27 February 2008 0 Comments
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I have been fortunate enough to be a recipient of your
newsletter for just a few months. I dropped in to your thesis on
the Third Fundamental, which sent little shivers through me as
you revealed something of which I had not been fully cognizant.
Your words resonate with truth when you illustrate the nexus
between God and evolution, in a way that I believe Pierre
Teilhard de Chardin always did. My questions are "Are we going
somewhere? Is there purpose driving evolution?" In other words,
it would seem that a theology of God and evolution demands human
responsibility to see that plan through to fruition. This
changes the status quo somewhat, from patiently waiting to
purposeful action. How say you? May God bless you and your
ability to make connections.


Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was and is one of my
favorite writers. You will find his work listed in most of my
bibliographies, especially his book The Phenomenon of
De Chardin was both a priest and a paleontologist and
was one of the earliest theological voices trying to bring the
Christian faith into dialogue with the meaning of evolution.

His work was not appreciated by the still fearful
hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, who placed his writings
on the Index List, forbidding his work from being read by "the
faithful." Thus it seems it will always be for those who step
outside of theological boxes to engage "new ideas."

De Chardin does believe that there is an evolving
spirit, that human beings have a way yet to travel before they
are able to embrace the fullness of the "Transcendent
Consciousness." He sees Jesus as having achieved a kind of
spiritual or consciousness breakthrough. De Chardin has always
been more popular with people on a spiritual quest than with
those who somehow believe that they are in possession of the full
and ultimate truth of God.

For me, I am convinced that the pilgrimage of our
lives is into deeper consciousness and deeper humanity. I have
the feeling that 100 or 500 or 1,000 years from now our
generation will be regarded as somewhat primitive.

John Shelby Spong




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