Posted by: rogermitchell | November 5, 2010

on religion

In some contexts the word religion can be used positively, but not many. My Complete Wordfinder gives five specific meanings of which the primary is “the belief in a superhuman controlling power, esp. in a personal God or gods entitled to obedience and worship.” It is interesting to note that the only apparent logic to this entitlement in the given definition is a controlling power greater than ours. This link between power and transcendence is rooted in most thinking about God and has been the subject of much of my research during the last five years [see my thesis page if you haven’t already]. In the final chapter which I am now writing I attempt to work from the testimony of Jesus to the nature of God and not, as has generally been the case, the other way round. It seems that most of the familiar theological difficulties of how Jesus can be God and human have been concerned with the conundrum of having a controlling power and a releasing power existing in the one human being. I attempt to resolve this by suggesting that God has become human in Jesus to reveal to us that he is not a controlling power but a releasing power. All reactions and collaborations gratefully received! By the way, I have now been blogging for just over a year and have had around 19,500 visitors during that time. So thank you all for the interaction!



  1. Yes, Roger…thanks too for blogging and initiating many discussions + staying in touch more or less ‘around the globe’! The past discussion about authority and power is one I have enjoyed. My upbringing has been in religion (mostly), and a God who has controlling power is an easier concept, esp. in the context of ‘His ways are mysterious’ + the calvinistic pre-destination (as excuses to do what you want)…but I see God more and more as inviting us into His circle of power, releasing to us power for ‘life and true devotion’ (2 Peter 1.3). That can only be good!
    cheers, Gerrit.

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