On the recommendation of a fellow-partner, whom I respect very much, I have begun reading the book, Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love For This World for Crucifixion and Empire. 2008. It has already captured my interest. I offer to you the end of the Prologue because, on its own, I believe it says so much about our longing fora healing life-orientation today.
“We offer our study of this world as paradise as a way to retrieve a faith that affirms the many ways that people love one another, themselves, and the earth. Such faith remains deeply skeptical of the human will to power and the need to think of the saved as innocent and good. As inheritors of Western Christianity and citizens of a New World stolen from those who still live upon this land, we believe we must stand again at the open doors of paradise and bless this world as sacred soil, as holy ground, and as a home which all must learn to inhabit together.
“We seek to rekindle Christian traditions that hold fast to love and thereby teach Christian people how, in the midst of horror and tragedy and loss, to resist violence, to honor the earth, and to humanize life. We offer an understanding of freedom and human agency that calls for responsible uses of power to create just relationships-the cultivation of ethical grace through a love of beauty. This activity of love, embodied in heart, soul, mind, and bodily strength, lies at the core of our work for justice, freedom, human rights, sustainable life, and peace. We invite you now to return home to paradise with us so that, together, we can save it.”
Rita Nakashima Brock & Rebecca Ann Parker, Saving Paradise. p. xxii.