Sunday, July 6, 2008

“Deeds not Creeds” Credo further amplified

The “deeds” rather than “creeds” position of Rick Warren is being pushed further to its logical position in Toronto, Canada with the recent launching of Gretta Vosper’s book: With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe. Vosper, has been pastoring West Hill United Church in Toronto for the past 10 years and is considered ”one of the bright, if unconventional, minds within the United Church, Canada's largest Protestant Christian denomination.”

In the book, she describes the Lord Jesus as no more than a “Middle Eastern peasant with a few charismatic gifts and a great posthumous marketing team.” She further enunciates her fervent desire of seeing our world come to a point “when the label Christian won’t even exist”, and “when the central story of Christianity will fade away.” Ms. Vosper (she wouldn’t answer to any official religious title) does not believe in the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, the miracles and the sacrament of baptism. And she proudly declares that the Bible is just a book among other books.

What then does she believe in? According to the National Post, “the focus of her ‘spiritual’ life is love. And since love is the
common bond between all people, it is really the only thing worth believing in.” Apart from her expressed desire to get rid of Christianity as we know it, Vosper would want “salvation to be redefined to mean new life through removing the causes of suffering in the world..” ( Hence, the bottom-line is getting rid of human suffering, poverty and misery. That surely strikes a chord with the UN Millenium Development Goals and similar efforts being peddled by various “faith-based” groups, including Rick Warren. In another place, Vosper clarifies that the “love” she believes in is a “radically inclusive love” – meaning a love that accepts people for whatever they are, without any criticism, correction or concern. Certainly there is nothing called “sin” or “hell fire” in this kind of self-deluding perverse “love”!

The head of the United Church of Canada, David Giuliano, said it is not his job to condemn Vosper; and in any case the United Church is broad enough to encompass a wide range of theologies. Vospel also chairs a group called the Canadian Centre For Progressive Christianity, which seeks to challenge the church to do a “complete overhaul of the beliefs it has been carrying about for the last several hundred years.”

“Just the story, not the substance” gospel debuts

The London Daily Mail on March 26 featured the story of Anglican vicar, the Rev Robert Harrison whose book, Must Know Stories was coming out the day after. In the book, Rev Harrison chose 10 Bible stories for re-telling. Paul Sims of the Daily Mail gives some peep into the book: “Goliath is a celebrity binge drinker, Eve is a sex-obsessed man-eater and Noah's wife wants to kill him --- welcome to the updated Bible.”

Mr Harrison, who preaches at St John's in Hillingdon, West London defended his decision, saying he was doing it to encourage people to read stories “that are so utterly part of our culture…I wanted to write a book that tells the most important Bible stories in a way that relishes them rather than tries to make any particular religious point. “It's better to tell the story controversially than not at all.” He added.

So there goes again the appeal to relativity! Of course the question is what is wrong with telling the story the way it really is? Or if Mr Harrison wishes to write his own fiction, why not simply go ahead without calling it “Bible stories”?
Read Full Report at

In but a short step away from Mr Harrison’s position, similar fictions are being written; and are being presented as the real story. A recent example, in the steps of the Da Vinci Code being the documentary released in May, titled “Bloodline” with the usual thrash of Jesus having being married to Mary Magdalene and the lineage of their supposed biological children existing as some cultic group somewhere in France, and all that. See article by WorldNetDaily at

1 comment:

Licentious Maladay said...

In theological matters, newspapers are not the best sources. They go after the story and the nuances of a theological position are lost as the story gets polarized into some extreme "God-is-dead" position. By all means take your ideas from the press, but I would urge you to find your quotes from the person's own words not the position seen through a journalistic lens.