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Three Religious Quotations

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"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion.  It should transcend [a] personal God and avoid dogma and theology.  Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity.  Buddhism answers the description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism."

--Albert Einstein

"The coming of Buddhism to the West may well prove to be the most important event of the Twentieth Century." 

--Arnold Toynbee, Historian

(Both of the above two quotes are from the The Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das, 1997, in his introduction to Part One: Discovering Ancient Wisdom in a Modern World.) 

"Creation must now be seen as an unfinished process.  God cannot accurately be portrayed as resting from divine labors which are unending.  There was no original perfection from which human life could fall into sin.  Life has always been evolving.  The Psalmist was wrong: we were not created 'a little lower than the angels' (Ps.8:5, KJV).  Rather, we have evolved into a status that we judge to be only a little higher than the apes." 

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That is a very different perspective.  There is a vast contrast between the definition of being fallen creatures and that of being incomplete creatures.  Our humanity is not flawed by some real or mythical act of disobedience that resulted in our expulsion from some fanciful Garden of Eden.  It is rather distorted by the unfinished nature of our humanity.  The fact is we do not yet know what it means to be human, since that is a status we have not yet fully achieved.  What human life needs, therefore, is to be called and empowered to enter a new being.  We do not need some divine rescue accomplished by an invasive deity to lift us from a [F]all that never happened and to restore us to a status we have never possessed.  The idea that Jesus had to pay the price of our sinfulness is an idea that is bankrupt.  When that idea collapses, so do all of those violent, controlling and guilt-producing tactics that are so deeply part of traditional Christianity. 

(From The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love by Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, bestselling author of Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, 2005, p. 177.) 

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Roger Copple is 66 years old. He retired in 2010 from teaching general elementary, mostly third grade, and special education at the middle and high school levels in the public schools of Indianapolis. He is interested in studying political (more...)
 

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