Monday, January 18, 2010

Newbigin on the data

"How far, for instance, can the principle of democracy be carried in the sphere of religion?  A friend of mine was a member of a Sarvodaya community of the kind which I have described, in which, as elsewhere, the Lord's prayer was used for common worship.  One member of the group expressed his difficulties with the phrase 'forgive us our trespasses' which did not, he felt, correspond with any reality in his own experience.  The problem was brought up for discussion in the whole group, as the result of which my friend as the only Christian was very courteously requested to bring back a revised draft of the prayer.  He had difficulty in explaining his inability to do so.  The idea of something absolutely given, a datum in religion, threatened to disrupt a fellowship based on the principle of agreement by discussion and sharing."

J. E. Lesslie Newbigin, A faith for this one world? (New York:  Harper & Brothers, 1961), 33-34.  I've read only this one lecture ("Where shall we look for a world faith?").

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