irreverance

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irreverance last won the day on May 11 2013

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About irreverance

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    Regular Member
  • Birthday 06/29/1969

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    http://www.evolvingchristianfaith.net

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    Male
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    Beloit, WI
  • Interests
    Theology, philosophy, re-inventing Christianity, postmodern thought, postmodern culture, drawing, television, movies, dog training
  1. This is neither a technical issue nor a complaint, but a question. Is it possible to change my screenname? I created this account 13 years ago (I was much more active then) and xiananarchist was the name I used in a few different places. I would like to bring this account a bit more inline with the name I gravitate toward now, which is "irreverance".
  2. I believe that our beliefs are an intentional expression of how we understand how things work. They are the result of processing and reflection on information and experience. I tend to think of a choice as something that relates to behavior.
  3. Can you tell us what some of those aspects are?
  4. When I think of John's Jesus I think of a divine way of being that is incarnate in human flesh. It is a specific way that is divine, the way of love. It seems to me that the gospels were meant to be documents to aid in the community in being able to discern and plug into the divine spirit. So the "only through me" posture seems to mean that where you find love flowing through people, you find God. Where you find less than love, you fine less than God. So, (one of) the question(s) that they may be dealing with: who speaks for God, and therefore to whom should we listen? The answer: those who live in love, regardless of who they are or where they've come from. The "truth" that is love becomes the measuring stick for authority. (Of course, trying to figure out what love looks like in context makes thing messy real fast.)
  5. Ah, thanks.
  6. I stumbled across St. Andrew's Church in Austin's Vimeo channel a few days ago. It's full of sermons. I just thought I'd share. Edit: Well, for some reason the link to the channel isn't working. So, paste the following into your browser without the spaces: https: // vimeo.com / staopen
  7. This thread needs a bump. I'm currently at work (shhhhh) checking in here to see what's new.
  8. For those interested, The Great Courses has their Comparative Religions DVD series on sale. I like the idea of exploring other religions for a couple of reasons. First, it allows one to put one's own religion into perspective by stepping outside of one's normal story. This can kickstart an evaluative process that leads one to critically think about one's own religion. Second, until somoene is exposed to other religions and approaches to spirituality, one's faith is primarily a "hand-me-down" defult faith. This is what they were told to believe, and given no other significant options it's what they believe. And, if they come to believe that their former religion isn't for them as much as another is, then they can move to where they feel they can grow.
  9. I think that there are several reasons that add up and lead to the decline of progressive churches. A lot of the following (if not all) has already been touched upon by others in this thread. First, we have ideological secularization, which is the result of bringing reason to the table. After a certain point in their lives, most people simply aren't able to buy into the more fantastic portrayal of reality. As a result they graduate from the church intellectually and join the ranks of what Spong calls the "church alumni." Second, the very institutional structures themselves no longer match up with what is expected for a more postmodern/emerging culture. As the vision of the family changes, so too does the vision for how authority is transmitted through a system. Church structure is hierarchical (even if it is democratic) with regards to power. Emerging folks don't like being told how things are going to be done. Third, there are issues of time and location. People are extremely busy. They aren't always able to slot time for church events. Furthermore, with employment pressures increasing, there is an increasing need for downtime. So, when the time is available, it's arguably better for their health to spend time on recovery than church events. Fourth, the unique services that church offers has largely been taken over by others in the information age. Years ago, if one wanted to learn about Christianity, then one needed to hear it from the professional Christian, the pastor. That meant going to where the pastor was: church. Now, books and audio can be found in bookstores or online, and people can engage on their own time in their own space. Christian communities for conversation can be found online (like this forum). Fifth, there is an issue of identity. This has mainly to do with a barrier that prevents outsiders from wanting to become insiders. Christianity is primarily understood as the evangelical type. Secular progressives often want nothing to do with it, and may see joining as a move backward in their development. In short, the social void that churches have filled for people in a certain point in life is no longer there. Personally, I don't see this as a bad thing. I believe that the future of progressive Christianity is with the "nones/spiritually but not religious." Will congregations survive? Sure, and they can thrive as long as they are able to remain relevant for their larger communities. But for the most part I believe that the very form that progressive Christianity takes is going to look much different than a denominational/congregational model.
  10. Listening to "Thomas Hubl: Shadow Work in Evolutionary Spirituality" in the background. A bit disappointed.
  11. Perhaps an alternative question might be: "Can a Christian not be an atheist?" http://vimeo.com/31526182
  12. As I recall, Sam Harris (a mouthpiece for the new atheists) in The End of Faith noted that he didn't have a problem with people who understood God as Ground of Being, as did Tillich. (p. 65?) His issue is with those who equate "faith" with "belief" in such a way as to promote an unreasonable, dogmatic (and tyrannical) social policy. My understanding of most progressives is that they tend to take a process, existentialist, or narrative view of God, so the opportunity to bypass the "anti-religion" agenda is already built in. When trying to bridge the gap with a militant new atheist, I would point that out. If that doesn't open them up to listening, then they probably aren't going to open up at all and are in the conversation only to bash. When I get the sense that one isn't open to listening, I generally don't waste my time talking with them. Overall, though, most atheists I've encountered aren't all that militant, and our limited conversations go respectfully well.
  13. Awesome! Happy birthday! Hope you're having a good one.
  14. Cranberry + lime = nice touch.
  15. Playfully becoming in the divine milieu.