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post #81 of 194
I just stumbled onto this thread and it's right up my alley. We haven't been attending church regularly for a year and a half now because we just don't know. I've read several Borg and Spong books. Another author,( not that you all need anymore books to read ) is Bart Ehrman. I read Jesus Interuppted this past fall. Ehrman has an interesting journey from Moody Bible Institute, Wheaton College and Princeton Seminary. He's now an agnostic but doesn't promote his beliefs in this book.


I'm a bit leary of the institutional church. I know there are some valuable aspects of church - community and sharing. I have a hard time with all the money "raised" by churches which go to support buildings and staff, especially megastar pastors which cater to an audience in order to make them feel good and then give money. Those with the money, get to make the decisions. The book Pagan Christianity describes how our rituals and celebrations came to be. Much was modeled on the Roman culture.

I think Progressive Christianity best describes me. I'm not into "Jesus is my Savior and my best friend" theology. I also think that religions arise from culture - there's much to learn and understand and accept from other religions.

BTW, I'm pretty much a vegetarian - I call myself a flexitarian because occassionally I'll eat meat when I'm a guest at someone's table. I will cook chicken and salmon that have been raised organically or wild to satisgy my teenagers and husband.
Nice to find other like minded moms!
Hi Kimberly, nice to see you again. I bet your baby isn't much of a baby anymore.
post #82 of 194
Hi Carol! I wanted to say hi to "hkowell" too, I think I saw your name in here, too! And no, no babies around here! Just a 22-month old who surprises the heck out of me every day with her vocabulary!

puffnstuff, those books sound fascinating! Have you read Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible through Jewish Eyes? I love that book! And others by him! Not that you need another book to add to your list!
post #83 of 194
Thread Starter 
I really ought to read some Spong!

edit: nak. okay, as you all as my witness, i'm saying it here - no more book-buying until i finish (or at least try) the books i already have!!! i bought two spong books this afternoon. one on saving the bible from fundamentalism, the other on a new christianity.
post #84 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comtessa View Post

I grew up in a very progressive-minded, deeply Catholic household. Very few people put "progressive" and "Catholic" together (especially in the US), but for me, that connection has always made a lot of sense. Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin and Mother Teresa and Clare and Francis of Assisi saw something radical in this faith tradition, something with deep and lasting value - and I try to see the Church in the way that they did.

Though this perspective makes a lot of Catholics crazy (especially the neoconservative you're-not-Catholic-unless-you-toe-party-line members of the church), I consider myself a radical, not in spite of my church, but because of it.

There's a lot more to say about that, but it's too long for a forum post. The short version is, I found a Catholic Worker community as a young adult which has nurtured my faith and my radicalism and given me a context and a wholeness for both.
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Can you expand a little on this, please? Or at least point me in the right direction to learn more about 'radical' and/or 'progressive' Catholicism. The CC is something I know next to nothing about (except for having gone to mass a few times with a friend when I was in middle school). I'm very intrigued!
post #85 of 194
Puffnstuff, too funny!!!! I'd love to hear what you think of the Spong books. I can't remember if I've read the one about a New Christianity. I'm going to, if I haven't!

Are you familiar with Paperback swap? You can list books you don't want anymore, and order books that you are interested in. All you pay is the postage to send your books to other people. I posted a ton of books from what seems like a previous lifetime. I swap them for different books, and also for DVD's for my dd at their sister site. Just thought I'd mention it, in case you have books you don't want anymore!
post #86 of 194
Thread Starter 
Guys, I am reading Borg's "The God We Never Knew," and loving it! I only started it last night, but I wish I could finish it today. I have class, though. Boo! Anyway, it seems to be all about panentheism, which I love. It really captures my feelings, and brings new stuff into it. I actually see it complementing a lot of the Jewish theology I've read and he even draws from Heschel often. I wish my husband would read this book, and understand that when I think about, talk about (yeah, right), feel, apprehend God, it is not as "the man in the sky," but as Everything and More. God is here, we are God, trees are God, love is God, sadness is God, it's all God. And God has no limit, physically or otherwise. God has no time, no place...Nothing. From Paul Tillich to the Kabbalah - God does NOT exist, God is NOT a being...God IS BEING, BEYOND BEING. The ground, the essence, the substance, the becoming. Everything and No-thing.

