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WindDancer

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  1. A progressive christian devotional book...what a fabulous idea! Frederick Buechner's, Listening to Your Life Daily Meditations, is pretty good. But it's not quite like "My Utmost for His Highest." Online for the weekly lectionary, I go to textweek.com and Dylan's Lectionary Blog.
  2. Theo-Maniac - "stand-alone commentary" HarperCollins and Oxford commentaries are available separately, if you want to go that route, but that can get a little "spendy" unless you can get them from the library. I bought the HarperCollins study bible for $8.00 at a bargain books store. Oxford especially has a whole series of the books, which you can probably find digging around at Amazon. A few links to get started: Oxford Commentary HarperCollins Commentary I'm also interested in the emergent or postmodern angle (aka McLaren, etc) and I do have a book wish list on Bible study that I can post if you are interested. Since I haven't read them yet, I can't really recommend, though. I'm a big fan of Marcus Borg's books and really can't offer anything more/better/similar to that. I'd be thrilled to find more, but haven't been able to. About study Bibles being "bad." Well, some are more what I call devotional with a specific bent to them. And there is nothing wrong with that as long as you are aware that the study Bible is coming from a specific denominational segment of Christianity. It is not a bad thing to be aware of the various viewpoints. The study Bibles like Oxford, HarperCollins and the others mentioned specifically for liberal/progressive are more historical-critical than devotional. More on the technical side and can actually seem dry if what you want is a devotional Bible. I have the NIV Life Application Bible--Gasp!--with it's conservative Evangelical devotional comments, and I happen to like it. I just know where it's coming from is all. Actually, I have a bunch of different Bibles. I'm sort of a collector. One more thing: I have Raymond Brown's Intro to NT and highly recommend that. He is middle of the road Jesus Scholar, so more conservative than Borg and Brown is from the Catholic tradition. But I love the way he writes--very thorough and presents the various views on different issues. Again, it's more of a scholarly technical historical-critical view, though. New Interpreters Study Bible noted. Thanks Aletheia.
  3. I had to redo my meaning of communion or eucharist after I realized that Jesus was not a literal sacrifice for sins and of course that belief is part of communion. What I did is create my own communion ritual. I'm not saying others should do that, just that it was important to me to keep that sacramental practice, yet not as most churches do it. It has been important for me to find new ways to reinvest in the area of loss.
  4. One of my visits to the United Methodist church included observing a baby baptism. It wasn't presented as washing away of sins. It was about that individual being welcomed into the church family and the family's and sponsor's commitment to raise the child in the Christian tradition. I really liked the way the ceremony was presented. Just another example of how actually visiting a church can help overcome misunderstandings, fears, prejudices etc. There is only so much a person can learn on the outside looking in. About JW's and Mormon's not being viewed as Christian. That bugs me too. Because it shows the emphasis on "correct" beliefs as the criteria for being Christian. I'd look more at the dysfunctional life-diminishing behavior that is so damaging and can happen in any faith community. Other Christian denominations are not immune to that, just because they have the "correct" beliefs.
  5. Theo-Maniac - I don't know about the "new believers" aspect, but I do know the study Bibles considered more progressive/liberal. All available in NRSV. Cambridge Annotated Study Bible HarperCollins Study Bible New Oxford Annotated Bible I have the HarperCollins and I like it. But I would say that it's more oriented towards the modern day scholarship aspect than a new believe aspect. It doesn't explain christian terms. It does explain who wrote what when and meanings of original words,etc.
  6. Hi Jason, Have you tried googling on "emergent" rathan than "progressive" "house churches?" I think some of the "emergent" Christians groups are into that. Might find more support/info/resources that way. For example, here's a place I found by googling on the topic. http://sojourner.typepad.com/ Just a thought. Maybe you've been there, done that already.
  7. Have ya ever been to the ship of fools website? It's a fun place to visit. They have a mystery worshipper section where people write about their church experiences. You can sort it by just USA churches. Check out their discussion forum too. They have funny names for their discussion areas. Like one area is called "Hell - asbestos underwear recommended." des - Hymnals are interesting to look through! I have a Lutheran hymnal. Lots of stuff in there. Sometimes hymnals can be found for pennies at second hand stores, used book stores, garage sales, etc. Bibles too.
  8. I was raised Lutheran--baptized, confirmed there. A Lutheran service is more like a Presbyterian or a United Church of Christ service. Not at all like Catholics or Episcopalians. A liturgy is not a big ritualistic thing. It's just some simple words said or sung by the pastor and then the congregation responds. Not a biggie. The bulletin is the print out of the service so you know what songs they will sing, etc. and can follow along and participate as you feel comfortable doing. Lutherans have communion once a month. Episcopalians call it the Eucharist and have it every service.
