News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland
Sunday, September 12th we begin a new weekly series as we work through the story of the Bible – the story of God and the people of God. We’ll start at the beginning – the story creation in Genesis 1 – and work our way throughout the Hebrew Scriptures to the story of Jesus as we begin Advent. [PDF Schedule]
Modern philosophy and social sciences recognize that we are made up of, shaped and oriented by story. They shape how we see the world, how we see each other and ourselves. The frame our expectations of life, relationships and work. They illuminate how we understand and answer the hard existential questions of life, such as “Why am I here?” “What’s the meaning of the universe?” “What’s my role in the larger scheme of things?”
German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said that we universally adopt stories (true world theories in his words) to help us understand and explain the world and come to claim how we move and live in it. Existentialist philosophers, like Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir wrestled with this same dilemma, coming to articulate that in life we adopt stories and write our own. The basic principle of existentialism is that existence precedes essence for human beings. Essence precedes existence for objects. Objects always have a definite purpose and this purpose is known prior to the creation of the object. But humans seem to not be born with a definite purpose. It’s what they – we – claim as we live, make decisions, relate to one another and act.
These two big ideas might be new to you, but they probably greatly shape how you think about the world, life and yourself.
The Bible is a library, a collections of stories. The name comes from the ancient Greek name for it (“ta biblia“) meaning “the books.” It’s a collection of stories that tell one overarching story. It’s that story that we’ll wrestle with and work out way through in the coming months beginning from the story of Creation in Genesis 1:1-2:4.
The story of creation is often problematic for us – both inside and outside the Church. Is it historical fact?; scientific observation?; or a parable-like story? What does the story of creation tell us about who we are, about the meaning of life, and our role in the grander scheme of things? How do you answer those questions? We’ll wrestle with it together when we gather in person and via Zoom on Sundays throughout the Fall.