God. That's the best sentence I can come up with to even try to describe God. There is no verb, no adjective, no metaphor that can approach God. But I'll read anyway.

Okay, baby's up. Have a great day!
post #87 of 194
Thread Starter 
nak

because i am a dork, i'm going to share with you my current facebook quotes.

"We have fallen into the place
where everything is music."

"Behind every atom of this world
hides an infinite universe."
-Rumi

*****

"Confined in our own study rooms, we may entertain any idea that comes to our minds. Under such circumstances it is even plausible to say that the world is worthless and all meaning a dream or fiction. And yet, no one can sneer at the stars, mock the dawn, ridicule the outburst of the spring, or scoff at the totality of being. Away from the immense, cloistered in our own concepts, we may scorn and revile everything. But standing between heaven and earth, we are silenced."

"To find an approximate cause of a phenomenon is no answer to his ultimate wonder. He knows that there are laws that regulate the course of natural processes; he is aware of the regularity and pattern of things. However, such knowledge fails to mitigate his sense of perpetual surprise at the fact that there are facts at all."
-A.J. Heschel
post #88 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by puffnstuff View Post
Guys, I am reading Borg's "The God We Never Knew," and loving it! I only started it last night, but I wish I could finish it today. I have class, though. Boo! Anyway, it seems to be all about panentheism, which I love. It really captures my feelings, and brings new stuff into it. I actually see it complementing a lot of the Jewish theology I've read and he even draws from Heschel often. I wish my husband would read this book, and understand that when I think about, talk about (yeah, right), feel, apprehend God, it is not as "the man in the sky," but as Everything and More. God is here, we are God, trees are God, love is God, sadness is God, it's all God. And God has no limit, physically or otherwise. God has no time, no place...Nothing. From Paul Tillich to the Kabbalah - God does NOT exist, God is NOT a being...God IS BEING, BEYOND BEING. The ground, the essence, the substance, the becoming. Everything and No-thing.

God. That's the best sentence I can come up with to even try to describe God. There is no verb, no adjective, no metaphor that can approach God. But I'll read anyway.