  9. The quote was from: http://www.godspell.org.uk/2004/10/eternal...gelessness.html What a great website! Huston Smith book, The World's Relgions, says that if Taoism sounds very much like Zen, it should; for Buddhism processed through Taoism became Zen. (pg 216)
  10. I visited several different churches in my area and there really is no substitute for personally visiting each church. That will tell you more than anybody's personal opinion or any web page can convey. I found that just walking into a church I could pick up the spirit of the group. It is quite the experience. I know that might be scary or uncomfortable for some, but it really isn't all that difficult. Churches do try to make it easy for newbies to come to the service and be able to follow along. Here's what I did: I got a list of Protestant churches from religioustolerance.org ranging from conservative to liberal and started with the most liberal. I compared that with a phonebook church listing and then checked the internet to see if the church had a website. The church websites will usually give you the time of the Sunday service and more. I also drove by the place ahead of time. Think of it as an adventure. No, I never found a church, but I learned a lot in the process. Conservative to Liberal List of Churches: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_divi3.htm Assemblies of God (the most conservative) Seventh-Day Adventist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Church of the Nazarene Southern Baptist Convention Churches of Christ Presbyterian Church in the United States * American Baptist Churches in the USA Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America * United Methodist Church Episcopal Church United Church of Christ. (the most liberal) Note the differences: Southern Baptist is more conservative than American Baptist. Missouri Synod Lutheran is more conservative than ELCA. Presbyterian vs United Presbyterian. Churches of Christ vs United Church of Christ. The word "Evangelical" in ELCA is misleading if you ask me as that has the more liberal Lutheran churches. In the phonebook, the Evangelical churches are a separate listing and not under the Lutheran section at all. Unitarian Universalist may or may not be Christian. Quakers might be a liberal group to try too. More Links: Conservative & Liberal "Wings" In Protestant Christianity: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_divi.htm Families of Christian Denominations in North America: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_deno.htm
  11. BroRog - Suchoki book noted and good to know that Mesle is an atheist. Are you process theology then? Pssst Lily, over on the other panentheism thread when Panta told me to research "initial aim" I found this Cobb article, which was supposed to be a "very simple definition" ha ha. After I got done reading it I thought it sounded like a bunch of scholarly verbosity for develop and follow your intuition. Shakti Gawain (new thought) does a much better job on the topic of intuition. Now I wasn't going to say that on this board, cuz I thought I'd get flak for it, but you brought me out of the closet on that one. And BTW, I'm still interested in chatting about Tarot. I thought Heirophant symbolized tradition, rules of culture, comformity? des, for some reason "beyond my understanding" I am obsessed with this whole panentheism/god concept stuff. I think somehow I am working out something critical in my relationship with God. I used to be obsessed with the adam and eve story too once I realized it was not literal history. But eventually it somehow felt answered and I got over that obsession. There isn't a panentheism for dummies book, but there is a philosophy for dummies book and I have it. It wouldn't help with this discussion, but it does make me laugh. For example, on Descartes (substance ontology guy) it says "in his last few years he was mostly captivated by the problem of how to keep is hair from turning gray." pg 329 Or Hegel (dialectical) it says: "Hegel is also thought by many to have been very confused. For some reason, this is not incompatible with philosophical renown." pg 331 There have been a few really important things I've learned from this discussion. 1. Panentheism is an umbrella term 2. One of Clayton's papers gave me a way to envision how God acts in the world 3. Cobb's "initial aim" is very similar to my ideas on "intuition." Panta, thanks for validating that Clayton's views are somewhat different than the mainstream process philosophical thought. I thought that was so and on more points than were mentioned. Aletheia - I think you will click with Clayton if you read his papers. My guess is that he might be closer to where you are at than open theism. I don't think open theism is under the panentheism umbrella. I don't know anything about monism, but skimming over your posts on it (info overload again, sorry) it sounds similar to yin/yang Taoism and that interests me. FredP - You said you are a supernaturalist in a different way than the typical supernatural interventionist. I'd like to hear more about that. I believe that modern supernatural theism is a distortion of classical theism and I'm thinking you are hitting on that very point. "Ontologically prior to nature" -- I'll have to go back over the posts and see if you explained what you mean by that. Are you classical theism, not open theism then? And if you actually read all of that, thanks for listening!
