By Terry Shea
June 3, 2016
Posted In: Spiritual Wellness, White Rock
On the Prodigal Son and Epigenetics
I have long attempted, unsuccessfully to get students into classes on the Bible. This is unfortunate given that one of my strongest suits in my background in Scripture and homiletics. I have some very strong opinions about the value of the Bible simply from the perspective of a cultural document. Along with Joseph Campbell, I agree that the mythic significance of Bible is enormous. One cannot understand our culture and address issues from global warming to physician-assisted death without an appreciation for the “race consciousness” enshrined in the Bible. From the moment I first read Northrop Fry’s The Great Code, I began with Fry to mourn the loss of this cultural monolith. It is shocking to reflect on the fact that students in secondary education today will soon lose access to 50% of the depth of Shakespeare’s thought alone because they will miss his references to the Bible. I suppose you cannot miss what you do not know exists. Equally shocking to me are the number of adults who because of their rejection of organized religion, which seems strangely to be restricted to western religion, will dismiss out of hand the single most important document in our culture as irrelevant. Certainly a great deal of the indifference and hostility to the Bible comes out of the ongoing insistence on the part of fundamentalists that it is the inspired word of God and therefore historically accurate.
This controversy is by no means new. Thomas Merton, the great 20th century writer and mystic was invited to write a forward to an illustrated version of the Bible that Time Life was planning for publication in the 1960’s. The edition never came out or if it did appeared without Merton’s lengthy introduction that called for Christians to engage intelligently with this document.
My lectures through the month of June will be just that, and invitation to engage thoughtfully and critically with 4 passages from the New Testament. I plan during this series to lecture less and spend more time answering questions and clarifying this Great Work from the perspective of New Thought. I will reference Ernest Holmes, The Teachings of Jesus from the Science of Mind, The Metaphysical Bible by Charles Fillmore, Bible Mystery Bible Meaning by Thomas Troward, The Great Code by Northrop Fry, On Opening the Bible by Thomas Merton, the poetry of David Whyte and of course … Star Wars.
“Interesting as this may all be,” you ask, “What does this have to do with MY life?”
I challenge you to show up and find out.