The New Christians

The New Christians

Transforming Theology: Emergence for Emergents, Part Two


Here’s part two of the video conversation between theologian/philosopher of science, Phillip Clayton, and me.

Comments read comments(7)
post a comment
Dan Haugh

posted March 17, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Great interview Tony! Thanks for the insights and honesty. I especially appreciate the part about the influence of culture and our need for patient anticipation for Christianity to catch up.

report abuse

Theresa Seeber

posted March 17, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Before the intellectualizing breaks out here, let me just reiterate that I think you rock, Tony! :-) Ever praying for you and your family. Peace.

report abuse

Ted Seeber

posted March 17, 2009 at 3:48 pm

As a Roman Catholic, with the conservative idea of the Seamless Garment of Life, I see only katholikos- the reality behind Christianity that is true for “normal” human beings. To me, environmentalism and being pro-life are one and the same, as is being anti-war, anti-abortion, anti-death penalty, anti-euthanasia. It’s the *same issue*, though Americans don’t seem to understand. Asking homosexuals to live a life of celibacy is obvious in this- it’s about human procreation. I don’t hate gay people- I want them to live chaste lives *just like heterosexuals* are called to restrict sex to only within marriage for the purpose of procreation and parenthood (sex done right, takes 25 years and includes three or more human beings!).
I would challenge you to, instead of “waiting for Christianity to catch up”, get progressive to the point where SOCIETY catches up with what the church has taught all along- that human life and human dignity are sacred.

report abuse


posted March 17, 2009 at 7:10 pm

I would like to hear your defense of your claim to procreation-only sex.
Song Of Solomon mentions no child or purpose what so ever. And the whole thing is to point out right sex in right marriage. No child is present or, to our knowledge, ever came of it.
1 Corinthians 7 talks again of sex. Paul never mentions children…
I’m very interested to hear your reply

report abuse


posted March 17, 2009 at 9:29 pm

There is a rigid left, right, and center. In fact, sometimes centrists can be the most rigid and self-righteous. They somtimes claim to be at the heart of the faith and that anyone too far from them are not ecumenical and/or faithful. Besides, it’s way too reductionistic to think that Christians can be devided into these clean categories of liberal and conservative. Real life in real congregations is much more complicated than that. Most people are mixtures of liberal and conservative.
I would like to affirm what Philip Clayton said about Process Theology. There are many pastors who still use process theology as a foundation for their ministry. I am one of them. It was an intellectual theology while it was developed from Whiteheard, but now it is very practical and useful in ministry. It helps people affirm the presence and activity of God that has been recorded through the Bible and Christianity history. I can’t imagine preaching, exegeting, writing liturgy, etc. without exposure to Process Theology.
The story of the virgin birth being “too beautiful not to be true” was not compelling. There are many “sacred” people who are said to be born of a virign – including Caesar Augustus. Is Caesar’s virign birth too beautiful not to be true too?

report abuse

Ted Seeber

posted March 18, 2009 at 6:37 pm

That definitely deserves a reply. But my reply, also needs some background first:
For Catholics, there are really four sources of knowledge about God, not just one. Scripture (of course), Tradition (at least the dogmatic portion of it), Natural Law, and Human Conscience.
Due to what you’d call “Process Theology” and what I’d call “Organic Doctrinal Development”, our understanding of science and humanity in the last two, affects our understanding of the first two.
Sex for “procreation only”- comes from natural law. ALL mammalian species, not just human beings, need to have sex for the species to survive.
Now having said that, parenthood is a part of this. Thus, sex is also unitive- the man and the woman becoming of one flesh, for the good of the children. A monogamous couple who does not yield to the temptation of divorce, is much more likely to finish the sex act than one that is not- for sex is FAR more than just intercourse- it’s also raising the child to be an adult.
Restricting the idea of sex to just the initial courting of the Song of Solomon- or Paul (a celibate and quite possibly a homosexual, I’ve seen some interpretation of his letters that claimed he struggled with unnatural urges) definition of sex as merely the deadly sin of lust, seems to me to be missing the long term view and at least 90% of the enjoyment of the topic.

report abuse

Theresa Seeber

posted March 30, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Here is a quote from my husband’s cousin above, Ted Seeber, reprinted from my blog at in which I feel he said some things I think would be helpful to the conversation here. Peace. His words follow:
“Being homosexual is never sinful. SOME of the gay lifestyle in the United States is sinful. But then again, so is some of heterosexual life in the United States.
I see being *actively gay* in *polygamous situations* as being equal to any sex outside of marriage.
I’m Roman Catholic, but unlike the Church I do support both Courage (the group that preaches homosexuals should be celibate) and Dignity (the Roman Catholic group that says, if you can’t live up to church teaching and be Celibate, at least be Monogamous).
As for the rest, well, Lust is one of the Seven Mortal Sins- but like all mortal sins, it’s a venal sin if you don’t let it take over your life.”

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

My Blog Has Moved
Dear Readers, After a year with Beliefnet, I've decided to move to my own domain for my blogging.  It's been a fine year -- some things worked, other things didn't.  But in the end, I'll be a better blogger on my own.  My thanks to the ...

posted 12:13:57pm Nov. 13, 2009 | read full post »

The Most Important Cartoon of the Year
By Steve Breen, San Diego Tribune, October 18, 2009 ...

posted 8:51:22am Oct. 25, 2009 | read full post »

Social Media for Pastors
Following up on Christianity21, we at JoPa Productions are developing a series of boot camps for pastors who want to learn about and utilize social media tools like blogging, Twitter, and Facebook.  These are one-day, hands-on learning ...

posted 10:45:52am Oct. 22, 2009 | read full post »

Ending Christian Euphemisms: "Fundamentalist"
I've taken some heat in the comment section for using yesterday's post on "unbiblical" and a "higher view of scripture" as a thin foil for my own disregard of biblical standards. To the contrary, I was pointing to the use of the word unbiblical ...

posted 10:15:41am Oct. 21, 2009 | read full post »

Why You Should Get GENERATE
Last week at Christianity21, GENERATE Magazine debuted. With the tag line, "an artifact of the emergence conversation," it fit perfectly at the gathering. When I actually got around to reading it last weekend, I was truly surprised at how good ...

posted 3:14:37pm Oct. 20, 2009 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.