Theists and humanists in the same house

Stephen Lingwood (Reignite) summed up many of my own feelings about the putative optionality of God one sees in Unitarian Universalism. (His title — “Is humanism theologically tolerant?” — is a bit misleading as it puts the onus of the problem on one half of the theist/humanist divide and misstates the conflicts in terms of tolerance, rather than I identity as I believe it needs to be. So don’t be put off by the title.)

The problem is amplified where there is only a single congregation in an area and is expected to reproduce the theological breadth of the Unitarian Universalist Association itself. And that’s most of the United States. We need a missional, not marketing solution. The problem furthered, too, when national advertising campaigns, in an attempt to say anything, crosses lines that homogenizes the constituency, thus excluding some. And by some, I include myself. I’m grateful it has been so tin-eared to date.

Better the UUA serve as a resource and coordinating body than continue its current path of becoming a content-free identity maker. God knows we could use the services.

One Reply to “Theists and humanists in the same house”

  1. When I preached on Humanism earlier this year, as part of a series on theological influences of our faith. I think the moment that had the most impact was when I pointed out that Humanism is not the evolutionary end of Unitarian Universalist theology. Folks told me that it was an ah-ha moment for them because of course Humanism is where many of them have ended up on their spiritual journeys. And they had just made the assumption that everyone else would end up at the same conclusion as they had.

    It was nice to see folks understanding of other’s beliefs change right in front of me.

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