September 20, 2015

Crypto-Unitarian

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 2:19 pm by Rev. Thomas Perchlik

Following is a quote from Reverend Nadia Bolz-Weber and her interview on the NPR show Fresh Air. 

For me these words show that there are people in mainline religion who stay there, even though they are really Unitarian in theology, and thus are crypto-Unitarians.  It also reveals that there are people, like Bolz-Weber, who consciously reject following our way, even if they are OK with who and what we are.  

The prefix “crypto” means secret or hidden. 

“”””

I just don’t think that belief should be the basis of belonging to a community like this, and so we don’t sort of make that the central reason why somebody belongs. So we don’t even talk about belief that often in my church, strangely. It’s not that I don’t care; it’s that I don’tfeel responsible for what people believe. I feel very responsible for what they hear, as their preacher, as their pastor

. …

We have people who are atheist, agnostic, people who are very evangelical in their faith; somehow it’s a space where people who believe a lot of different things can come together, but that doesn’t mean I’m like a crypto-Unitarian. So I’m not just quoting Thich Nhat Hanh in my sermon; I mean, I’m actually a very orthodox Lutheran theologian, and it’s a very sort of Christo-centric community, but it’s one in which really everyone is welcome to come and participate.”

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1 Comment »

  1. Dwight Homer said,

    I caught that interview on Terry Gross’s program and thought to myself that Ms. Bolz-Weber had embraced (possibly out of necessity) the fundamentals of a community of free-thinking persons. And not just that element of course, because her community, her church is one of outcasts, addicts and drunks and miscellaneous bohemians (some more desperate than others), who lacking anything else have joined together to worship and celebrate being alive. I was impressed by her good humor so disarmingly self-deprecating and her openness and complete willingness to accept anyone of any belief who was willing to join the party.

    From what I gather the substance of her preaching is the gospel of Love and not much more than that, which leaves considerable room for a variety of modes and methods of applying and living that message. For her of course that Love involves Jesus and the Father and Holy Spirit, but that she doesn’t see much need to promote belief in those Persons or in God for that matter.

    She mentioned in the interview that for herself she had no choice but to believe, that she was in very direct contact with God who was present to her in the middle of her life. And that a lot of her ministry has been simply to bear witness to her experience

    My sense of crypto-unitarians are not so much in denial as they operate without frame because it’s easier not to speak of their faith than it is to live it. They may be deliberately covert or not.


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