I am hosting a conference at my church in Dallastown, Pennsylvania, for UCC clergy, sponsored by the UCC’s 2030 Clergy Network and the UCC’s Local Church Ministries. Jeff Robbins will be our guest facilitator. The idea will be to have a new writer’s group emerge from this confernece for future gatherings and publications. Please distribute to those that you know who might be interested? (The Altizer quote with which I open is from the afterword for my forthcoming book, Too Good to Be True, more information on that will come soon…)
Description / Rationale: Theologian Thomas Altizer asks the progressive church, “Is a Jonathan Edwards possible in the church today?” This question is especially stunning, provocative, and condemning for mainline churches, especially the United Church of Christ, who claims Edwards as one of our own. In the UCC, we may ask: Where are our theological voices today? Who validates or invalidates them? Who promotes them? Who is their audience? Do they reflect the “ground” of the church?
Ironically, The UCC @ 50, the official publication of denomination’s golden anniversary, while proclaiming that “theology is alive” in the United Church of Christ, omits our most enduring and broadly influential theologian, Paul Tillich, from its overview of our theological history—is the absence of Tillich indicative of a lack of focus or lack of knowledge of our own recent history and traditions? Is theology or theological practice possible today in the United Church of Christ? Do we think of ourselves as too diverse to have a unified theology that theology has now become marginalized or even forbidden? If “theology is alive” in the UCC, who are our theologians? Who publishes them? Who is their audience? Read the rest of this entry »