Are you Spiritual
But Not Religious?
If you consider yourselves to be "spiritual but not religious," you are not alone.
Do you know there's now an acronym for that?
It's called S.B.N.R., and it's a new buzzword that signals a growing trend
SBNR is such a trendy term that it's even the subject of a five-day intensive course I'm taking at the San Francisco Theological Seminary next month. Being spiritual without being religious is a topic of heated debate in many theological circles, as evidenced by some of the material I'm reading for the class.
As you might expect, opinions are divided along party lines. Traditional, conventional religious people think it's terrible to "cherry pick" spiritual ideas and cobble together a "personal theology." And on the other side of the aisle, progressive thinkers and mystics can't imagine relating to the divine any other way.
Here are two vastly different views from two noted theologians:
1. Harvey Cox, a Harvard professor of divinity observes that "people are drawn more to the experiential than to the doctrinal elements of religion." He is talking about personal interaction with spiritual energy; a mystical experience that truly connects one to the divine, instead of simply parroting what is taught by church and culture. *
2. In stark contrast, Rev. Lillian Daniel disdainfully refers to SBNR theology as a "cheap god of self-satisfaction," and insists that "humans shouldn't have the space to come up with our own human-invented God" (the latter statement begs the obvious question... aren't all gods human-invented?). **
For a full article by Rev. Terri Daniel
on the trend toward identifying as Spiritual but not Religion, please click HERE
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