Killing the Buddha is a religion magazine for people made anxious by churches, people embarrassed to be caught in the “spirituality” section of a bookstore, people both hostile and drawn to talk of God. It is for people who somehow want to be religious, who want to know what it means to know the divine, but for good reasons are not and do not. If the religious have come to own religious discourse it is because they alone have had places where religious language could be spoken and understood. Now there is a forum for the supposedly non-religious to think and talk about what religion is, is not and might be. Killing the Buddha is it.
Why Killing the Buddha? For our purposes, killing the Buddha is a metaphor for moving past the complacency of belief, for struggling honestly with the idea of God. As people who take faith seriously, we are endlessly amazed and enraged that religious discourse has become so bloodless, parochial and boring. Any God worth the name is none of these things. Yet when people talk about God they are talking mainly about the Buddha they meet. For fear of seeming intolerant or uncertain, or just for lack of thinking, they talk about a God too small to be God.
Broken conversations, broken people, we’re broken Lord. Terrified illusions, seeking comfort, we’re seeking more. We need each other more than we need to agree. Father, Son, Spirit bless us with your love, with your grace and peace.
Peace. Let there be peace. Let there be peace. Let there be peace.
Let us see and not destroy. Let us listen. Let us listen. Let us suspend judgement for the sake of love, for the sake of love. We need each other more than we need to agree. Father, Son, Spirit bless us with your love, with your grace and peace.
Love. Let there be love. (among us) Let there be love. (among us) Let there be love.
“Our ‘theological’ musings can thus be called a/theological insomuch as they acknowledge that we must still speak of God (theology, as traditionally understood) while also recognizing that this speech fails to define God (a/theology).”—Peter Rollins, How (Not) to Speak of God
The following is an excerpt from How (Not) to Speak of God by Peter Rollins. It will shake you:
There is an old anecdote in which a mystic, an evangelical pastor, and a fundamentalist preacher die on the same day and awake to find themselves by the pearly gates. Upon reaching the gates they are promptly greeted by Peter who informs them that before entering heaven they must be interviewed by Jesus concerning the state of their doctrine. The first to be called forward is the mystic, who is quietly ushered into a room. Five hours later the mystic reappears with a smile, saying, ‘I thought I had got it all wrong.’ Then Peter signals to the evangelical pastor, who stands up and enters the room. After a full day has passed the pastor reappears with a frown and says to himself, ‘How could I have been so foolish!’ Finally Peter asks the fundamentalist to follow him. The fundamentalist picks up his well-worn Bible and walks into the room. A few days pass with no sign of the preacher, then finally the door swings open and Jesus himself appears, exclaiming, ‘How could I have got it all so wrong!’
What is at issue in this anecdote is two different ways of approaching our religious traditions. The first is represented by the Christian mystic who is committed to his tradition yet acknowledges that it falls short of grasping the mind of God. This approach does not deny the existence of a relationship and does not imply that we cannot commit actively to the wisdom of our particular Christian tradition; it simply acknowledges that the relationship we have with God cannot be reduced to our understanding of that relationship. The second way (shown in a weak sense by the evangelical pastor and in a strong sense by the fundamentalist preacher) relates to a type of idolatrous relation in which we believe that our ideas actually represent the way that God and the world really operate. The weak sense, testified by the pastor, is unintentional and dissipates in the face of divine encounter, while the second, evidenced by the fundamentalist, is Pharisaic in nature, for it refuses to give up its interpretation of God, even in the presence of God. Indeed, this can be seen as one of the central problems with the Pharisees as represented in the New Testament, for they held so closely to their interpretation of the Messiah that when the Messiah finally appeared in a form that was different to what they expected, they rejected the Messiah in order to retain the integrity of their interpretation.
__ a prayer spoken by Meister Eckhart that acknowledges how the God we are in relationship with is bigger, better and different than our understanding of that God.
(Adapted from “How (Not) to Speak of God” by Peter Rollins)
“It shall even be as when a hungry man dreams, and look - he eats; but he awakes, and his soul is still empty; or as when a thirsty man dreams, and look - he drinks; but he awakes, and indeed he is faint, and his soul still craves.”—Isaiah 29:8a
“I sometimes marvel that God chose to risk his revelation in the ambiguities of language. If he had wanted to make sure that the truth was absolutely clear, without any possibility of misunderstanding, he should have revealed his truth by means of mathematics. Mathematics is the most precise, unambiguous language that we have. But then, of course, you can’t say ‘I love you’ in algebra.”—Eugene Peterson, Eat This Book (via existtheblog)
Steven and I purchased six books Saturday from the same series (The Ancient Practices Series). I’m not sure how many are in the series, but I can’t wait to begin reading them. I want to add Sabbath to our library as well. Being that the copy I currently possess is from the public library.
Peter Rollins spoke a few days ago in New York on the following topic:
"Why the New Atheists don’t go far enough"
His books and teachings are worth your attention. In case you lack a familiarity with Rollins, the following was taken from his website:
Peter Rollins is a widely sought after writer, lecturer, storyteller and public speaker. He is also the founder of ikon, a faith group that has gained an international reputation for blending live music, visual imagery, soundscapes, theatre, ritual and reflection to create what they call ‘transformance art’.
Peter gained his higher education from Queens University, Belfast and has earned degrees (with distinction) in Scholastic Philosophy (BA Hons), Political Theory (MA) and Post-Structural thought (PhD). He is currently a research associate with the Irish School of Ecumenics in Trinity College, Dublin and is the author of the much talked about How (Not) to Speak of God. His most recent work is entitled The Orthodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales. He was born in Belfast but currently resides in Greenwich, CT.
My hubby and I are grilling chicken breasts tonight for dinner. Accompanying our grilled chicken will be grilled eggplant & tomato stacks (i.e., a stack = thick eggplant slice, basil pesto, balsamic roasted tomatoes, and a topping of mozzarella cheese).
We would love to have you join us for dinner.
We also found an angel in our eggplant.
I love notes.
Especially when receiving them from my cute-faced husband. He placed little notes all around our apartment today. The first one I found (pictured below) was placed next to our stove. The second one I found on the window seal in our bathroom when I went to pee pee. The third was found on my self in our closet. And, lastly, the forth note was typed in a word document on my computer…
I love having a husband who asks thought-provoking questions. I would never be happy married to anyone else.
He mentioned this a few nights ago as we were reading/writing together… Unbeknownst to him, I wrote it down.