Senior progressive theologian urges UCC churches to save the Planet

June 25, 2009

The   United Church of Christ reports:

The Rev. John B. Cobb Jr., emeritus professor at Claremont School of Theology and founding co-director of the Center for Process Theology, issued the following challenge to the United Church of Christ in his remarks before the annual meeting of the UCC’s Southern California – Nevada Conference on June 5, 2009.

Cobb begins, "My challenge can be put very simply.  I am proposing that the United Church of Christ take as its mission working with God for the salvation of the world."

Cobb must be taken very seriously, not only as the finest living thinker in Process Theology, but as someone trying to incorporate ecological thinking into every phase of life. He continues, "...the world cannot be well understood as a congeries of many separable features.  The Earth, including all its inhabitants, is constituted by a complex web or net of relationships.  This is clearer in the biblical language of ‘creation’ than in talk of human beings and our ‘natural environment’.  Even ecological language that emphasizes relationships too often conjures up images of a “nature” that does not include human beings.  Modern thought is profoundly dualistic, whereas God’s creation is not."

We’ll see if the UCC can take up this challenge. Naturalists who don’t need the God-talk, but do understand nature quite ecologically too, can applaud Cobb’s efforts.