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  1. Yesterday
  2. Free Will

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=83&v=Q9KebV1ebyM This is short, 7 min, video giving a Strawsonesque argument against free will
  3. Software upgraded to Rev 4.2.6

    To: All Members Our Invision software was updated today at 9:00AM EST by JosephM Please let me know if anyone encounters any new problems as a result of the software update. JosephM (as Admin)
  4. Last week
  5. Heathens! 2

    Perfect, puts me in the Holiday mood. Forward to Trump and Moore.
  6. This Week's Lectionary

    Dec. 10, 2017 Mark 1:1-8The Message (MSG) John the Baptizer 1 1-3 The good news of Jesus Christ—the Message!—begins here, following to the letter the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Watch closely: I’m sending my preacher ahead of you; He’ll make the road smooth for you. Thunder in the desert! Prepare for God’s arrival! Make the road smooth and straight! 4-6 John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey. 7-8 As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.”
  7. Earlier
  8. Gay Marriage - Australia says YES

    Our Parliament voted to pass gay marriage laws last night. Now the law is formally enacted this Saturday which then allows same sex couples to immediately lodge a 'Notice of Intended Marriage', which is a required 1-month notice period here for all marriages. Fantastic stuff Australia!
  9. Heathens! 2

    Manger things indeed. I like it.
  10. Discussion Forums

    Enjoyable read Derek. Joseph
  11. Just thought that I would post a short history of my time on Discussion Forums, now that I have in effect retired. It has been a personal journey and for me, fulfilling. I'm going back a few years to when I first got on the Internet. Maybe about twenty years ago. A whole new world, at least for me. What do you look at? Pondering, I remembered a Buddhist magazine, Tricycle and wondered if they had their own website. Sure enough, yes, and I found it and looked over a few articles and photos of various Buddhas and Buddhist wannabees sitting on cushions seeking to meditate their way to nirvana. Scrolling down the Home Page I spied the words "Bulletin Boards" and wondered what they were. Perhaps private ads along the lines of "Buddhist, GSOH, wishes to meet like minded for zafu sessions". But no. Investigating I saw that here we had a rich assortment of various people, with "screen names" such as Dharmakara, Lotus Flower and other such exotic titles, all raising questions, answering back and forth, and all sounding quite knowledgeable as far as Buddhism was concerned. For a couple of days I read a few of the threads and then the thought popped into my head..........I too could register, I too could assign myself a name, I too could join in the talk, actually express a point of view. Believe it or not this thought gave me the collywobbles. Did I have the nerve? Seriously, my hands shook and my heart thumped. Nearly fifty years old and the thought of expressing an opinion, even on the relative anonymity of the internet, filled me with apprehension. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. With trembling hands I registered. As a first swipe at the obvious conventions of the media, I gave myself the name of "Dookie", a name my daughter had often called me - I have no idea why. Then I had to decide upon my very first post. There was a deep discussion taking place between two suitably named worthies, posting back and forth on various points raised by the classic zen book "Zen Mind, Beginners Mind" by Shunryu Suzuki, a book they obviously relished and admired. Me, it was one of those books I had found it hard to get into and in fact never really got into it at all. To be frank, it had bored me rigid. Should I say this? Should I step in and have my say? I hesitated but then thought that if I feared to do so and held back, what was the point? So in I went, speaking my mind. I was totally ignored! The conversation carried on around my meagre and rather paltry post as if Dookie was non-existent. Perhaps the fate of so many in this world. But Dookie was made of sterner stuff; what does not destroy us makes us stronger says Nietzsche. Soon I was back on another thread and this time drew a response! Someone in cyberspace had actually read my words and seen fit to answer! Very soon, another thanked me for "making my day" and I have to admit, this almost reduced me to tears. The thought that words of mine had touched another's emotions. From then on there was no stopping me. An English teacher in the USA, in fact a published novelist, sent me an email and told me that I was one of her "favourite voices on the Boards", another asked me where did I get my wisdom from. I never associated myself with wisdom and told them so in one way or another. The fact is that for me it was a question of self confidence, self esteem. There is a thin dividing line between this and pride. I tried, and endeavour, not to cross it. Good to take to heart the words of Honen, one of the "fathers" of Pure Land Buddhism, who said:- "When a scholar is born they forget the Nembutsu". Everything that is truly of worth is a pure gift of Reality-as-is; given, not attained, realised, not earned or gained by merit. Anyway, eventually I learnt that Dookie was a word in the USA used by children for poo, a fact that threatened to tarnish my reputation just a little, not to mention forestall any suggestions of wisdom. But I soldiered on. The Bulletin Boards on Tricycle finally disintegrated, unmonitored they sunk under their own weight of spam, flaming, sledging and insults. So much for Buddhist ethics But I had the bit between my teeth. I registered again and again on various Boards. Christian, Secular, Atheist, Agnostic, Islamic, General, Ex-Christian, Inter-faith and various new Buddhist forums. Two hiccups when once I was censured for a "racist" post ( I had posted of my thinking that Wei Wu Wei was a "wizened little Chinaman" before finding out his true identity as the Irish Aristocrat Terence Gray) and then received a lifetimes ban on another when I crossed swords with the Administrator who took exception to my implying that a post of his was based upon gossip. But it has all been good for me. I have retired from all Boards now after perhaps 30,000 posts or so. In my time I have been called a hypocrite, a liar, the "voice of satan", even the Anti-Christ; I have been called wise and been called stupid. I have been known as Dookie, Tariki, Cobblers Apprentice and one or two other equally preposterous names, as the mood took me. Generally I have sought to be polite and truthful. We can only try. One of my fondest memories of meetings in cyberspace was various exchanges with a guy in Sri Lanka who had ambitions to become a Theravada bhikkhu (Buddhist monk) who eventually thanked me for extending his knowledge of the Buddhist Scriptures. My worst? Crossing swords with a member of a Fundamentalist Christian Sect whose bigotry, which he was totally oblivious to, was, to me, shocking. In the end, as the wag said, "There are only two types of people in the world, those who divide the world into two types of people and those who don't". There is great mileage in the zen advice that if we wish to know the truth then "cease to cherish opinions", simply because, as per the great parable of the raft, the Dharma is for "passing over, not for grasping". For me this has its echo in the Gospel advice not to judge others. From being afraid to say boo to a goose I will now say what I like, when I like. If not now then when? Anyway, I have cut and pasted this from my blog, and the full illustrated edition can be found by those who enjoy punishment, on:- http://mydookiepops.blogspot.co.uk Thank you
  12. Was Paul gay?

