Thank you for visiting Permission to Speak. 

Karl Rahner [1904-1984] was a progressive Christian theologian who introduced the name the 'Infinite Mystery' to describe his experiences of what Paul Tillich [1886-1965] had called 'God above God'. In my experience, the Infinite Mystery is real but no person and no religion can capture it. All we can do is look through that dark glass mentioned by the Apostle Paul and catch a fleeting glimpse of that Infinite Mystery. All individual sacred experiences and all religions are but explanations of those dark glass glimpses.  

Permission to Speak is an inclusive and progressive ministry that explores an emerging new consciousness and understanding of spirituality freed from the old ideas of an exclusive supernatural 'god Being' somewhere 'out there' that belongs to one religion or another.

I do not want to simply create clones of my explanations of my sacred experiences. What I do encourage is that we each take responsibility for our own faith journeys and not depend too much upon the people with permission to preach.

When preaching or delivering seminars in progressive churches and faith communities I speak as a progressive follower of the way of Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth as I understand it. However, out of respect for other understandings, in those churches that are not as open to the Rabbi Jesus story I concentrate upon the compassionate, sacrificial, social justice agenda of Jesus.

And although my starting point is that Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth is my gateway - my 'dark glass glimpse' of the Infinite Mystery, I respect and honour those who have found other gateways. The past in different faith traditions is important in understanding how we have arrived at the present, but I am more concerned with living in today's world than with tradition. 

We each pass this way once and we have responsibilities to ourselves, to our families, to our neighbours [no matter who or where they are] and to the planet, our only and shared home in a vast and developing universe.

The future of religion cannot be guaranteed but unless there is sacrificial compassion, justice and serving those in need then religion in an increasingly secular world will become little more than a relic of the past, a museum piece.


John Churcher

September 2016