Some Definitions

So:

Theism is “belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world.” (The Free Online Dictionary)

Deism is “The belief, based solely on reason, in a God who created the universe and then abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation.” (The Free Online Dictionary)

One definition of non-theism is offered by “certain Liberal Christian theologians, including Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong (who seeks to build on the ideas of the late Anglican bishop John A.T. Robinson) define a “nontheistic God” as “the ground of all being” rather than as a personal divine being. Spong refers to a theistic God as “a personal being with expanded supernatural, human, and parental qualities, which has shaped every religious idea of the Western world.” (Wikipedia)

Panentheism “is the theological position that God is immanent within the Universe, but also transcends it.” (Wikipedia)

Process theology… well… I’ll get back to that one. *grin*

Continue Reading

My Name

is important to me.

There is a lot of living that has been attached to the name Richard Bott – things I’m glad that that I’ve attached to it… and things I’m sad I’ve attached to it.

In the end, however, I’ve done the attaching.

Part of the reason I post my name on my blog, and have used my name in the various fora of which I’ve been a part – like the WonderCafe, or United Online – is because anonymity, for me, would make it far easier for me to say something unthinking and hurtful.

By posting under my own name, I have to consider what I’m saying… and whether I really want to have those words connected with who I am.

If not – I probably shouldn’t be writing them.

Continue Reading

At The Top

of my WordPress dashboard is a little tab marked, “Write”.

So I’ll do that.

I just finished a few weeks away from the congregation. I was glad to be away. I’m even gladder to be home.

The first five days were in North Bay, Ontario, for a five-conference stewardship event entitled, “For Such a Season”. Shannon and I were the worship facilitators, along with the fabulous minister of music David Ambrose. It was a great conference… and Shannon and I found out that our ability to work in team has continued to develop well since the last time we did team facilitation at a conference. The feedback, so far, has been excellent.

One of my great joys was meeting Emily Sayers of the Indigo Girls. Her dad, Don, was the theological reflector and a theme speaker for the event. He and Emily did a great concert together – and she had some powerful words of consideration and challenge for the church.

After that, we drove west and visited with family for a week or so. It was good to see my brother, sister-in-law, sister, her partner, our parents, and various nephews and nieces. It was also great to lay around doing as little as humanly possible. *grin*

Then it was down to London, where we spent a few days visiting with friends from Southern Ontario. I wish I could have seen more folks… but I wasn’t feeling well, and we ran out of time.

Then it was back to Toronto, drop off the car, pick up the plane… and come home.

Its good to be back…

and I can’t wait to get started.

Continue Reading