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  2. There is a tension of sorts about the Kingdom: it is 'at hand' (already happening) and it is 'not yet.' One can safely say the God's reign was established and present in Jesus (God reigned in/over the entirety of his life) but that reign is not yet accomplished, not yet present in the lives of all. It it were, it would be 'heaven.'
  3. Actually not sure I would include the reborn belief piece (that was supposed to be a statement about the early Christians). As for a 'higher state of consciousness/ state of being' - while that makes more sense to me, I have no earthly or heavenly idea what it actually means or what will be. It's called Hope: I live this life to the full, as do you, and given that I believe Life is Meaning and 'more than meets the eye' I Trust/Hope but leave the details to God and really don't fret about the 'next life.' There is no 'boxing in' as one can call themselves whatever makes them happy. However, if one calls themselves a Christian yet does not believe that God IS (even though the image of that God might have evolved) - as did Jesus, they appear to believe something completely 'other' than Jesus. I simply and respectfully see your 3rd choice (which, unless you have changed the terms, says there God IS not, life has no ultimate meaning and 'this is it) as the atheist position.
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  5. PaulS

    The Real Jesus

    Which is why I am curious what people may think of the 'unknown' Jesus. Like you say, a lot of stock is put into the writings of the Gospels and Paul about who Jesus was, with no confirmation outside of those few writings we have (let alone their accuracy). So to take that small speck of his life and decide Jesus was the penultimate human seems a huge jump for me and doesn't at all seem to stop and ask the questions about anything else to do with the other 30+ years of Jesus' life. If one is to have that much trust in their understanding of Jesus then surely they have stopped to consider how he might have handled all the other human things that would have occurred to him in a normal human life (love, sex, risk-taking, career, teenage years, etc).
  6. I understand there to be two 'types' of Kingdoms discussed in the Gospels. There's the Kingdom of God (Theos) which is spiritual and what you are referring to from Luke. But Matthew discusses the Kingdom of Heaven (Ouranos) mainly which is about a physical, earthly, Heaven-like kingdom. Not heaven itself, but a Heaven implemented by the coming of the Son of Man, on earth. Whilst the NT may use the terms interchangeably, because in some ways they are one and the same thing, there is a difference between entering the Kingdom of God now and entering or being in the Kingdom of Heaven at some later date.
  7. In my view, I think if you study the book of John one may come to the conclusion that the kingdom was there already rather than imminent although it may have been the ancient view of many as you say that it was a future event which i don't see in the NT recorded teachings of Jesus. Also It was recorded in Luke that the kingdom doesn't come with outward observation. (Luke 17:10). It can't be seen with the physical eyes, only the effects of it. Also Luke 17:20 to me confirms it along with Matt 12:28. Each in their own order rather than a single coming in time for all. Even in Paul's 2nd letter to 2Corinthians 5:15 he talks of being in Christ old things Have (past tense) passed away and all things have become new. He speaks of an old creature and a new creature and the passing away in Christ of the old and all things becoming new. This to me is New Jerusalem which is above. (Gal 4:26 not physical like old Jerusalem) It seems to me it is a single event but not in time. For those in Christ the world has ended or in Bible language the end of the world has come. (as was previously experienced for that person) Even without Bible writings it is my experience that the kingdom is here now even though there are many that do not enter in. Math 23:13 seems to agree with my experience. ("Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Physical death is not required to enter. Perhaps people will still be waiting for a global physical event for another 2000 years or so. 🙂 Joseph
  8. romansh

    The Real Jesus

    I must admit I struggle with this. I try and work out from first principles how to develop my behaviour. That Jesus or Buddha or whoever reflect my interpretation of their behaviour in me (or not) is simply a confirmation bias on my part. It is only interesting (from my point of view) that so many people put stock in some supposed and irrelevant ideality of Jesus.
  9. romansh

    The Purpose of Life

    This is not a purpose: This just is. We dress ourselves in the illusion pf purpose. The human mind is determined by its environment … past and present.
  10. PaulS

    The Purpose of Life

    An elegant article which helps explain why I see so much more to life without feeling the need to believe in a traditional Christian 'God' as determined by the human mind. https://designluck.com/the-purpose-of-life/
  11. PaulS

    The Real Jesus

    After leaving traditional Christianity I always wondered about what Jesus and his real existence was actually like. By real, I mean the extensive part of Jesus' life that we know nothing about - We only have a snapshot of a very, very brief period of his life provided to us in the Gospels and the NT in general, yet traditional Christianity tends to have a pretty certain model of Jesus and some would say that Jesus was the perfect man (human). I always wondered about the details that were never provided and how Jesus may have actually been in real life (as opposed to perhaps only favourable versions of him portrayed by adherents). For example: did Jesus ever lose his cool, as most everybody I know has done at some time or another? as a teenager, was he ever rebellious to his parents as every male I know has done at some point in their youth/adolescents at least? did Jesus ever get drunk? did Jesus ever have a girlfriend in his younger years or was he ever keen on a girl? did Jesus masturbate, as most males do at some point (or regularly) in their lives? Was he a virgin at his death? did he ever swear, get angry, I understand it is speculation, but do others care to speculate what the rest of Jesus may have been like outside of the pretty portrait minimally portrayed?
  12. Except little else in Joel's so called 'prophecy' can actually be linked to Pentecost. Of course many Christians can twist this prophecy to fit their pre-beliefs, but a proper reading of Joel will clearly demonstrate that the things Joel talks about were simply NOT fulfilled at Pentecost. Joel was referring to other things and not this Pentecost later seized upon by some Christians. Some Christians jump to the conclusion that Joel's prophecy was fulfilled because of one, single, similarity between the prophecy and the alleged events in Acts, that is the 'outpouring of the holy spirit' but this is a very narrow interpretation of such prophecy fulfilled. Some elements of Joel's prophecy that were not fulfilled at Pentecost include: There was no outpouring of the holy spirit to 'All Flesh' as Joel requires Sons and daughters weren't prophesying as Joel states young men weren't seeing visions as Joel advises their old men weren't dreaming dreams in line with Joel's prophecy servants and handmaidens weren't prophesying as required by Joel's dream and also the several physical elements of the prophecy - dark sun, blood moon, smoky mist etc etc. Further, the signs that Joel writes about are to be seen 'after the day of the Lord' and not before. A lot more has to be done according to Joel until that 'day of the lord' is reached, and Pentecost simply wouldn't cut it for Joel as having reached that point in time. And it is not a two-step process, although some Christians like to turn it into that to make it fit their purpose. Joel is clear that his prophecy, in full, will occur at a single, particular point in time. Once again this story seems more like a reaching back into the OT by NT writers to link their beliefs to Judaism rather than an accurate fulfilment of a prophecy made about soemthing else hundreds of years earlier. But if it makes you happy...
  13. Yesterday
  14. I questioned it because you seem to box Progressive Christians in to only two choices - either they must believe the world is to be reborn or they must believe in a movement to a higher consciousness/ a higher state of being (event though you question what those terms actually mean). I'm just suggesting the 3rd choice - you are already fully human - just do the stuff that is better for humankind moreso than the stuff that is not as good for humankind. Or don't. The consequences speak for themselves.
  15. No other possible explanation for myths such as these?
  16. Better not to believe in curses against all of humankind resulting from some primitive myth, in my opinion.
  17. Not at all, but if that is how you view your life with the beliefs that you currently hold, then I can understand why you need to hold onto your myths, 'prophecies' and other God stories to help give your life purpose.
  18. I've always like the Babel story but it is a mythological story: powerful ninth less.
  19. Well, first believe that God Is, that God enables man to be human (deification) and that Life (God) once given, is not lost. Christianity, since the days of Jesus, has the piece about "getting along and being the best (understood as likeness of God/Love) but asserts that Life has meaning and our meaning is part and parcel of the One. Different strokes.
  20. Well Burl, I respect you but I simply don't see God placing a curse at Babel. Not so much individual souls but the death and resurrection seems to have reconciled the disciples and Pentecost was seen as the outreach to others. Never have read that Pentecost was the central focus. Finally, (for me) there was/is no need for a miraculous 'pouring out of Spirit' since that Spirit was always with man and God has eternally dwelt in us all.
  21. So the purpose of life is remaining in our plane seats without fighting over the shared armrest without a thought as to where we are going or why? Barf bag, please.
  22. It is difficult to see Pentecost as anything less than than the removal of the curse God placed on mankind at Babel. Trying to discern individual souls touched by Christ is overreading. Better to see the universal outpouring of spirit upon all flesh as prophesied by Joel 2:28. Pentecost is the central focus of Christianity. Not the nativity, the passion or the resurrection. Not Jesus' brief spell as a teacher. Pentecost and the willingness of God to dwell within every individual is the overarching story.
  23. Progressive Christians who believe what precisely? What about a 3rd choice - neither a new world with people reborn, or a movement to higher consciousness (whatever that means) and any 'necessity' to transcend this life/world, but rather, simply an understanding about trying to get along and be the best of what we are.
  24. This raises an interesting point: for progressive Christians who believe, is there still a position that this world will be made new, with people reborn (resurrected) to it or does it make more sense to envision a movement to a higher consciousness, a higher state of being (whatever these terms might mean) that, of necessity transcends this life/world?
  25. Any 'modern' confusion predated the moderns. As for Pentecost, it depends how one understands it. However, given Luke's timing of Pentecost, does that mean the earliest disciples were not reconciled to God until that time?
  26. I agree that the 'modern' confusion is incorrect, but it does appear that the ancient view (in Jesus' day and shortly thereafter) was that the arrival of God's Kingdom was imminent and was an end times scenario of sorts as Rome would be overthrown and Israel, with God at its head, would rise above all). But of course, that didn't happen.
  27. The critical event triggered by Jesus' life, death, resurrection and session was Pentecost and the reconciliation of God and mankind. This modern confusion of 'the kingdom of God' with an end times scenario is incorrect.
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