Saturday, August 14, 2010

Techno Cosmic Mass

"Wannabe cool," "wannabe relevant," inclusive and diverse "Christianity," cutting-edge Episcopal-style:

In a nutshell, here's the theological rationale for this techno-syncretistic "religious experience," according to Episcopal priest Matthew Fox:

Creation spirituality begins with the theology of original blessing instead of original sin. You came into the world as a real expression of divinity, and as something beautiful and yearning to connect with others, including with the Creator. The Cosmic Christ theology is also a big part of our cosmic mass. It teaches that the Christ, that is, the image of God, is present in every being in the universe. This allows you a much broader canvas in which to paint your worship.

Feel like dancing now?


BillyD said...

How odd - Stand Firm also posted about this.

This video is several years old. When was the last time you heard anybody reference Matthew Fox (except for the same people who are still carrying on about Bishop Pike)?

BillyD said...

Sorry, but I should also have pointed out that while Fox is still (AFAIK) an Episcopal priest, most of his work seems to be carried out through the independent Center for Creation Spirituality.

Bryan Owen said...

Thanks for the comments, BillyD. Hard to believe, but back when I was in college over half a lifetime ago, I read and loved Matthew Fox's Original Blessing. Good Lord, how I've changed!!!

Of course, at that time in my life, I wanted nothing to do with the Church and with real Christianity.

BillyD said...

"Of course, at that time in my life, I wanted nothing to do with the Church and with real Christianity."

Now would attendance at the Cosmic Mass provide any exposure to either one. Lame attempts to "make the liturgy relevant" like this and the U2charist are simply embarrassing.

And as several posters over at SF noted, many of the people in the "congregation" seem to be pretty geriatric. This isn't so much an effort to reach out to the young as it is self-indulgence on the part of Baby Boomers.

Bryan Owen said...

I think you just hit the nail on the head, BillyD.

I had a similar thought, that all of this smacks of indulging spiritual narcissism for (mostly) older folks. And that this is an instance of what theological ethicist James Gustafson calls "trivial utilitarian forms of individual piety" and the "instrumental use of cultic activity and religious language." Here's part of Gustafson's critique:

The temptation of religion is always to put the Deity and the forces of religious piety in the service of the immediate needs and desires of individuals, small groups, and societies. ... Religion is put into the service not of gratitude, reverence, and service to God but of human interests, morally both trivial and serious. Religion - its theologies, its cultic practices, its rhetoric, its symbols, its devotions, becomes unwittingly justified for its utility value. God is denied as God; God becomes an instrument in the service of human beings rather than human beings instruments in the service of God.

~ James M. Gustafson, Ethics from a Theocentric Perspective, Volume I: Theology and Ethics (University of Chicago Press, 1983), p. 25.

Joe Rawls said...

During the early '90's I benefited from several of Fox's books, but I've since moved on. Apparently he has not. Even though he's now an Episcopal priest, he seems to spend a lot of energy getting pissed off at the Pope and the RC hierarchy.

BillyD said...

"Even though he's now an Episcopal priest, he seems to spend a lot of energy getting pissed off at the Pope and the RC hierarchy."

I wish ECUSA could avoid the impulse to recruit every RC priest who is out of favor with Rome because of "liberal" behavior or belief.

Joe Rawls said...

What happens at a cosmic-techno mass when the power goes out? When I belonged to an Anglo-Catholic parish in Los Angeles, we had a bad power failure one day. We just lit a bunch of candles (which we had in abundance, naturally)and went on with our extremely un-hip Mass.