Feb 15 2010

February 2010 Newsletter

Published by under Newsletters



February 2010


Kia Ora,


We started at 6 pm with a brief Annual Meeting. For the agenda and four reports click on the following links:

Then we quickly moved on to a discussion of

“Creation Out of Nothing”

Peter Wishart, our SOF librarian, explained:
“I am puzzled about why there is only one book by Don Cupitt in our Dunedin SOF library.
Cupitt is a major figure in SOF, especially in the U.K., where he founded the movement after a series of TV broadcasts. While our SOF library bristles with books by Lloyd Geering, Karen Armstrong and John Spong, we have only one of more that forty books written by Don Cupitt.

“I want to know from the members how they regard Cupitt, and what they know of him and his writings. How many of us have met him, and heard him speak? What impression has he made on people? How many have read his books, and what do we think of them? Is he a major figure in SOF circles in NZ? After a time of sharing on those matters, I will give an outline of Cupitt’s only book in our library, “Creation Out of Nothing” written in 1990.

“In this book Cupitt argues that we create our religion and our God by our use of religious and theological language. Such language creates the reality of which it speaks. Cupitt thinks that this is a non-realist analysis of God. Is his analysis adequate to account for the nature of religion or theology? And does his analysis help us to understand our faith in ways that connect more surely with contemporary thought?”

Peter promises plenty of time for participation and discussion.


A Book Discussion Group?
Are you interested in a series of meetings [probably once a month] for discussion based on some book of current interest? There are quite a few books around which cannot be adequately discussed in one session at our monthly meeting, and a series of meetings at a different time would provide a chance for this. If you might be interested, please get in touch with Graham Batts, Phone 477-4880 or email Graham


About this Newsletter:
With the first issue of a new year [and new decade] we would like to check and up-date our distribution list.

If you would like to change from getting the posted version to the email, or from email to posted, please let the Editor know. [One advantage of being on the email list is that there have been at least two occasions in the last 12 months when something has arisen at short notice between meetings, and we used email to let people know. But posting would have been both slower and more expensive].

We are very happy to keep sending the Newsletter in either form to everyone who is even a little bit interested, but if you would prefer not to receive it, please let us know.

On the other hand, if you know a friend who would be interested – even if there is no chance of their attending our meetings – we would be happy to include them.


Religious Dogma:

From the “Letters” column of a recent O.D.T.:

“I salute the affirming words of Mark Buckle … of the blessings that come from a “personal and genuine faith in Jesus Christ”. He says that this faith “most importantly puts the believer in touch with their Creator through a vital relationship, not via religious dogma”.
“But is this not a contradiction? How can we have this vital relationship without believing in and living by, the very truths (dogmas) that Jesus has revealed to us? Without the liberty of objective dogmas, you have the tyranny of subjective taste.

Fr Brian Fenton, Wanaka.”

Compare that with the following:

“We Christians all too often do not respect the necessary balance between knowledge and incomprehensibility, between our human words and divine Mystery. We talk too much. Or, we’re not careful of the way we talk. And so our words end up as shackles on the rich, unfathomable Mystery of God. ….

“Perhaps the major source of my frequent discomfort with the language spoken in my church community has been that it is so concrete, or so precise – really, so literal.”

Paul F. Knitter, “Without Buddha I Could not be a Christian” pp. 56-57

What do you think? Which of these is nearest to being right?
[And why not write to tell the Editor what you think?]

Chairman: Geoff Neilson – Phone 489-6727 – Email: Geoff
Newsletter Editor: Donald Feist – Phone 476-3268 – Email: Don

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