Right off the top I ask for your patience and forgiveness as I risk to try to articulate some thoughts that have been dawning on me. It began needing expression with the dream I had about a month ago. It impresses itself upon me, and I had to write something down even as preliminary as this. I plan to develop it for many reasons. One is that I have many friends who have left the church altogether because they've changed their minds and no longer feel like they could stay and keep their intellectual integrity. I think that is unfortunate and that institutions are often to blame. Secondly, I have always been interested in ecumenism, not just between denominations, but between different religions and philosophies. This theory provides me with a structure for thinking about religion, spirituality, philosophy and even all of life that is inclusive and universal. So, here goes: As an introductory summary: "God" does not exist, and this is his choice. "Jesus" is the history of a suffering humanity longing and striving for truth, justice and love. The "Spirit" is the united community of people, the fullest and final incarnation. God does not exist. God is above and beyond. Evidence can be mounted and presented, but that's all it is: evidence. Scriptures, as impressive a collection of documents as they might be, are problematic at best and are entirely inadmissible at worst because scripture is not proof anyway. The increasingly questionable historicity of the documents and the events they relate only compound this problem. This is the profound realm of mystery, obscurity, enigma and darkness, cloaking an inapproachable and almighty being who is apparently all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present, but more specifically who has been taught as true, just and compassionate. But this mystery is uncertain, unknowable, unnameable, and inapproachable, and if real, theoretical because of the limitations of our minds. Jesus is boundary-less. There are no borders to what Jesus means. Whether or not he was divine, or whether or not he even historically existed as a certain person, the story of Jesus means something of great importance historically and divinely, and that is the revelation of the mystery, the incarnation of the enigma, the dethroning of the almighty to our world. Jesus means the embodiment of the mystery within humanity. All the dark and unfathomable mystery and darkness of what God represented has now been made manifest in history and in the human race. Jesus means truth, justice and love... all those things God apparently was, but is now solely manifested in the human drama. God is no longer "up there", but in our history. God dissolved himself into the human story of suffering. As we live lives of truth, justice and love in the midst of this suffering, we exhibit what Jesus means in our history. Jesus isn't "up there", but Jesus is at work in this world, on this earth, in the human drama through our actions. The Spirit is the forgiveness, reconciliation and unity between people. The spirit is not a ghost "out there", but the manifestation and practice of love in unity. It is unity that is the spirit. The spirit is most evident when truth, justice and love prevail. Where there is love, that is the spirit. Where there is freedom, that is the spirit. Where there is justice, that is the spirit. Where there is unity, that is the spirit. So the ultimate and final work of the divine is in the unity and community of all people... a reality that awaits manifestation in our history as we work toward it. This trinity is universal. Religions, sciences, spiritualities and philosophies all have their mystery... the unknowable and sought. They all have the revelation or manifestation of the mystery... its transmission or discovery. They all have the community... the desired and ultimate manifestation of all that is good for all people. // twitter me Check out my t-shirts HERE. I'm growing my inventory all the time. And check out my contemplative art here.