Controversy in New Zealand

Glynn Cardy, the vicar of St Matthew-in-the-City Church in Auckland, New Zealand has not updated his blog in a long time. He has almost always had something interesting to say; he is a progressive Christian who rejects many of the dogmas of traditional orthodoxy. It seems that he has made the news internationally with a controversial billboard that I think is hilarious but which some Christians found offensive. According to the BBC, Cardy "said the aim of the billboard had been to lampoon the literal interpretation of the Christmas conception story."

He goes on to say,

What we're trying to do is to get people to think more about what Christmas is all about. Is it about a spiritual male God sending down sperm so a child would be born, or is it about the power of love in our midst as seen in Jesus?
I think that for a lot of people, Christmas is about the former. I agree with Cardy; I think it should be about the latter.

The world is not scripted

John Haught describes how the process of evolution serves as the basis of a much more interesting theology than the simplistic dogma of creationism, because evolution reveals to theologians a vision of God who "wills, but does not force, truly interesting outcomes to emerge in surprising new ways."

I believe that Haught generally has denied being a process theologian, but it is clear that his views are deeply influenced by it. This business of "willing but not forcing" expresses the notion that God has not scripted the history of the universe, but rather is a non-omnipotent co-participant in its creative processes.

This point is crucial, I think, to understanding what Haught is saying. Jerry Coyne, in his atheist blog, claimed sarcastically in response to this that Haught believed that "God is just a big playwright, directing a big script that none of us will ever be able to see to its end." This seems to be actually almost exactly the opposite of what Haught was in fact saying. Scripting is one thing, Haught argues, that God does not do.