bit of explanation seems needful. The sermons you are about to peruse
are perhaps less traditional sermons and more philosophical reflections
on issues raised in the biblical texts for the day. They
span some dozen years and reflect varied affiliations and orientations.
The first half, roughly, stem from my pastorate at First Baptist Church
of Montclair, NJ, Harry Emerson Fosdick's first pastorate as well. These
sermons use vaguely theistic language, though I had already come to opt
for the God of the philosophers, as Pascal put it, over the God of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In these sermons you may read me as somewhere
between the classical liberal theology of Schleiermacher and the
left-wing Neo-Orthodoxy of Tillich and Bultmann.
But then, under the influence of the Higher Critics
of the nineteenth century and that of Deconstruction, and Don Cupitt, I
headed rapidly in a post-theistic, religiously humanistic direction.
Soon I had left the Baptist Church and was going through the process of
recredentialing for the Unitarian Universalist Association. That proved
a dead end for me, and I became the local director for the Center for
Inquiry (Council for Secular Humanism) in North Jersey. We continued
(with a splinter group of my congregation) to meet Sunday mornings in my
living room as The Church of the Holy Grail, or simply, The Grail.
Some of these sermons stem from that period. Here I promote Nietzscheanism,
mysticism, and free thinking. The Bible and the Gospel of Thomas remain
important to me. Finally, after six years, I decided I had nothing more to
say in such a forum and dissolved the whole thing.
Robert M. Price