Okay, baby's up. Have a great day!
That book was an eye opener for me too. Marcus Borg really resonates with me. I see God a bit differently, but panentheism is probably the best way for me to describe it. It's interesting because that view of God is totally consistent with the Scriptures. To me, the way that speaks closest to me is breath/air. God is the air around us, God is the breath within us. God is within everything and without everything. God is not only above all (the air in the upper atmosphere, for instance), but intimately connected to us (the air in our lungs).
post #89 of 194
Well hello Hrsmom! Its been awhile
post #90 of 194
Thread Starter 
Mylittlewonders - That's a great way of putting it, and I think it echoes descriptions of the soul as Qi or [insert Hindu term here] that align our being and the force that gives us life as "breath." I am, I think, trying to reconcile a non-dual perspective with all of this, hence my exclamations above, but yes...I agree with you.
post #91 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
that view of God is totally consistent with the Scriptures.
I took a course in graduate school called "Models of God" that was a sort of tour through various understandings of the concept of God in (mostly Western) human civilizations. The professor "built up" the course in such a way that it culminated with the study of panentheism. As far as he was concerned, panentheism is the highest evolution of metaphysical philosophy that humans have yet been able to discover. And, as a philosophy, it certainly fits well with some, if not all, of Scripture. After reading the panentheists, I'm inclined to agree. Check out Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes - Hartshorne is fascinating.
post #92 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by puffnstuff View Post
Mylittlewonders - That's a great way of putting it, and I think it echoes descriptions of the soul as Qi or [insert Hindu term here] that align our being and the force that gives us life as "breath." I am, I think, trying to reconcile a non-dual perspective with all of this, hence my exclamations above, but yes...I agree with you.
Can you, or someone, explain dualism and non-dualism? I have seen those terms off and on more recently, but have never learned anything about them.
post #93 of 194
Hi everyone! I haven't had to post recently but I have been following along. This book list is out of control!!!!!! I am still waiting for my Borg books from the library. We have lately been going tv free which has had the added benefit of making me feel more connected to God. It is interesting.
post #94 of 194
Thread Starter 
my conception of non-duality from a theistic perspective is that there is nothing but God. everything we see, know, feel, touch, is God - there is nothing else. there is not a spiritual realm, a mental realm, and a physical realm. what seems to be separate from God, be it our egos, our bodies, rocks, trees, or seas, is an illusion. it doesn't mean that those things are illusions in the sense that they do not really exist (although some might interpret it to mean that they do not actually exist), but the illusion is that these are separate entities, separate from God, existent in their own right. the reason for my belief in non-dual theism is God's infiniteness. if God is infinite, nothing else *can* exist (or God would be less than infinite). some non-dualists are also non-theists, and i don't know enough about that school of thought to say much about it. others are pantheists, and they view God as wholly immanent (God = Universe/Nature). as a panentheist, i believe that everything is God, but not that God is everything (because God is what is left when every-thing is taken away as well). in other words, there is more to God than we can know or experience in finite terms. God is the matter and the spirit of the world, but also exists "beyond" and "before" (and "after") the universe itself. there is a hasidic saying - Ein Od Milvado - that captures this sentiment. it means that there is nothing but God. everything that seems distinct or separate from God (ourselves included) is but a mask or refraction of God itself. again, this is a theistic approach to non-duality. there are others. and there are non-theistic interpretations as well.
post #95 of 194
Thanks Puffnstuff for your explanation. It makes sense to me.
post #96 of 194
Thread Starter 
Harmony - which books are you waiting on? Maybe we can discuss them if we're reading any of the same ones.

MyLittleWonders - okay, good, I'm glad I was clear. I think there is a huge element of non-duality in Buddhism as well, but it's not theistic (if you're interested in learning more, I'd start there). There are also Kabbalistic and Hasidic traditions of non-duality that might interest you as well.
post #97 of 194
Thread Starter 
here is a quote from Borg (quoting Buber):

"It is of the utmost importance not to lose one's openness. But to be open means not to shut out the voice - call it what you will. It does not matter what you call it. All that matters is that you hear it."

i think that speaks well to the spirit of our seeking.
post #98 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by puffnstuff View Post
here is a quote from Borg (quoting Buber):

"It is of the utmost importance not to lose one's openness. But to be open means not to shut out the voice - call it what you will. It does not matter what you call it. All that matters is that you hear it."

i think that speaks well to the spirit of our seeking.
I like that!
post #99 of 194
Hi there - I have a bit of a tangent question. I do volunteer work with teen mothers. Tonight at our teen mom meeting, a speaker came and shared how once she got reall with God and started listening to him, her life changed. One of the girls asked how they could find God. She basically said, ask him to help you find him and you will.

This girl has been shunned at her church, once she became pregnant. She doesn't know where to go. She's trying to make some good choices now. Although the speaker and other leaders would want her to land at a church, I really can't recommend any to her.

What would you suggest to a teenager in her search for God? I doubt she'd get into Spong or Borg. She needs a nurturing, non judgemental, accepting community and frankly, I don't know too many places for a young teenage mother to fit in.

Sorry this is so off topic but I don't want to post this for all the other persuasions to chime in. I like you all!
post #100 of 194
What about the United Church of Christ? I have never attended, but my understanding is that the UCC tends to be more progressive and welcoming.
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