Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bishop Spong redux?

Just saw this on ENI.
Dutch pastor says he can believe in a 'God who doesn't exist' Utrecht (ENI). A Dutch Protestant cleric who describes himself as an "atheist pastor", saying he does not believe in God's existence, has become a publishing success in the Netherlands. The Rev. Klaas Hendrikse published a book at the beginning of November entitled "Believing in a God who does not exist: Manifesto of an atheist pastor", which by the end of the month had gone into its third printing. In his book, Hendrikse tells how his conviction that God does not exist has become stronger over time. He suggests, however, that it is still possible to speak of God, but in this case it refers to the quality of a relationship rather than the existence of a divine being. [415 words, ENI-07-0964]

2 comments:

Fr. Andrew said...

He suggests, however, that it is still possible to speak of God, but in this case it refers to the quality of a relationship rather than the existence of a divine being.

Which, of course, begs the question: "Rev. Klaas, how is your relationship with a nonexistent being?" I believe such a relationship is qualified in one of two ways: day dreaming or insanity.

Mac said...

Ah well, so long as there is a church to be a ratbag within, there will be ratbags. (Bishop Spong's predecessor Bishop James A. Pike is perhaps too long ago to have crossed your radar screen.) The thing to worry about is when there are no longer ratbags.

I had a couple of Papua New Guineans here last week, as I may have mentioned, one a staunch Anglican who was keen to visit Holy Trinity, Fortitude Valley, which was the home parish of the WWII New Guinea Martyrs. I might otherwise have urged that we go instead to the Cathedral but no. And staunchly United Church Joshua was here also and he had had a bad experience there of being made a bit of a show of (not too many black people turn up there, you see). So off we went and poor Noel, the Papuan Anglican, was vastly disconcerted by the fact that only he and I seemed to have the energy to sing out the hymns with any degree of lustiness. Well, I had warned him. Nice hymns too, they were.