Dutch rethink Christianity for a doubtful world

BBC:

The Rev Klaas Hendrikse can offer his congregation little hope of life after death, and he’s not the sort of man to sugar the pill.

Klaas Hendrikse: "You don't have to believe that Jesus was physically resurrected".....

Some believe that traditional Christianity has too restrictive a notion of the nature of God

 

Animposing figure in black robes and white clerical collar, Mr Hendrikse presides over the Sunday service at the Exodus Church in Gorinchem, central Holland.

The Rev Kirsten Slettenaar, Exodus Church's regular priest, also rejects the idea - widely considered central to Christianity - that Jesus was divine as well as human. "I think 'Son of God' is a kind of title," she says. "I don't think he was a god or a half god. I think he was a man, but he was a special man because he was very good in living from out of love, from out of the spirit of God he found inside himself."

It is part of the mainstream Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN), and the service is conventional enough, with hymns, readings from the Bible, and the Lord’s Prayer. But the message from Mr Hendrikse’s sermon seems bleak – “Make the most of life on earth, because it will probably be the only one you get”.

“Personally I have no talent for believing in life after death,” Mr Hendrikse says. “No, for me our life, our task, is before death.”

 

Nor does Klaas Hendrikse believe that God exists at all as a supernatural thing.

“When it happens, it happens down to earth, between you and me, between people, that’s where it can happen. God is not a being at all… it’s a word for experience, or human experience.”

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Categories: CHRISTIANITY, Europe, Religion

4 replies

  1. May be the following priest was Dutch?

    Once upon a time a priest gave a very moving sermon on ‘Good Friday’. He described the suffering of Christ so well that all the people in the Church started crying. The priest started to feel sorry for them and said:

    “My dear children. It is a very, very long time ago … and who knows whether it is really true.”

    (sorry if this inappropriate, I just read it some where…)

  2. My two cents:

    Many a Christians try to evolve Christianity into a new religion or agnosticism, I have a different vision for them. Christians cannot replace one fairy tale with another, the stories have to be replaced with something genuine founded in Divine! I have a collection of almost 100 articles under the theme: Christianity: Should it evolve into Islam?

    Here is the link:

    http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/christianity-should-it-evolve-into-islam/1qhnnhcumbuyp/217#

  3. Thank you brother Rafiq.

    I believe we are both talking about the same thing and have similar ideas on this issue!

    The fictions of Christianity cannot hold in this age of information. Reminds me of a quote from Kierkgaard. Crossing the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, and literature, he came to be regarded as a highly significant and influential figure in contemporary thought,in his time. He had suggested:

    “It is not the business of any Christian writer or preacher to dilute Christianity to suit the general educated public. The doctrine of the incarnation was to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, and so will it always be, for the doctrine not only transcends reason; it the paradox par excellence; and it can be affirmed only by faith, with passionate inwardness and interest. The substitution of reason for faith means the death of Christianity.”

    His advice does not work any more. The Christian apologists used to rotate between reason and faith, whatever the occasion demanded, now you see it and now you do not, like a magic! In the information age with freedom of speech and world wide web they get pinned down.

    For reference of the above quote and to watch the Magic Show of Eucharist go to:

    http://knol.google.com/k/religion-and-science-eucharist

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