Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Serene Jones

Serene Jones is the first woman to head the Union Theological Seminar and author of Call It Grace: Finding Meaning in a Fractured World.

From her Q&A with Isaac Chotiner at The New Yorker:

Let’s say you were sitting in a plane, and the person next to you says, “What’s your faith, and do you believe in God?” They don’t know who you are. What is your first response?

If they mean by that question, do I believe in the God of Heaven and Hell, who judges and sentences those who act against God to eternal damnation, or do I believe in the God of the Southern Baptist Convention and all of its prohibitions, then I would have to say no. That’s not the God I believe in. I don’t believe in God in that sense. But if God is understood as a descriptor of what I refer to as our ultimate destiny in love, then, yes, I really do believe that.

In the book, you write, “But if you mean believing the universe is ultimately loved by a divine reality that is greater and more wonderful than we can begin to imagine, and that in this reality we find our ultimate destiny, the purpose of our existence, then yes.” Forgive me, but what does this mean?

The fact that that statement is hard to grasp is part of the nature of that statement, because God, as I understand it, isn’t something we can ever pin down or grasp like we can describe any object or entity. But what I’m trying to point toward in that statement is the belief that the ultimate—and I use this word gently—the ultimate truth about all existence is that it is beloved. It is valued in and of itself for itself, not because of...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue