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Stanley

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Everything posted by Stanley

  1. Thanks. I showed this to my son who seems to be going this path.
  2. The Infinite Jeff is a book I have been working on for a few years. Part one is on ebook and part two is getting closer. I think many here will enjoy it because it takes a very different look at Christianity. I actually found out about Progressive Christianity after I wrote the first draft and as I read more on PC I was very pleased to find out I have company in my disconnetent of the current state of Christianity. I grew up in the north as a Methodist but moved away for religion in my early 20's. I moved south, married a Church of Christ woman, have been going to the CofC for over 20 years and shaking my head. Going to a church that so drastically conficts with my foundational beliefs caused me to think and read more to offset what I was hearing and grow in the direction I felt was right for me. The Infintie Jeff is a product of that mental conflict and the growth from the conflict. It is a fictional story of a man searching from meaning in religion and work. Part one deals with his search for meaning in religion. Well, actually, he wasn't searching as much as the search came to him. He is on an interesting and stressful journey which makes for a fun read. You can download it for free at Smashwords with the code: ZB26Q Enjoy, Will Holcomb
  3. Sorry, I missed this post. This is a gross generalization but ... To me, Christianity comes across as an external religion. "God, give me piece ... God, grant me wisdom ... God, please fix my problems." God is the fix-it man for people who don't want to take a deep and hard look into themselves and then jump on the path to improving themselves, their situation and their relationship with the infinite. But the Eastern religions seem to be an internal practice where the goal is to elevate yourself to a higher level so there is a more complete understanding of the infinite.
  4. Hey, that's pretty cool. I came up with the exact same conclusion on my own as some philosophers.
  5. I have heard that a lot. It is C.S. Lewis' saying that Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic or he is who he says he is. It always bugged me for some reason until I figure out why. There is a fourth option; Jesus has been misrepresented. He acquired legend status and the stories and quotes grew to fit the legend. This would be supported by what you said about few taking notice of him at the time. If the people in the early church believed in him strongly and few others did, what is the best way to get others to take notice? Make the stories better. I like your "self licking ice cream cone. I hadn't heard that before.
  6. I was just talking to someone yesterday about how Christianity is missing so many aspects of what a healthy person should strive for. Many of these aspects are what I feel some of the Eastern religions encompass. She had some great insight into it and I need to talk to her again and maybe take notes. As far as teaching religion in public schools, I think that is a bad idea. You open the door to so much trouble. At an idealistic level it sounds great. We would all walk into an open minded class, with a textbook written by an open minded author and taught but a person who was interested in your spiritual journey. But in reality textbook publishers would write textbooks which Texas would adopt because they are the biggest market. There is absolutely no way a spiritually healthy textbook would get adopted in Texas. They still fight over creationism being taught. I think one of our forefathers greatest decisions was to separate church and state. Religion taught in public school would be a disaster.
  7. Great topic. I would like to hear what they are telling you in your class, BoundSacrifice. I've seen some books on the topic in the book store but haven't worked up the energy to add them to my stack of other books I haven't had much time to read. The online course mentioned in this thread might be worth me checking out.
  8. I got asked by a Christian in the church I go to, but not a member of, why I am such a nice person if I don't believe in God. First I had to explain that I just don't know if there is or isn't a God and in reality, it doesn't matter to me. It isn't a question I can answer and if it was I don't think it would change my life much. I don't live my life for a reward after I die. My reward is here and now in this life. It is very conceivable we are a cosmic fluke and I admire Spong for saying that. But that doesn't mean our time here is irrelevant. I hope when I am planted in the ground one or two of the people watching will feel their life was better because I was part of it.
  9. Too funny. No, I haven't even considered those. And now that you mention them ... I still won't.
  10. I have thought about it but have never been able to figure out what I would want on my body my whole life. But now that they have become a sign of conformity instead of a sign of rebellion I have pretty much ruled it out.
  11. Just thought this was an interesting article and others my enjoy it. It talks about progressive Christianity quite a bit. http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/21/to-some-obama-is-the-wrong-kind-of-christian/?hpt=hp_c2 It is strange to me that conservative Christians would flock to a Mormon over a progressive Christian. A good example is Billy Graham removing all the content on his website about Mormonism being a cult and then endorsing Romney.
  12. I watched a documentary on Creation Science vs. Evolutionary Science. The most striking comment was when a guy said if you ask a Evolutionary Scientist what would it take to change his support of evolution and the response would be something along the lines of, "When the evidence no longer supports it we would have to re-evaluate and change." When you ask a Creation Scientist what it would take to change his support for creationism his response would be, "absolutely nothing." At that point there is no science and how any true scientist can use the scientific method in one area and ignore it in another is beyond me.
