Thanks John. It is refreshing to hear the religion of Jesus openly acknowledged in the Christian church once again:The final crucible for all doctrine and dogma is religious experience, the genuineness of the religious experience from which it came, and its ability in turn to reproduce itself in subsequent Christian life. Our theology, inherited from the distant past, is meaningless unless we press behind it to the very pulse of the primitive Christian piety that once throbbed through it. And, in many cases, the recovery and reproduction of the religious experience behind our theology will result in an abandonment of the traditional terminology, because vital religious experience seeks to express itself in its own way, true to itself and its best genius. Faith, not form, is the living thing. And the task of the Christian today, even of the theologian, is not to cling for dear life to an empty shell that is too frail to bear him up but to lay hold of its original faith-content.... In and of itself, theology is barren ground. Individual personal experience is the only fertile soil in which religion can live and thrive and do for human life what it claims. "Experience is the only creative factor in the world's religions." [Hauer, Die Religionen, I, p. v.] (Bundy 1928: 290)(....) One of the great tragedies of the history of Christianity has been the insistence on form and the neglect of faith. Theology has often been identified with religion, and this has resulted without exception in an impoverishment of the religious life.... [T]he drift today is away form the theology and in the direction of a religious experience that is adequate for the living of actual life.... The modern followers of Jesus feels that theology is too far removed from the pressing problem of living life religiously. (Bundy 1928: 291)(....) Religious faith, as Professor Herrmann taught his students, is first of all a living thing. ["Der Glaube ist in erster Linie Leben, nicht Lehre."] Beliefs may codify themselves into confessions and creeds, but living faith never. There is no real religious faith apart from a living subject who experiences it as the commanding element of his conscious existence. All the religiously valid theology can be stated in a single sentence: God is a living, loving Father. All else is incidental and accessory. (Bundy 1928: 292)-- 1. Bundy, Walter E. The Religion of Jesus. First ed. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company; 1928; c1928 pp. 290-292.
I'll drink to peace anytime - congrats on the work down there in America - I am pulling for you and the movement!