We have asked all the nominees for moderator four questions so that we, as a church, could get to know them a little better. Here are the responses for Rev. Dr. John Young. If you would like to know more about John, please read his profile from the General Council 41 website.
1) “Cruxifusion” means “united by the cross.” What does Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection mean to you?
Jesus’ death and resurrection, along with his life and teachings, show God’s great love for us. At the heart of Christianity, and its most audacious theological claim, is the Incarnation, the claim that, in Jesus, God took on human flesh and lived among us. God’s decision to become one of us shows God’s great love for humanity. Jesus’ willingness to accept death on the cross is a particularly strong manifestation of that love. It is a love that reaches out to us as we are, that forgives us, and that encourages us to live such that God’s will is done.
2) Describe the God you worship.
The God I worship is the One I have seen most fully revealed in the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. It is the God who created the world, the God who made us, who loves us, and who keeps us. Although Christo-centric in my theological approach, over the past number of years I have preached increasingly on Old Testament texts. I have found these stories a particularly rich theological resource for their insights about both God and the human condition, particularly as we now live in an increasingly secularized society.
3) What Christian author has had the greatest impact on you?
Walter Brueggemann, if I am naming a contemporary Christian author.
4) What gifts and passions do you have that you believe The United Church of Canada needs today?
I have a good sense of the United Church’s history and ethos. I have a deep appreciation for the Scriptural and theological resources of the Christian tradition; they are key elements for our efforts to live, as individual Christians and as a denomination, in an increasingly secularized Canada. In my leadership work in the Church, I have demonstrated an ability to bring together persons of varied perspectives. I think these gifts are valuable ones as we work toward a new common vision for the United Church, the vision that united us during the denomination’s first generation having been lost.