Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Creative Faith

It is probably fair to say that Don Cupitt's work can be demanding. Then again, compared with other philosophers, you could also say he is one of the more approachable voices in the field. What makes Cupitt interesting is he is a 'radical theologian', Anglican priest and (depending on what you mean by the word) atheist.
'He rejects all ideas of gaining salvation by escaping from this world of ours. "All this is all there is", he says and he now sees true religion in terms of joy in life and an active attempt to add value to the human lifeworld. ‘Life’ is all that there is and all we have, and must be accepted with its limits as a package deal. We must avoid all attempts to deny or escape the limits of life — traditionally time, chance and death.'
Once you get familiarised with the vocabulary he uses, Cupitt can be hard to ignore. There's a short but fascinating audio interview with the man on the Philosophy Bites podcast. It's a pretty good introduction to his thought.

All of which is a just a preamble to noting that Cupitt has just (January 8) published a new title through Polebridge Press, Creative Faith. It won't earn many kudos from traditional theologians I guess, but hey, having read almost everything the man has in print, I'm keen enough to have already downloaded a copy on Kindle.


  1. After some some consideration, I cannot deny that evidence points to God having a consort in His early days.(Replying here briefly to an earlier blog entry.)
    Heck, I even know some humans who would rather not have it known that they once were married! And, YHVH made no secret about the fact that He had some of the very worst human tendencies. In fact, He seemed to practically boast about them. Maybe Mrs. God found grounds for divorce there?

    I enjoyed the podcast with Don Cupitt. He makes good points, including those regarding the anthropomorphism and evolutionary understanding of Christianity's Deity.

  2. You gotta have faith. You gotta have faith. If you don't have faith, what do you have? I'll tell you what you have: lack of faith, that's what you have. And if you lack faith, then II Peter won't make any sense to you. Neither will III or IV Peter. And Jonah? Whale, I can only respond with these immortal lyrics from Porgy & Bess: Jonah he lived in a whale / Jonah he lived in a whale / He made his home in / That fish's abdomen / Jonah he lived in a whale. The singer goes on to say that it ain't necessarily so. Now, you see, he didn't have faith. Get the point?

  3. This takes me back in time. As a young Embarrassing College student, I once asked some of the upperclassmen in my dorm why the God of the Bible had such ego, anger, and vanity. They gave basic "party line" unsatisfying answers about how it wasn't really ego, anger and vanity if God had it. I doubt that at that stage they were familiar with the term anthropomorphism, and reality was that I was not either. Jewish scholars over the centuries have consistently stated that the all-encompassing essence of God surpasses human ability to quantify or describe. The minute one tries, one imposes human limits on God. They apply this logic to explaining the human-like emotions, foibles, and idiosyncracies of the God of the Bible. The writers of the ancient manuscripts inadvertently overlayed their portrayals of God with elements from their own emotions and nature. How could they not? You might say their task involved "translating" life forms, which would have been exponentially more difficult than translating languages, especially if the lower life form were doing the translating.

    Speaking of anthropomorphism, I picked up an excellent DVD at the library this past week, "The Five People You Meet in Heaven." It is a John Voight film, and, as also being one of the technical people who keeps things running and safe, I found a considerable amount of identity in the film. It was simultaneously simple and therefore accessible, and yet far more advanced over what we were taught in Armstrongism. Somehow, HWA's New Jerusalem as a sort of spiritual military base never did appeal as being the best application of anthropomorphic tendencies. Anyway, I'd recommend this film to anyone as nourishment to the soul. It was so edifying that I did something that I rarely do. I watched it twice.


  4. "Creative Faith": Isn't that just creative fiction hoping to be true?