Showing posts from May, 2024

Liberation Theology

  Here’s the question for You Choose Sermon number 3 – “how is Liberation Theology historically and presently similar and different to mainline belief?” I begin by defining what exactly liberation theology is.  Liberation theology begins with the idea that Christ is liberator. This is straight out of Luke 4. Christ’s liberation of the least of these mirrors God’s liberation of the enslaved in Egypt.  According to Liberation Theology, the biblical story as a whole is about liberation, about God freeing those stuck at the bottom. God and God in Christ seeks to save those at the bottom first and foremost. Yes, as the idea goes, a rising tide will lift all boats. But it lifts those boats at the bottom first. There’s a phrase that is often attached to the discussion of liberation theology. “God’s preferential option for the poor.” God sides with the poor and oppressed. And God in Christ primarily comes to save the poor. For liberation theology, the God of the Bible again and again joins th

Other Faiths & Christ, Part 2

A follow-up to the You Choose Sermon from last week (Other Faiths & Christ). This week's meditation is based on the questions, what do other faiths call God and what do they claim leads to God? In God, Christ, and Holy Spirit we have three avenues that lead to connection with God. We’ve heard it said, God has many names. And that’s absolutely true. The Christian notion of the Trinity alone proves that! Within these three avenues with different names that lead to connection with God, we can place various world religions. Let’s go through them, shall we? First, there is the first person of the trinity, God as in God the Father, God of Abraham. We might call this the strict monotheist avenue. We would include in this avenue Judaism and Islam. Now, I’d like to say a word about these two faith traditions. Of course, historically, adherents of these faiths have been on the other sides of a long, continual battle. This historic conflict is mostly related to geo-politics, s

Others Faiths & Christ

  This is the first of a series of meditations I’ve dubbed You Choose. A few weeks ago, I asked folks to give me their questions, scriptural passages, and topics for me to reflect upon Sunday. I got a few responses. It’s not too late if you want to add your own, but the first question I’d like to reflect on comes from a question regarding non-Christian religions and how they fit into the Christian idea of salvation. Are the faithful of other religions saved? Do faithful Buddhists go to heaven, for example? If so, how? Where does Christ fit in if, using our example, faithful Buddhists indeed go to heaven? Great questions, yes? Whenever a topic like this comes up, an ardent Christian based in the more traditional version of the Christian faith, one of our born-again Evangelical siblings, for example, will recite John 14:6 – I am the way, the truth, the life, no one comes to the Father but by me. In other words, only Christ saves. Unless Christ is involved, the non-Christian faithfu