Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

Our need to give love

Friday, June 5th, 2015
In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, love/belonging, self-esteem and self-actualization come as soon as the basics of food, shelter and safety are met.
For adult human beings, belonging comes from sharing a common purpose; self-esteem comes when I know that what I do is valued; even self actualization, which seems to be about me, only works if the self that I become is recognised and respected by a social world.
This gives us some primary data through which we can interpret what we meet in our world, which celebrates a spectrum of values, some in line with these needs, and some at odds with them. We will find that we are going with the grain of human nature if we open pathways for self-bestowing, self-giving creativity. We have a lens through which to understand the superficial appeal of stories about life that offer shortcuts: the self-realisation through consumerism lampooned by the Rolling Stones in Satisfaction on the one hand; the promise of ‘systems so perfect that no-one needs to be good’ on the other.
Process thought gives the best theological framework for understanding this. It sees our human journey as a response to the divine call to creativity. That this is ‘hard-wired’ into us is no surprise for process theologians, who do not locate God in an transcendent otherness, but in the processes of this world. In process thought, it is the Holy Spirit whose allure to true creaturely fulfilment is at work in the basic needs that Maslow describes.
All of this changes the task of ‘mission’. Liberal Christians feel embarrassed by this word — they think it means answering a question that hasn’t been asked, providing a finished picture of the world on the assumption that I know more than the one I am talking to. They easily shrink from the task, forgetting the reality of call and response which is at the heart of human experience of the spirit.
If the longing to creaturely fulfillment is already there in every human being I meet, even if it is covered over, I do not need to insert something that was not there before, but open a channel for my friend to experience what slumbers within him. I will not convey the sense that I know better, because all I know is that the spirit is beckoning this creature into the unique journey of its unfolding. 

Obituary of John V. Taylor

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

I have been reading around Process Theology again, and once more I’m struck by the power and vision of John Taylor’s The Go-Between God. This led me on to reading his obituary for the first time. It’s here. Here’s a taster:

John Taylor, who has died aged 86, was Bishop of Winchester between 1975 and 1985, chairman of the Church of England Doctrine Commission from 1978 until 1985, and one of the great missionaries of his generation. Convinced that Christians should leave their church boundaries to listen and think much harder, he pleaded with a startled General Synod to “go into no man’s land, for the strange meeting, as Wilfred Owen would have described it”.Taylor’s God was cosmic and also worshipped by non-Christians. He felt that there were many, like the novelist George Eliot, who saw that God was to be experienced outside the church.

Leading – crossing the threshold

Sunday, November 28th, 2010
I’m reading the executive summary of Theory-U which is proving very rewarding. What it’s connecting with for me is the whole idea of the Holy Spirit as the spirit of connection, and communion.In figure 2 on p 4, I think what he calls Ecosystem corresponds to the System of Group Relations.
Here’s a gem, which I found quoted on another website (looks pretty interesting itself, too).

Otto Scharmer points out, The Indo-European root of the word ‘lead’ and ‘leadership,’ *leith, means ‘to go forth,’ ‘to cross the threshold,’ or ‘to die.’”

Leading means constantly letting go, opening for what wants to come.