From: Howard J. Van Till (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Jun 27 2003 - 09:09:44 EDT
>From: "Terry M. Gray" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Howard Van Till wrote:
>>While I know practically nothing about "the Enthusiasts" as a particular
>>historical movement, I presume this can also refer to the claim of any
>>individual (or closely knit community) to have had some privileged
>>experience of the Sacred (God, if you prefer).
> Is "the Sacred" personal? Can a human being have a personal
> relationship with "the Sacred"?
> Just exploring your choice of words here.
Yes, as I use the term here, "the Sacred" does indeed have a personal
dimension. But "the Sacred" is much more than a person. One problem that I
have observed in common usage of "God" is the way in which the name "God"
functions as a personification of the Sacred, diminishing the Sacred to a
divine Person, often an amplified version of a human person.
Christian theology has also dealt with the same problem. I was taught that
God was personal, but not just a divine Person. Nonetheless, the familiar
label "God" allows people to forget that important distinction.
So, Terry, I often find myself using "the Sacred" instead of God to avoid
the problem of letting the personification "God" diminish or restrict the
multidimensional character of the larger reality, "the Sacred."
Howard Van Till
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