Quaker Theology in Brief

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A foundational Quaker theology for today needs but four brief points.

  1. “God” signifies “love” — in biblical Greek, agapē.7
  2. “Love/agapē” signifies behavior, empathetic encounter with and response to the actual other in her actual need.8
  3. Each of us has, here and now, a degree (“measure”) of the power of agapē.
  4. That agapē-power will shape our lives if we allow it to do so — if, that is, we commit ourselves to it, discern how we are impeding it, and get out of its way.

The essential Quaker message is, then, not only simple but also practical: commit yourself to God/love as that which moves you to respond justly and generously to the other, even at cost to you, and then pay attention to that love’s movement in your heart and allow it to guide and empower you; anything else is distraction and therefore anti-religion, anti-spirituality. In keeping with that, the first Friends announced the end of religion-as-we-know-it, emphatically including the end of teachers, techniques, and speculations. Their theology, like the biblical exegesis supporting it, served their belief that God-who-is-love had come to guide his people himself: it was a sign directing human beings to the motive power of agapē within. In our contemporary distillation of their theology, we follow in that spirit.

George Amoss Jr. from his blog, PostModernQuaker