Find Out Who Your People Are

"Humanity cannot be understood without reference to God; and neither God nor God's revelation can be understood except through the lens of thought and experience."
- Max Stackhouse, theologian

"On the face of it, the term religious humanism seems to suggest a tension between two opposed terms - between heaven and earth, so to speak. But this is a creative, rather than a deconstructive, tension. Perhaps the best analogy for understanding religious humanism comes from the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation, which holds that Jesus was both human and divine. In the paradoxical meeting of Christ's two natures is the pattern by which we can begin to understand the many dualities we experience in life: flesh and spirit, nature and grace, God and Caesar, faith and reason, justice and mercy...
The religious humanist refuses to collapse paradox in on itself...But the distinctive mark of religious humanism is its willingness to adapt and transform culture, following the dictum of an early church father, who said that 'Wherever there is truth, it is the Lord's.' Because religious humanists believe that whatever is good, true, and beautiful is part of God's design, they have confidence that their faith can assimilate the works of culture. Assimilation, rather than rejection or accommodation, constitutes the heart of the religious humanist's vision...the religious humanist combines an intense (if occasionally anguished) attachment to orthodoxy with a profound spirit of openness to the world."
- The New Religious Humanists edited by Gregory Wolfe

A mentor of mine once told me that its very important to find out who your people are. It is very true. I doubt I'll ever put a bumper sticker on my car that says "religious humanist on board" but the words above definitely describe my worldview. Other religious humanists you might have heard of? Well, there's Marc Chagall, Nathaniel Hawthorne, T.S. Eliot, Graham Greene, Annie Dillard, Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Merton, W.H. Auden. Gabriel Marcel, Paul Tillich, Walker Percy, John Updike, Frederick Buechner, Madeleine L'Engle, Denise Levertov, Reynolds Price, Louise Erdrich, Anne Tyler, Wendell Berry, and even Garrison Keillor. And me.

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