This coming Sunday I’m inviting author, teacher, podcaster, neuroscientist and atheist — Sam Harris — to join me at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles for a Conversation of Faith.
I’m nervous about it.
Sam is a brilliant guy. I like his writing too. He wrote a book on spirituality a few years ago titled Waking Up. It’s a guide to the spiritual life for people who don’t believe in God. While I love his thoughts around spirituality, not surprisingly, I don’t share his perspective on the question of God. Nevertheless, I think people should be able to talk about differences without it looking like a winner-take-all wrestling match.
I believe churches should take risks, and I think this is a good one to take. I believe there’s a way to build bridges — people who don’t believe in God need to appreciate those who do and those who do believe in God should find a way to be respectful of those who don’t.
Yet, what if there is more common ground than what might appear on the surface of things? That is to say — What if by God I mean Depth? What if the scientist who wants to honor Depth is really in the territory of God? What if atheists talking about the need for community is similar to what people of faith find when they attend church? And what if atheists value meditation, while those of us in the church talk about the experience of prayer? Could it be that we’re closer than what we think?
I’m not sure what will happen this Sunday, but I’m asking all of you to make an extra effort to be with us this coming Sunday morning at 11.00 am. I could use your thoughts, prayers and attendance! (Don’t forget to change times on Saturday night too! We fall back an hour!)
So, did you hear the one about the minister and scientist who walked into the church?
Well, it’s no joke!
Take a Breath. It’s going to happen this Sunday!