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Sophia

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  1. Sophia

    N.t. Wright

  2. Sophia

    N.t. Wright

    Aletheia, I haven't posted in a while, I mainly just lurk here occassionally, but since I have read N.T. Wright, I thought I would weigh in. I've read his book about the historical Jesus. Wright does claim to be an evangelical so you got that part right from what you've read. What I loved about this book was that he really focused on the person of Jesus and delved into what his words and actions really meant to his contemporaries. Too many books about Jesus nearly caricaturize him instead of treating him like a flesh and blood person. Several people in my study group had a hard time with the book especially when Wright proposes that Jesus did not actually "know" he was God. It was one of the freshest books I've ever read. Sophia
  3. I think the beef is that they're tired of spending so much time and energy on this issue during General Conference and also in the interim (i.e. Karen Damman trial, et. al) I think they discern that the issue will never be settled. Let's face it, even if GC went out on a limb and reversed it's position on homosexuality, the evangelicals would be right back protesting away. This could go on ad nauseum. Another think that struck me as odd is the "divorce" language that's being used when I would think that these very evangelicals are some of the most outspoken against marital divorce. It seems that, to them, divorce should not be an option for the marriage covenant, but it's okay for the church covenant?
  4. As I was listening to the streaming audio this morning, there was a presentation by Rev. Hinson and someone else (I didn't catch the name) Basically, they presented that the idea of an amicable split was just one of several that were informally discussed at some impromptu meetings which included a variety of persons from differing viewpoints. According to the presenters, the papers were never meant to be distributed to the delegates. There was a subsequent motion to adopt a resolution that declared the Unity of the church. That was overwhelmingly passed. As I listened to the conservative presenters try to explain the mayhem that has obviously occurred at GC, I was struck by how different their tone was than from what I have been reading in the press. Sophia
  5. I'm not sure what to make of this. As I've read the press releases that this group has put out I see statements like "We are scripturally based and Christ-centered" and then the alarmingingly patronizing assumption that the conservative split would retain the United Methodist name while the "liberal" group would not. I'm also alarmed by the statements that debate over homosexuality consumes too much of the GC time, when there are more fundamental and important issues to be discussing. What could be more missional and fundamental than the sacred worth of persons? I have to say that even more than the votes to retain the UM stance on homosexuality, this movement by the evangelicals consititues a horrendous violence toward GLBT persons in the church. Did anyone listen to the streaming audo yesterday morning including the "witness" by GLBT support groups. I have to admit that I sat here with tears streaming down my face. My biggest hope for this denomination is the Young People at conference who have vowed to "take back their church" Halleluia! Sophia
  6. Sophia

    "ex-gay" Conference Coming To Town

    ArmadilloUCC, is there a Metropolitan Community Church near you? From my experience, they are great at organizing and supporting civil protests/demonstrations. Might be a good resource. Good luck and God Bless ~Sophia
  7. In Chapter 9, we are given Spong's views on Original Sin and Evil. He says that evil is (1) evidence of our continuing evolution marked by the survival instinct and (2) the realization of our "shadow" self that must be brought in to self-consciousness, a feat done best by the community of believers. Basically, what I see Spong doing here is taking what we have considered human depravity and renaming it as "Being" If we remove a theistic understanding of God, then an external being called Satan must also die. I'm trying to imagine a church where our "shadows" can be seen, embraced, and tamed. This truly would be a miracle! Is this your understanding of what he is saying? Does this make sense in light of your experience? Sophia
  8. Jeep, it seems all my posts have appeared so I'm not sure what the problem is with yours. I believe we are ready to discuss Chapter 9. Sophia
  9. Sophia

