Tuesday, May 20, 2008


What does it mean? Well you could look it up on Wikipedia. Or, you could have a little more patience and watch the following video from Ted.com courtesy of John Kamman. Which, in reality has very little to do with what you'll find on Wikipedia. Please, please, please, take the time to watch this video. It doesn't matter if you're christian, muslim, buddhist, atheist/agnostic, or don't know. I really feel like it's worth your time. If it's not, then this blog probably isn't worth your time. In fact it would really be worth your time to spend an entire day exploring Ted.

Reverend Tom Honey has served as a priest for 20 years. After the tsunami of 2004, he chose to publicly delve into some very difficult questions about god. As a result, he was invited to speak at the Ted Conference. This video is his Ted talk.

This man represents what I mean whenever I say or write "thoughtful Christian." If all religious people were as thoughtful as he, I would have no reason to dislike religion. He asks very thought provoking questions about god's existence and abilities as they relate to his/her moral obligations. He defines himself as a christian but I think buddhist or simply deist (right John?) are far more fitting.

Where is god in all this? Who is god in all this? God is in this with us, or god doesn’t deserve our allegiance anymore.

This statement is so true for me. If there is a god and she is not engaged in the day to day world, then why would I bother serving/praying/worshiping her? If she is engaged in the day to day world and has the power to stop things like a tsunami, her moral standards are not up to par and I am not interested in what she has to offer. Any human with the power to stop the death of 300,000 people would be morally obligated to stop it. Why isn't god?

What if God doesn't do things? What if God is in things? -Tom Honey


John Kamman said...


Would you go to this guys church, Shane? I would.

Would you if he shed the term Christian and made some weird nondenominational deist church? Is it just the terminology and the stigma that you want to avoid?

kmprosen said...

I really, really, liked the Reverend's talk. He asked a lot of questions that I that I find myself wrestling with, and I'm not sure if I can fit them into my Christian faith. I've always thought petitionary prayer seemed a little off, but Christians are specifically told to pray for the recovery of our sick and our daily bread, so I'm not sure where that leaves me. Rev. Honey's reflections on prayer make a lot of sense to me and it may be that he has a better Christian lens through which to view the world. Or it may be that we're both secretly apostates and unwilling to admit it.

To paraphrase a favorite author. "I have to believe that God is in me or nowhere."

I wish we could have talked about this on the other blog before we degenerated into a lot of linguistic tomfoolery and avoiding difficult topics because we (by we I mean I) were afraid of being wrong. Ahh well.

Thanks for linking to your blog. I enjoy your writing.


Shane said...

John, Yes I would attend his church if he dropped the term "Christian" which seems an inappropriate description of his beliefs anyway.


Thanks for commenting! If you feel like firing up the other blog again, I'm game. Otherwise, you're always welcome to comment here and we can continue the dialogue that way.

As for your comments:
I think Reverend Honey has a better lens through which to view the world than most people, as long as he's willing to drop the word "Christian." As we've discussed in the other blog, that tag carries with it a lot of unnecessary baggage/dogma that obviously doesn't fit his, or your (as far as I can tell) world views.

Feel free to stick around and comment. My posts may be a little aggressive at times but I promise to behave myself in the comment area. Good to hear from you!


kmprosen said...

All right, Gentlemen,

I'm listening to Richard Dawkins TED talk and I have a couple of questions for the pair of you.

1. Do you agree with his assertion that a correct, or full understanding of Darwinian Evolution is necessarily corrosive to religious belief? Are those of us who have a Jesus AND a Darwin fish on the back of our cars really deluding ourselves?

I'm interested to hear what you have to say.


Shane said...

Number one. Yes, I think that the acceptance of evolution is corrosive to religious beliefs. Especially if those beliefs include creation. That doesn't mean that a belief in evolution necessarily negates all religious belief, just those that are contrary to the scientific facts. For me, and many others, a slow but steady corrosion of various religious beliefs has resulted in a lessening of my faith in those things that have neither evidence for or against. As the bible is taken apart bit by bit through scientific inquiry one is left with less and less to have faith in. At some point in my life I have chosen to embrace reason over faith.

Number two. I don't think evolution has anything to do with Jesus directly. So, no, you are not deluding yourself. However, just as I stated above, as that slow steady corrosion takes place, one is eventually left with a choice. I've made mine. You seem to still be pondering.