What Would Theodore Parker Do?

Another excellent sermon from James Ishmael Ford.

Transcendentalism called us to examine our own hearts and the world through that faculty that can be called either “reason” or “intuition.” I find it really important how for them there was no particular difference between the two, reason from this angle, intuition from that. This is a much richer understanding of how we actually come to know things than many of us tend to notice. So, itself a great gift.

And when applied to life, it brings a new way of living in the world. Parker himself, in that sermon sorting the transient from the permanent, proclaimed, “Christianity is not a system of doctrines, but rather a method of attaining oneness with God. It demands, therefore, a good life of piety within, of purity without, and gives the promise that whoso does God’s will, shall know of God’s doctrine.” And with this Parker articulated a radical doctrine, declaring we are our true selves when we have nothing between God and us, between the ultimate and me, between the world writ large and you.

A Meditation on Theodore Parker and the Call of Liberal Religion as a Compass in Hard Times