  12. This is definitely NOT panentheism 101! But I'm listening and trying to glean what I can from the conversation. Yeah, FredP, what are ya anyways. panentheist?, not process, classical?, ?? I might try the Mesle book then, thanks Panta. "Process Buddhist" ? - My take on that is Buddhists are nontheists and wouldn't even be having the same conversation. Since panentheism #4 is included in the Wikipedia criteria for process, therefore you could not be a process christian without also being panentheist. Technically from the criteria stated in Wikipedia a person could be panentheist but not process. I've been reading more of Clayton's Papers from ctr4process.org site. I do like Clayton better than what I've read of Cobb, Peacocke, Griffin. I still suspect that Clayton is more panentheist than process and/or that he may be a *form* of process that's different than Cobb, etc. But if you asked me to nail that down I couldn't tell ya. The following is From Clayton paper: "The Panentheistic Turn in Christian Theology: Dialog #2" ThePanenetheisticTurninXtianTheology2.pdf God cannot vs God does not. Panentheist Clayton, who Panta says is process, definitely says that God does not. (page 6) I'm not fully understanding the substance ontology versus event ontology issues. Clayton mentions a few reasons to object to substance ontology 1) wouldn't allow for the everything in God yet separate concept and 2) views on power. (page 2) The following from Clayton paper: "Panentheist Internalism: Living within the Presence of the Trinitarian God" PanentheistInternalism.pdf Clayton's views on divine action (page 6) 1) Since everything is in God, then every event in the world is a divine act. Using the world as God's body analogy, he calls this autonomic divine action, like the breathing and blood circulation that our bodies carry out without conscious direction 2) But in other cases God chooses to exercise a conscious influence on events, (intentional divine action) similar to the intentional actions we engage in. Also read: "The Case for Christian panentheism" TheCaseforXtianPanentheism1.pdf Oh, and I really like the one I mentioned previously, "Can Liberals Still Believe that God (Literally) Does Anything?" CanLiberalsStillBelieve.pdf I'd love it if someone else would read these papers and tell me what you think of them. They'd be good discussion material as they are credible, available to everyone for free, and accessible enough for the average panentheism 101 person.
  13. I didn't think I was asking the same questions as you did, Aletheia, in the other panentheism thread. I was questioning the use of the term "nonprocess panentheism" more than it's definition, thinking that if there was such a thing as nonprocess panentheism it probably was not called that. Because Borg had said: "process panentheism, a primoridal panentheism, Tillichian panentheism, etc." That metalibrary link referring to "nonprocess" panentheism must have been the rare exception. But then Panta said: "Process New Thought, Process Buddhism, Process Mysticism, Process Panentheism" in the other panentheism thread, so maybe I *am* trying to figure out what makes those all "process" too as opposed to just plain New Thought, Buddhism etc. Fred mentioned Wilber's magic (pre-rational) versus paradox (post-rational). Earl (other panentheism thread) and Aletheia mentioned transrational. I was thinking that this is similar to Borg's pre-critical naivete, critical, post-critical naivete stages. Also James Fowler's stages of faith. Panta (christology thread) thought "ineffable" was a cop-out. I remembered Hicks didn't like that word either. He preferred "transcategorical" defined as "beyond the range of our human systems of concepts or mental categories." Process Theology: A Basic Introduction, by C. Robert Mesle, John B., Jr. Cobb is supposed to be a lay person's intro to PT. Is anybody familiar with that book and would they recommend it? Aletheia was talking about the definition of "transcendent" in the other panentheism thread. Since I know you have the book, Borg touched on that in God We Never Knew: Aletheia mentioned the difficulty in trying to describe experiences of God. William James did exactly that in his classic "Varieties of Religious Experience" which is out of copyright so the full book is available online.
  14. I pulled out "The God We Never Knew" book and reviewed some of it. Yeah, it's been years since I first read that book too. And at the time I was REALLY clueless. I can tell by my notes. It is an excellent panentheism 101 book. Take a look at this, Aletheia, sounds like what you've already said (the "umbrella" part anyways). Pg 33 "Panentheism as a root concept for thinking about God is a broad umbrella that encompasses a variety of more specific theological positions. Within it I include all concepts of the sacred that strongly affirm both the transcendence and immanence of God." [My note: Yes, "transcendence" and "immanence" needs to be defined.] If you read more, plus footnotes etc, you'll find some terms Borg says have the same underlying concept as panentheism. =========== Page 30, footnote 2: John Macquarrie's "dialectical theism" David Griffin's "naturalistic theism" "dipolar theism" Page 51, footnote 4: As I [borg] use the term, panentheism includes all forms of dialectical theism, including theological positions as diverse as process theology, Huston Smith's "primordial tradition," Tillich's understanding of God as "the ground of being"... One may thus speak of process panentheism, a primoridal panentheism, Tillichian panentheism, etc. =========== While this is throwing out a lot terms we might not be familiar with, it is good to know that these terms are closely associated with panentheism. QUESTION: What would make a panentheism nonprocess instead of process? Is there such a thing or would it be called something else?
  15. About the circle within the circle etc metaphors. All metaphors are limited, inadequate, technically incorrect. But we do need some way to think about God. Simplified ones, at first, do help shift our thinking. Marcus Borg uses the circle within a circle metaphor: God We Never Knew book, page 51, footnote 2. "Of course these diagrams cannot be taken literally. It does not make sense to think of either the universe of God as having borders, as the ovals suggest." We all can't take giant leaps to the other side. We get there step by step. When a person can break down complexed ideas, and explain them simply, that, to me, indicates the person knows the subject well.
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