Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Brain Hurts

Today we covered Zen Buddhism in the morning and Cosmology and New Science in the afternoon. I am so confused. The morning session was taught by a very articulate catholic priest who is also a zen Roshi. There are only a few of these in the world so we were very fortunate to have him come speak to us.

I could feel my 'Inner Fundamentalist' starting to complain at various points. I found it difficult to understand how somebody can be a master in two traditions, especially at the points where they disagree.

It raises interesting questions for me - Jesus said 'I am the way, the truth and the life' no one comes to the Father but through me. (John 14)

In my faith tradition we make this an exclusive claim that Jesus makes. It's always been separated in my mind from his comment a few verses earlier 'In my father's house are many rooms'.

But why separate it? I don't know.

In the parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matt 25) the only difference between who goes to eternal life and who doesn't is their actions.

Why do I emphasise John 14 over Matt 25? Why is it so important to me for Christianity to be exclusive? What need does it serve for me to be able to say 'This religion is right. That religion is wrong'?

I don't have an answer.

I do know that the alternative of 'all roads lead to God' still ruffles my feathers in a way I can't explain.

But who am I to put limits on God's grace?

1 comment:

Jerry said...

The best scholarship I've seen indicates that the 'historical' Jesus of Nazareth probably didn't utter those words. The gospel of John, written at least a century after Jesus' death, emphasizes much of the theology expressed in Paul's letters... while the much-earlier gospel of Matthew paints the picture of a Torah-observant rabbi and teacher.

And I do know that the exclusivity claim has bolstered various Christian acts of persecution & antisemitism over the years...