Sunday, January 4, 2009

Quote of the Day

I think this quote warrants consideration given our current discussion on the relationship between science and religion. From Corey W. deVos at kenwilber.com:
... There is a widely-held misconception that once we begin to develop past the traditional or mythic stage and into the modern or rational stage of psychological development, there is suddenly no more room in the universe for God, and all notions of spirituality are seen as vestiges of an antiquated past, thoroughly dismantled by the cold gaze of scientific materialism.

It’s as if culture silently expects us to make a decision: religious fundamentalism or staunch atheism, one or the other; and anything in between amounts to either intellectual laziness or impotence of faith.

But this is a false choice—our spirituality is capable of growing and maturing right alongside every other facet of human development, including our cognition, our values, our aesthetics, etc. Individuals and cultures both grow through very real stages of development—what has been called archaic, magic, mythic, rational, pluralistic, and integral stages (and beyond) ... It is entirely possible, therefore, to be a rational Christian, following the universal teachings of Christ but without having to insist Christianity is the only exclusive path to God, and without having to literally believe in the pre-rational myths of virgin births, parting seas, and satanic fruit.

(h/t Homebrewed Christianity)

5 comments:

Corey W. deVos said...

Hey Drew, thanks for sharing this quote. I just wanted to note that it was actually something I wrote and posted to KenWilber.com (from IntegralLife.com) and not one of Ken pieces. I only mention this because, although I am doing my best to express and build upon Ken's personal vision of Integral theory, I wouldn't want any of my own inaccuracies or inflammatory rhetoric to be falsely attributed to him.

In spirit of continuing the conversation around the relationship of science and spirituality (one of the most important conversations for the 21st century, i believe), I highly recommend that everyone check out Ken's recent book Integral Spirituality, as well as IntegralLife.com. There are tons of free resources on Integral Life and scattered around the web, such as the Integral Naked Youtube Channel, this discussion about the relationship between spirituality and quantum physics, and this awesome series of interviews between Ken Wilber and Kevin Kelly of Wired magazine.

Finally, for more about the Christian tradition in particular, be sure to check out this page, which also has a ton of free offerings.

I hope this helps, in some small way!

Warmth,
Corey W. deVos

Drew said...

Corey, I apologize for the oversight. Thank you for your part in this conversation and for the the links; I hope people check them out!

Alicia said...

I applaud you for posting this quote. It certainly shows the beginning of the recognition that there are in fact some flaws with the Christianity and the bible itself. I have pulled out a particular piece to comment on.

“It is entirely possible, therefore, to be a rational Christian, following the universal teachings of Christ but without having to insist Christianity is the only exclusive path to God, and without having to literally believe in the pre-rational myths of virgin births, parting seas, and satanic fruit”.

In a country where 83% of the population thinks that the Bible is the literal or “inspired” teaching of the creator of the universe, I still find it difficult to be comfortable with cafeteria style Christianity. By cafeteria Christianity I mean the ability for us to pick and choose what part of the bible we like and see fit to adopt into our lives. This quote claims that we believe the bible got the teachings of Jesus right but his birth, his miracles, his death, etc. wrong. Doesn’t that in and of its self taint the fruit, if you will?

In today’s world we question everything written and seen. EVERYTHING. Yet, things written in the bible that happened around 2,000 years ago, written by who knows, translated how many times, during a time of complete and utter censorship and propaganda, we just believe carte blanch because it’s in the bible (or throw out the few things that are so over the top and accept the rest).

Can’t we just be solid citizens, good people, great friends, and leave out this whole notion that we can only be this way if we understand Jesus, where we admittedly question the authenticity of Jesus’ biography. It’s like saying the bible is the unauthorized autobiography on Jesus and we have some addendums, postscripts, new introductions, different epilogue and we now have changed editors too.

For what its worth . . .

Anonymous said...

Gerat points Alicia

Kent H said...

Alicia,
I'm not sure anyone will read this - considering the lateness of the post.
But the fact is, just because a quote is made makes it neither true nor false. Alicia has made it clear that she does not choose to believe the biblical accounts but has made no attempt to provide evidence to discredit the text.
The Bible was written by eyewitnesses to the events themselves. We have 5000 copies of the Greek text and the integrity of the text is being constantly reevaluated.
Listen, if God exists and He is omnipotent and omniscient, little things like parting a sea, a virgin birth, or miraculous events aren't really a big deal.