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Spiritual but not Religious: A Conversation

May 6th, 2011 | 1 Comment

Below is a discussion about three separate issues related to the “Spiritual but Not Religious” conversation that seems to be forming today.  Joining me in the discussion is Pastor Bob Cornwall of Central Woodward Christian Church in Troy Michigan and Reverend Matt Appling of Levi’s House in Kansas City; the panel discussion is moderated by Evita Ochel, founder of the online magazine Evolving Beings.

My book A View from the Back Pew: God, Religion & Our Personal Quest for Truth was reviewed by all three of and some comments from the reviews prompted cordial written dialogue among the three of us which led to the idea of an online panel discussion.  We utilized the just released conferencing capacity of Skype to facilitate our desire to speak directly to one another.   I trust you’ll feel the mutual respect for one another and, even though we may have some differences of opinion, the common ground we discovered because of the tolerance by all.

Thanks to Evita for controlling and directing the discussion and for keeping it moving forward, with a special thanks to Markus, Evita’s husband for getting the video put together.

The three parts of the discussion are:

1.  The Spiritual but not Religious.  Bob, although not a strict institutionalist, agreed to represent the “institution” of Christianity; Matt, a pastor in the rapidly growing trend of “House Churches” represents Christianity from a religious standpoint but markedly non institutional, and me, although I don’t profess to be any sort of spokesman for the “spiritual but not religious” movement carry the torch for this group for the purpose of this discussion.  The dialogue began in Pastor Cornwall’s review of the book when he questioned what the institution itself might be doing to created people who remain believers but choose to stand outside the institution. I was struck by his interest in why this trend was taking shape instead of chastising it like most other Christian leaders.

2.  The Community.  What happens to the individual and the community itself when people do leave?

3.  Gnosticism.  Again, this part of the discussion stems from Pastor Bob wondering if I might be a Gnostic.  Very intriguing.

I hope you enjoy the discussion as much as I did – these are three wonderful people whom I respect and admire a great deal.  I think I speak for the others when I say I hope we do this again soon.  Please let me know what you think and also any topics you’d like to se us discuss.


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One Response to “Spiritual but not Religious: A Conversation”

  1. I ordered the book about ten days ago to be sent to my brother, but he has not received it.

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