We can no longer have forbidden areas of the human mind, or cultural machinery. We have taken upon ourselves the acquisition of so much power that we now must understand what we are. We cannot travel much further with the definitions of man that we inherit from the Judeo-Christian tradition. We need to truly explore the problem of consciousness.
Both Christianity and Islam are logocentric,” he told his students, “meaning they are focused on the Word. In Christian tradition, the Word became flesh in the book of John: ‘And the Word was made flesh, and He dwelt among us.’ Therefore, it was acceptable to depict the Word as having a human form. In Islamic tradition, however, the Word did not become flesh, and therefore the Word needs to remain in the form of a word … in most cases, calligraphic renderings of the names of the holy figures of Islam.
The truths of the Judaic-Christian tradition, are infinitely precious, not only, as I believe, because they are true, but also because they provide the moral impulse which alone can lead to that peace, in the true meaning of the word, for which we all long. . . . There is little hope for democracy if the hearts of men and women in democratic societies cannot be touched by a call to something greater than themselves.
The earliest religious texts in the West ascribe to humankind both a prehistory and a destiny among the gods. M. David Litwa presents a striking survey of the varieties the latter of these beliefs has had, both within and outside the Christian tradition. Becoming Divine reconstructs an accessible and fascinating mosaic of this too-long neglected idea, utilizing figures as disparate as Orphic cultists, Augustine, and Nietzsche.
God is not good, or wise, or intelligent anyway that we know. So, people like Maimonides in the Jewish tradition, Eboncina in the Muslim tradition, Thomas Aquinas in the Christian tradition, insisted that we couldn't even say that God existed because our concept of existence is far too limited and they would have been horrified by the ease with which we talk about God today.
In the beginning, the feminine principle was seen as the fundamental cosmic force. All ancient peoples believed that the world was created by a female Deity... female deities were gradually overshadowed by or incorporated into the attributes of a number of male gods, then eclipsed by the ascendance of the single male deity that dominates the Judeo-Christian tradition.
I see the Christian world like this: we've inherited a divided map of the truth, and each of us has a piece. Our traditions teach us that no one else has a valid map and that our own church's piece shows us all the terrain and roads that exist. In fact, there is much more terrain, more roads, and more truth for us to see if we can accept and read one another's maps, fitting them together to give us a clearer picture of the larger Christian tradition.
Those of us raised in the Christian tradition need to choose to either see God in Jesus or to continue to let the Bible define God. Our tradition says that Jesus is God. Maybe we should act as if we think he is instead of worshipping a book. Maybe we should be brave enough to admit that we are compelled to either become blinded ideologues or we need to forthrightly pick and choose what we follow in the Bible. Most Christians do that anyway, many just don’t admit it.