Most Unitarians are uncomfortable with theology. They tend to prefer philosophy, because (as the saying goes) although philosophers might look in a dark room for black cat that isn’t there, many theologians will find it.
Unitarians are oriented toward logical reasoning, such as questioning faith in God’s omnipotence by asking: “Can God create a stone heavier than God can lift?”
On the other hand, they also recognize that our rational mind can explain only a narrow part of human experience. We don’t understand the world through our left-brain alone, especially when it comes to ultimate questions, such as, “Why is there Something instead of Nothing?” “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Or “Is there meaning to life beyond the mundane activities of everyday life?“
These are theological questions, which begin, as Robert Frost said poems do, with a lump in the throat, not an AI query.
When Unitarians receive a cancer diagnosis, they hasten to learn all they can about the science of the matter, and then they go for a long, thoughtful walk deep into the red rocks, knowing that to confront the challenge successfully, the state of their spirit will be as important as the extent of their knowledge.
The spiritual realm includes many theological themes, such as faith, God, oneness, the soul—all among humans’ earnest attempts to understand the lived experiences of hope, death, morality, and transformation.
Unitarians are wary of those who substitute mythology for theology. They won’t trade in hooey in order to touch the holy. But their souls, like everyone else’s, yearn to understand how to live life deeply and wisely. They don’t wall themselves off from awe, mystery, grief, and possibility simply because phenomena like these can’t be explained rationally. Therefore, they know that theology offers more valuable guidance for living than meets the skeptic’s eye.
[published June 9, 2023]