Thursday, December 6, 2012

Reading Buehrens/Parker - What about suffering?

In the third part of A House For Hope by John Buehrens and Rebecca Parker they discuss soteriology which is the study of salvation, deliverance, a release from the way of the suffering of the world. Using their metaphor, this is the roof of the house. They write, " Religion, at its best, provides shelter, for people and communities in need of healing, transformation, or sustenance in difficulty. How might the bible contribute to the struggle for 'deliverance from evil?' What constitutes progressive religion's understanding of what we need to be saved from- and how?" p. xii

As the Buddha taught us life is suffering. The Christian religion preaches salvation. The fundamentalist Christians insist that to be saved a person must be born again. And what about Unitarian Universalism's approach to the question of human suffering? What does its theology have to offer those in pain? What causes human suffering and what helps in being liberated from it? From what do we need liberation?

My idea is that we need to be released from our own ego mind and have our consciousness raised to enlightenment. Awareness ends fear and suffering. The UU fourth principle of the free and responsible search for truth and meaning may offer us a path from egotistical ignorance which may be the root of all evil. We shall see what Buehrens and Parker have to say when we get to their chapters on this topic. What do you think?


  1. Christians have their idea of sin which is eschewed for the most part by more progressive religious folks and secular humanists. They seem to rely more on legalistic methods of defining things as being against the law and people then engaging in criminal or deviant behavior. It seems to be a social exchange model of "you do the crime, you do the time" and pay your debt back to humanity but if you can get away with it and don't get caught then it's all good as they say.

    I am guessing that UUs fall more into the secular legalistic camp rather than in more transcendent karmic explanations for the problem of good and evil.

    Universalists have preached that it is all good in the end and every body gets into heaven eventually no matter what. So the mistakes and abuse and injustice perpetrated on earth is somehow all forgiven and washed away in the end.

    I don't understand it to be honest with you, but I do not believe in a judgmental God but rather a more scientific, naturalistic explanation that behavior has consequences and shit happens. Not much I admit.

  2. Why do bad things happen to good people that's what I want to know. When tragedy strikes people want answers so what's the answer?

  3. it's a mystery or shit happens as they say or better yet shit just happens or the one I really like is not why but why not?