01 November 2006

Jesus - One Experience Of The Ultimate Among Many?

Katherine Jefferts-Schori was interviewed by Robert Young on NPR this morning. CaNN provides a transcript:

RY: TIME asked you an interesting question, we thought, “Is belief in Jesus the only way to get to heaven?” And your answer, equally interesting, you said “We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box.” And I read that and I said “What are you: a Unitarian?!?” [laughs]

What are you– that is another concern for people, because, they say Scripture says that Jesus says he was The Light and The Way and the only way to God the Father.

KJS: Christians understand that Jesus is the route to God. Umm– that is not to say that Muslims, or Sikhs, or Jains, come to God in a radically different way. They come to God through… human experience.. through human experience of the divine. Christians talk about that in terms of Jesus.

RY: So you’re saying there are other ways to God.

KJS: Uhh… human communities have always searched for relationship that which is beyond them.. with the ultimate.. with the divine. For Christians, we say that our route to God is through Jesus. Uhh.. uh.. that doesn’t mean that a Hindu.. uh.. doesn’t experience God except through Jesus. It-it-it says that Hindus and people of other faith traditions approach God through their.. own cultural contexts; they relate to God, they experience God in human relationships, as well as ones that transcend human relationships; and Christians would say those are our experiences of Jesus; of God through the experience of Jesus.

RY: It sounds like you’re saying it’s a parallel reality, but in another culture and language.

KJS: I think that’s accurate.. I think that’s accurate.

In other words, yes, she's a unitarian.

Here's the whole transcription, and here's the NPR audio.


Anonymous Scott K said...

After her election, many people demonized her. And I said, hey, she's hasn't even done anything yet as PB. Let's give her a chance. She might suprise us.

Between this and the letter to FW and Quincy, I feel kind of silly now.

01 November, 2006 11:01  
Blogger PSA+ said...

LIke, Ministry-of-Silly-Walks silly?

It's unbelievable. I’m blown away by that interview, and, frankly, filled with dismay. She was raised up through a parish discernment process, passed through a diocesan commission on ministry and bishop, educated at a seminary and recommended for ordination by the faculty, called to a parish, elected to the episcopate, received consents from the several dioceses, and finally elected to be presiding bishop with consent of the GC delegates, and no one ever was concerned that she’s not a Christian.

Lord, have mercy.

01 November, 2006 11:10  
Blogger Karen B. said...

Patrick+, you took the words out of my mouth. Once the intial shock wore off this morning (I'd listened to the audio yesterday after the link was posted on Stand Firm), today I began to be hit with that same astonishment at all the levels she has risen through in spite of what appears to be her unbelief.

I'm having to consider that there are larger forces at work here.

I could go the "vast reappraiser conspiracy theory" route and say that she was singled out and chosen for this job years ago by some folks who had the power to get her through the process. (There seems to be some evidence for this given that she was told in 2003 she would not be accepted to serve on the PB nominating committee because then she couldn't be a candidate -- this when she'd only been a bishop (and remember she NEVER was a rector!) for 3 years.)

But leaving vast conspiracies aside, I find myself thinking of some of the Godless rulers the Lord allowed to rise to power in order to accomplish His purposes and His judgment.

We indeed need the Lord's mercy, as does Katharine. May the Lord raise up those who will boldly proclaim Jesus and the truth of His Gospel among us.

01 November, 2006 12:47  
Blogger PSA+ said...

I want to modify part of what I said above, which was at best uncharitable. I don't know, and can't really know, the state of KJS' soul. I know she is a Christian - at least in her own sense of "practicing the Christian tradition." But if Jesus Christ is the Incarnate God the Son, that trumps the claims of all other religions. So, I should only have said that her understanding on this point is deficient and sub-Christian.

01 November, 2006 13:20  

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