In an interview with Nadia Bolz-Weber, the ELCA “pastrix,” when asked about those who consider themselves “spiritual, but not religious,” turns the terms around, saying that Christianity–what with the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, and the Sacraments–is not so much spiritual as physical.
From Jesse James DeConto, “For All the Sinners and Saints: An Interview with Nadia Bolz-Weber,” Religion & Politics:
NB: A lot of them end up at my church. I think a sacramental life—it’s Christianity. It’s not spiritual, it’s physical. You can’t even get started without a loaf of bread and a jug of wine and a river. There is this incredible physicality to what we believe. This is spirituality in the dirt. We have a God who slipped into the vulnerability of human skin, and walked among us, and was born amongst straw and animals, and walked the earth, and ate with his friends, and spat in the dirt, and used mud and his own spit to heal people. This is not an ethereal, transcendent, otherworldly, escape-this-earth kind of god. Even after his resurrection, he was disturbingly physical about all of it. He was grilling fish on the beach and having people touch his actual wounds.This is why I am not a fan of the liberalism in Christianity. I actually believe in the physical, actual resurrection of Jesus. You can’t have a Gospel that’s that disturbingly physical the entire time, and then at the end, it’s just an idea. It’s just a memory. I think the actual wounded body of the resurrected Christ is of great importance to humanity, given the fact that we walk around with bodies that are also wounded in the same way. I think that that says something important to us.
Much in this interview would make us conservative Lutherans rend our garments, but it’s interesting how, for all of her “progressivism,” she rejects “liberalism.”