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Hiding out and Having Fun!

I am currently in Cambridge MA at the Episcopal Divinity School as one of their two Proctor Scholars this semester. And, while for many people reading and writing might not sound like a lot of fun, it is a wonderful experience for me and an honor to be chosen. This is affording me the time and place to think theologically about how to best present my own sexual/spiritual stories to a wider audience. I hope to have a significant amount of writing done by early summer even as I am reading and studying with professor Patrick Cheng. His class is called "Sin, Grace and Atonement" hardly my first choice of topics since sin is pretty boring and I reject the atonement dogma as irrelevant to our time.Yet, considering the ways most sexual expression and physical intimacy in this society is defined as 'sin' and how very little 'grace' is shown to those who dare to violate cultural norms, perhaps this is EXACTLY the kind of topic for me to study.

I'll keep you informed. In the meantime, consider these two theological questions that I have formulated based on the writings and insights of two EDS scholars:

Dr Kwok Pui Lan notes that Pope Urban in encouraging men to sign up to go to war in the first Crusade against the "infidels" (Muslims) promised remission of their sins if they did. She notes that Anselm's teaching of atonement , "the idea of Christ laying down his life for God's honor (was) the theological... thought that was coalescing at that very moment in the preparation of the first Crusade."

Consider: How comfortable are we with this traditional teaching when we know it has its basis in justifying mass murders of non-believers (accompanied by a land-grab by the Roman church)? Can we turn our attention toward Jesus' life rather than a glorification of his death and still remain Christians? Why or why not?

Dr Patrick Cheng believes the radical inclusiveness of the gospel is evident even in the doctrine of the Trinity. He writes that the understanding of the three aspects of God as Father, Son, and Holy spirit are so intertwined and “this relationship is so intimate that it might be thought of in terms of a fluid-bonded polyamorous three-way relationship." 

Consider: Why is it that Christians who believe the heart of the gospel is to love and to love as excessively as Jesus did get so squeamish thinking of intimate love between more than two people? If done with honesty,  integrity, and the consent with all involved, what is the basis for the revulsion? How much is about cultural norms instead of about morality grounded in the teachings of Jesus?

Just a few thoughts to get you to thinking about reconnecting our bodies and our spirits.



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