Thursday

The Ground Of All Being & John Shelby Spong


The Ground of being deserves investigation.

It posits that God is the basis for the existence of all things but is not an existent thing Himself (Herself / Itself).  God is not A being (one among many beings) but that which makes all being possible.

What can be safely said about this non-existent Ground of all being?
- It does not exist in time or space
- It produced the singularity that led to the Big Bang

The historic existent Jesus of Nazareth cannot ever be this Ground of all being.

Does the polytheistic man-god Jesus exist?

If so then he cannot be the nonexistent Ground of all being.

Is the polytheistic man-god Jesus the non-existent Ground of all being?

Then the polytheistic man-god Jesus does not exist.

 It can only be one or the other.

The historical Jesus of Nzareth is a product of the Big Bang and existed in time and space in first century Palestine. There is no Jesus who exists outside of time and space who created everything, who is the "logos" who existed from before time, who created all things and holds all things together. That is the mythical pretend Christ of faith invented in subjective man-made Christian dogma who is on the same level as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

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From John Shelby Spong "A New Christianity For A New World" (HarperCollins: 2001)

The God of theism is so visibly dying that only by playing a game of denial and illusion - a game many play - can we contnue to maintain that this God is still real. That is the nature of the religious dilemma of our generation. p. 23

Theism, a definition of God that was born in the dawning of self-consciousness as a way of coping with the awareness of human vulnerability and human meninglessness, is today dying ... fundamentalist churches that traffic in a security they cannot possibly deliver. p. 33

.. when they jettisoned theism, they were jettisoning the primary image of the biblical God, which means that they were also jettisoning all aspects of biblioatry, including the perception of the Bible as our source of theistic revelation. p. 67

...definition of a non-theistic God ... God is being - the reality underlying everything that is. ... This God is not a supernatural entity who rides into time and space to rescue the distressed. This God is the Source of life, the Source of life, the Ground of Being. ... the God beyond theism - the God Tillich described as the God beyond the gods of men and women ... pp. 72-73

This God is not identified with doctrines, creeds, and traditions. .. Thids God can never be captured in words or made to serve our power-needs. This god is beyond everything. This God is unavoidable, inescapable, omnipresent. p. 74

If God is the Ground of Being, then my being is a part of this inescapable divine reality. p. 75

.. a post-theistic God, the God who is not a person but the source of that power that nurtures personhood, not a being but the Ground of Being, the source from which all being flows. ... The central issue is that: "God is not a person. God is not a being. God is Being itself." ... If God is not a being, supernatuiral in power, then Jesus cannot be the incarnation of that being. p. 240

If God is not a being, then no human hierarchy can claim to be the chosen receptor for this being's revelation, the guardian of this being's truth, or the dispenser of this being's grace. In that assertion all ecclesiastical power-claims disappear, feeding religious insecurity. p. 241