    Bible Translation Choices

    KGillion: I have used the New Oxford Annonated Study Bible (by Oxford Press) for years and like it very well. Two others for consideration are the Harper-Collins Study Bible and a a fairly new study bible of the NRSV is The New Interpreter's Study Bible (I'm not sure of the publisher but may by Abingdon Press which is the publishing arm of the United Methodist Church). I usually try to order through Cokesbury since part of the proceeds go directly back into the United Methodist church (as flawed as it is, for now it's still "home"). All of the above study bibles are scholarly study bibles and strive not to present a particular theological position. If you have a Cokesbury store nearby you should be able to find all of these to peruse. ~Sophia
  10. Jeep, I'm willing to accept Spong's Christology in that I understand him to be saying that while Christ is not God incarnate, that he so completely embodied the divine that there is no observable difference. I was happy to see Spong assert that for him Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. I think that I, too, can assert this and still be welcoming to other faith traditions. I, too, don't accept the "Rapture" interpretation of scripture. The Bible for me, though, is still relevant, dare I say even "holy?" If it is sanctified (which I believe that it is) the sanctification has come through the faithfulness of the writers and the thousand of years of readers/followers. I find my first glimpse of Jesus here, even though I do understand how the gospel writers have written theological books and not historical narratives. Something even in their passion and faithfulness points me to importance of Jesus. I, too, reject dualism. I agree with you that we do not exist apart from the Source. By the way, I was watching Wayne Dyer on PBS the other night and he was talking about Quantum Energy (or Source). I think it helped me to understand what you are trying to say. More later, ~Sophia
  11. Sophia

    Bible Translation Choices

    I like the New Revised Standard Version. It is a literal translation and uses gender-inclusive language. I've tried several other versions and keep coming back to this one. ~Sophia
  12. Sophia

    Exploring Faiths.

    Let me just echo some of the other posts here. I am in the UMC in the south and it is generally quite conservative. I always chuckle when I hear about the "liberal" UMC. Even the Episcopal churches around here are very conservative as well. It's a bit better in the urban areas, though. ~Sophia
  13. Okay, Jeep let's take them together as a block. I really am okay with his mapping of God, his understanding of the "evolution" of Christianity. Chapter 4, however, seemed a bit opaque. Even though he explicitly states that we cannot define God, I think that he turns around and attempts to do this very thing. He does it first in the negative, i.e. what God is not...then he uses an inductive kind of argument that gathers the evidence and then makes conclusions. I think for me, I would have been more impressed if he had stopped short of making the conclusions i.e. God is Love, Being, Life. I don't think it was necessary to make his point and left me feeling that these attempts of his were somehow a "final answer" Now, to your questions. . .Can we experience God without being able to define "God." Of course. What comes to your mind when you hear the word "God?" It's still hard for me not to anthropomorphize (is that a word??) God. Even though I reject the theistic understanding, I do retain some idea that God is "other." You suggest that this "other" is Quantum energy. Do you mean that Quantum energy IS God? Pehaps I don't know enough about QE to adequately understand your statement. Can you flesh this out a bit more? For me, God is both presence and purpose. I think I'm comfortable with naming God as "Spirit" as well. I wonder if I'm just not getting hung up on semantics and we are all saying the exact same thing?!! I'm enjoying the next section about Jesus. The idea that the gospels were "liturgical books" was new to me. I don't want to get ahead of our discussion, though..I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Sophia
  14. Jeep, I, too, was not able to access the website for several days. Glad we both are back! In reading the section about God (ch. 2-4) I'm left with some big questions and concerns. Spong describes God as a "presence" and in his attempt to describe God (as you point out) he maintains that we can only see where God has been, therefore we make conclusions about God based on what we observe and experience. He describes, or defines God as The Ground of Being, The Source of Life, and the Source of Love. So far, so good I think. What is missing for me, is some sort of understanding that God is "moving, creating, etc. in some way..even though I think Spong is somehow hinting at this, I don't see anything to wrap my mind around. For me, God is much more of a Force, than Spong seems to suggest. I've thought about the Bonhoffer quote and I'm not sure I get agree that we are "without God". I'll reread this section and see if I can get a better understanding of his position. Can you explain a bit about the "New Physics" you reference? I'm not familiar this idea and since you bring it up frequently, I might be better able to dialogue with you. Looking forward to your comments, Sophia
  15. Sophia

    Homosexuality

    ArmadilloUCC, welcome to the boards and thank you for sharing your story. I am so happy for you that you have found not only a loving, life-giving partner but a church that affirms you and your relationship. Sophia
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