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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kevin Hart

There's an article at ABC Religion & Ethics by Kevin Hart, theologian but also poet. I have some past posts on him - Kevin Hart / The Kingdom of God and The deep truth is imageless and Kevin Hart on poem as prayer.

This article at ABC is Religious pluralism and the Lord's Prayer. Here's just the beginning of it ...

When Christians say "Our Father," as we do when reciting the Lord's Prayer, what do we mean by "Our"?

Is it understood that we are speaking for our congregation, our denomination, or for all Christians? Or for all Christians and Jews, since, after all, when Jesus taught the prayer he was a Jew speaking to Jews? Or for all believers in the Abrahamic faiths - Christianity, Judaism and Islam - for whom God is the one Father? Or for all people, regardless of whether or not they believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the One who is also the God of Jesus of Nazareth?

Clearly, the words "Our" and "Father" involve one another, but exactly in what ways is not immediately clear in that long tangled thing we call the Christian tradition. When we pray the Lord's Prayer does the "Our" claim the "Father" (making him ours only) or does the sheer verticality of the word "Father" modify the presumption of the "Our" (extending the horizontal range of the possessive adjective beyond the followers of Jesus)?

Christians believe that the Father is the God of everyone on Earth (and elsewhere, if there life other than on Earth), but should we also believe that when we pray non-Christians are included in the "Our"? And if so exactly what are we praying for them? ........


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