  13. I liked what Francis Collins said about it in The Language of God. Basically he said it is things like Creationism that is driving younger people away from Christianity. Kids in churches who promote Creationism are taught the Bible is the absolute truth. In my wife's church I would cringe every time the minister would say during his children's time at the start of the sermon, "If the Bible says it ..." and the children would excitedly reply, "It's the truth." Now this little children become young adults and go to college and learn about evolution and really can't dispute it. After being told their whole life the Bible is absolute truth and then to find out they have been deceived they have to conclude they have been deceived about everything they have been taught about Christianity. The baby is thrown out with the bath water. So, I don't think the two beliefs and co-exist. For Christianity to be a viable religion in the future the Creationism mentality has to go away.
  14. People are always drawn to others with like minds and the internet offers that to an extreme. There is a whole world out there now instead of just your home town to find people who believe and think like you. That is good and bad. As pointing out, It will polarize but it can encourage growth in some positive areas.
  15. This says: http://news.yahoo.com/fact-check-9-000-old-earth-really-looked-183713773.html I grew up in the North and had never heard someone that actually believed this until I moved to Texas. Now I know lots who believe this. This is just crazy.
  16. I just saw him speak the weekend. I had started the book and was hoping to get farther before I saw him but was only able to get into chapter one. It is good so far but after seeing him I am more interested in the book. One of the things that seems to be coming up lately, and he talked about it, is the difference between what is taught in seminary and what preachers feel they can say at the pulpit. His church in Oklahoma sounds interesting. I would imagine the sermons he gives are more intellectually challenging than the ones I hear Sunday after Sunday.
  17. Only 12 votes. I was hoping to see a broader view. In seems so far we can make a theory that PC votes are Democrats or independent, or we can make a theory that Romney supports don't participate in polls and that is why he is falling behind.
  18. Wikipedia to learn about atonement. Why didn't I think of that? That was an interesting read. Thanks, Dutch. I know there is talk of things like that in Paul's letters which is why I was surprised to hear it being a later concept instead of existing from the beginning. I am not a Bible scholar by any means though, so that was why I was asking.
  19. This weekend I was reading Misfits:The Church's Hidden Strength by Barbrara Wendland. She had an interesting statement: So one of the driving doctrines of modern Christianity has only been around for about half the life of Christianity? Anybody here know more about that? I had not heard that before.
  20. Yesterday I arranged for this very knowledgeable man to lead my cub scout den on a nature hike. He pointed out tons of plants, gave their scientific names, told what they were used for, what the Indians used them for. It was a fascinating hike with a wealth of knowledge from an intelligent person. The kids loved it. But I had to bit my tongue and keep my cool when he told them he believed the Earth was only about 10,000 old. I knew he was a devout Christian and figured he was fundamentalist but how can a person that obviously loves nature, studies nature, has such a deep knowledge of nature reject what nature is telling him?
  21. Confessions of a Heretic by Brent McCay I thought this book was interesting. It was written by a man who was a preacher in a fundamentalist church for 13 years. The first part gives an impressive look into his mindset as a fundamentalist and why he believed what he did. It then progresses through him realizing the harm the beliefs were causing him and his family and goes through a healing period. The second part of the book goes over a number of theology points he has issues with such as atonement, homosexuality, original sin, environmentalism (lack of in fundamentalist churches), etc. I think after his transition from fundamentalist to where he is now sounds a lot like what I am hearing here. He has a profound respect for Jesus and his teachings but is bothered by the dogma of Christianity.
  22. That is a good point, DCL. My response is going to dilute my own statement. It seems we personify God too much. We try to understand the super-natural in human terms and with human emotions. We rationalize love and judgment in our own way and then try to assign that rational to an entity infinity more complex and intelligent than ourselves. We take the father-son analogy too literally. So sure, judgment makes sense, but I would hope God has a better system in place to handle it than eternal damnation.
  23. This one has really puzzled me. The Christian right is still going to vote for a Mormon and an Ayn Rand follower? I wrote a blog post on that exact same topic some of you might be interested in: Inherit The Wind
  24. One of the first issues that comes to mind with the separation of church and state is prayer in school or other religious views being removed from the school like teaching creationism. On facebook I have seen some saying about the violence in school is because we won't let God in our schools. Most of the people saying they want God brought into schools think it's a great idea as long as it's the Christian concept of God. What if Romney became president and started trying to get the book of Mormon required in the classroom because we need God in our schools? I could see many people who previously wanted religion in the schools start using the separation of church and state as grounds to keep someone else's religion out of schools. Religion has no place in school but altruism does. In the larger government picture, it is the same. We can't have leaders driving doctrine as law but I think it is wonderful to see people with a strong faith, who are better people because of their faith, use the wisdom gained from faith to be better leaders. The only flaw I see is, I can't think of a good example off the top of my head of someone like that. I think the separation of church and state was one of the greatest decisions of the founding fathers. Maybe some of them are good examples of leaders using religious wisdom to be better leaders.
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