    Can someone else please help?
  13. Was Paul gay?

    My position is straightforward and in the thread. I did answer your direct question earlier. Now you have reworded it and asked again. Asked and answered - so, again I refer you to the thread. Read!
  14. This Week's Lectionary

    Dec. 3, 2017 Mark 13:24-37The Message (MSG) 24-25 “Following those hard times, Sun will fade out, moon cloud over, Stars fall out of the sky, cosmic powers tremble. 26-27 “And then they’ll see the Son of Man enter in grand style, his Arrival filling the sky—no one will miss it! He’ll dispatch the angels; they will pull in the chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole. 28-31 “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. And so it is with you. When you see all these things, you know he is at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too—these things will happen. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out. 32-37 “But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father. So keep a sharp lookout, for you don’t know the timetable. It’s like a man who takes a trip, leaving home and putting his servants in charge, each assigned a task, and commanding the gatekeeper to stand watch. So, stay at your post, watching. You have no idea when the homeowner is returning, whether evening, midnight, cockcrow, or morning. You don’t want him showing up unannounced, with you asleep on the job. I say it to you, and I’m saying it to all: Stay at your post. Keep watch.”
  15. Was Paul gay?

    Thormas What I am trying to replicate is "error correction" in communication. This is where the receiver repeats what it thinks it has heard and if incorrect the transmitter retransmits. "Swing and a miss" and "Done and already done" are far from helpful. Just because positions are clear to the transmitter does not mean all positions are clear in of themselves. An open dialogue would be appreciated.
  16. Was Paul gay?

    Done and already done, all positions are clear in the thread - simply read with some attention and leave the preconceptions at the door.
  17. Was Paul gay?

    But you still could have a go at answering my question. Thanks
  18. Was Paul gay?

    You are missing everything yet again, go back and try reading the thread.
  19. Was Paul gay?

    Sorry Thormas ... I am completely missing your point. You claim the subject of whether Paul was gay is intriguing. I am asking why do we care?
  20. Was Paul gay?

    Rom: another swing and a miss! Participation is optional but accurate reading is required. Try it.....might help, but then again...............
  21. Was Paul gay?

    Israel took that attitude in the Bible several times and it always failed. Read the ending of Judges, a book which documents the gradual degeneration and dissolution of the Hebrew government. A history better remembered than repeated
  22. Was Paul gay?

    Thank you Paul ... you understood my point and addressed it. Thormas apparently has an academic interest in the interpretations of texts of the sexuality of some guy 2000 years ago. You do recognize it has some relevance to today. Now I understand this is a Progressive Christian forum and there is a tendency to look at life today through ancient texts; I get it. But then there are more modern texts and what the hell we can write our own texts on our own authority. Might result in some more original debate.
  23. Heathens! 2

    Good one Burl - amazing likeness!
  24. Was Paul gay?

    I'm taking a firm stand right in the middle: I don't think the discussion of a gay Paul is absurd and intellectually null (however it is frustrating because there is no answer) but I question if Spong even makes a case (or, at the very least, it is certainly not, in my opinion, a strong one). To me Spong is forced (for reasons given earlier). However, I will revisit Spong just for argument sake. I agree with what Borg said of Spong (cited earlier) and recognize that Spong is not a critical biblical scholar. To me it is not outrageous to speculate (that Paul or anyone is gay) but 'the only genuine reason' is, I think, speculative in itself: it is and can only be an exercise in speculation. And I agree, no belittling (unless it's biblical aliens) just don't participate if it is not of interest or seems too 'off the wall.'
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