Sunday, May 23, 2010

Metamorality: A metaphysical approach to the Ten Commandments

Butterworth's metaphysical treatment of The Ten Commandments provided the reader with fresh theological insight into one of the most, if not the most, revered collections of scripture in The Holy Bible. I appreciated the manner in which he began his approach to the iconic collection of scripture in the book's introduction. Although, one could detect a bit of arrogance and sarcasm, especially in his reference to the commandments as a cliche. While I would agree with Butterworth on the point that many people use The Ten Commandments "as an excuse for noninvolvement in the religious establishment," referring to them often in the introduction as a cliche showed an arrogance that suggested intolerance of where some people are in their evolving consciousness.

His reflection on what the prevailing view of the history of the Ten Commandments ("It is important to recall that Moses came to Mt. Sinai after many years of spiritual development in the wilderness...") gave the reader a sense that he had actually read and studied the scripture.
However, I sensed Butterworth's own embedded theology often in his commentary apart from his metaphysical interpretation. For example, "every person is an eachness within the allness that is God." This sentence suggests that the reader has an understanding of panentheism; and this sentence is on the third page of the interpretation of the first commandment. As a theologian who is writing to a broader audience than his Unity congregation and movement followers, he has a larger responsibility to his readership than his writing shows.

For the better part of my life I have approached the Ten Commandments with some trepidation; feeling as though I had to ask forgiveness for some infraction of one of the "laws of God," even when I had nothing to plead forgiveness about. So, for me Butterworth's "metamorality" was a welcome change even with his own shades of intolerance.

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