Something That Matters: A Theology for Critical Believers

Something That Matters: A Theology for Critical Believers

Something That Matters: A Theology for Critical Believers

Something That Matters: A Theology for Critical Believers

Synopsis

This fresh, new work explores major themes in Christian theology, refracted through a worldview that perceives everything--God and the world--to be dynamic, temporal, and interrelated.

Excerpt

The thesis of this book, and a theme that runs through its various chapters, is that to be human at all is to live with an unshakable confidence in the meaning and worth of life. This is the ineradicable confidence that we all make a difference in the life of God, that we are “something that matters.” This common faith is what all religions, in one way or another, express. Christianity gives voice to this claim by witnessing to Jesus as the decisive re-presentation of the God who is the ground of this confidence. That is, the One who is known to be always already present to all creatures, interacting with them, is worshiped “through Jesus Christ.” Whitehead’s insight that to be anything at all is to be something that matters for oneself, for others, and for the Whole serves as a prism that sheds light on significant Christian beliefs about God, Christ, and the world; about faith that runs deeper than the sense of meaninglessness that some experience, and yet is cognizant of massive evil and sin and suffering in the world; about religion and Christianity and the need for theology; about Christianity and other religions; about what it means to be human; about prayer and the ethical life; and, finally, about our ultimate destiny.

The philosophers I have learned from most are Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne. Not only is Whitehead the one who coined the sentence, “Have a care—here is something that matters,” his entire metaphysics, and that of Hartshorne, underlies and energizes all my thought. The theologian who has guided me is Schubert M. Ogden. I have often declared to my students, and occasionally to a congregation of Episcopalians, that Ogden is “the greatest theologian of our day.” I am aware, however, that his precise and demanding theology is often thought to be too recondite, and so I have tried to present his . . .

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