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FireDragon76 last won the day on July 21

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About FireDragon76

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  1. What does "the Way is many and yet one" mean? This sort of thing is very vague, and also not demonstrated very well by real life experience. Jesus believed in the Hebrew God. How exactly does atheism fit in with that? I am not saying the Christian Church shouldn't welcome everybody, but Christians have a right to identify their own religion as theistic, and it's arguably intellectually dishonest to think otherwise. Prayer and communion with a personal God has been a consistent aspect of Christian practice since the beginning. A radical reinterpretation of Christian faith along New Age or Eastern religious lines begs the question of why be Christian at all? As Thich Nhat Hanh has demonstrated, one can be committed to a religion like Buddhism and still appreciate Jesus' teachings without committing oneself to a Christian identity.
  2. I'm familiar with the notion of "Progressive Christianity" from following the Progressive Christian channel on Patheos. The ethos of the 8 points seems more like new age sentiments, in comparison. There's insufficient explanation of the connection to Jesus of Nazareth or what he taught.
  3. Frankly, the eight points sound more like Unitarianism than Christianity.
  4. I'm suggesting many people here don't necessarily express the types of sentiments that would find a home in an actual mainline Protestant churches. Most mainline denominations in the US are still committed to theism, and even Trinitarianism, as part of their identity; it's in their liturgy and in their hymns, and even in some cases as part of their code of canon law. https://www.christianpost.com/news/episcopal-priest-defrocked-after-refusing-to-recant-muslim-faith.html
  5. That's more or less been my experience as well.
  6. You can be a Unitarian Universalist without giving a whit about Jesus, but it would be difficult to conceive of a "Christianity" without Jesus.
  7. Well, when people are talking about "the universe" instead of God, that's generally how UU's talk.
  8. Progressive Christianity still defines itself as Christian in some way, UU generally does not.
  9. UU's and progressive Christians seem subtly different. UU spirituality is much more individualistic... and doesn't pretend to be Christian.
  10. Watch the Star Trek: the Next Generation episode "Darmok" some time, and you get a clue into this.
  11. The creation-Creator distinction is a kind of dualism.
  12. Muslims and Jews get along just fine without doing so, so I don't see why it is necessary. I don't see the author of the Gospel of John anthropomorphosizing God- that would be a distortion of the doctrine of the incarnation. The notion of connecting ones religious teacher to the transcendent, what the doctrine of Incarnation is really about, is a common intuition across religions. And that's all that's occurring in the Gospel according to John.
  13. It seems to me, on doing more reading, that the simplest explanation for Jesus resurrection is that it is in fact an after death communication. An ADC is neither an hallucination nor a fabrication, since they occur in psychologically healthy, normal people. The best evidence for this seems to be the apostle Paul himself, the earliest New Testament Christian witness we have. Paul seems disinterested in what modern day evangelicals think of as a "bodily resurrection". 1 Cornithians 14:45 is evidence enough for this, but there are other passages where Paul makes it clear that Jesus' and believers' existence after this life is qualitatively different from this life. (1 Corinthians 15:50). The only way evangelicals can explain Paul's words and reconcile them with their own perspective is to twist them beyond the usual meaning (even N.T. Wright engages in this sort of thing). I know from my own research, these sorts of stories aren't unique to Christianity, either. In Tibetan Buddhism, stories of gurus or monks bodies disappearing are known and even said to occur into the present day, and this phenomenon has been studied by the Jesuit priest and Tibetan scholar, Fr. Francis Tiso. Now that I have reached this currect perspective, I am trying to think about the implications for my own spiritual life. I am quite alienated from my conservative ELCA parish with its evangelical message- I don't think the message of relentless human brokenness and unworthiness particularly wholesome. I went to therapy for years to try to heal from emotional pain and to recognize in myself a capacity for self-love, and to have that message eroded seems problematic. I've noted some improvements in my life as I distance myself from this kind of spirituality and I resume practicing meditation and adopting a perspective that is more open to humanistic Buddhists and mindfulness teachers (like Thich Nhat Hanh or Tara Brach). So, I am not sure exactly where I go from here. I still think believing in God can be helpful for many people, but I'm no longer in agreement with the evangelical emphasis on sin and unworthiness, and the inner passivity and guilt that seems to result from it.
  14. Bodhidharma, the monk who was said to have brought the Zen tradition to China from India, was once asked what was the highest holy truth he had learned from years of meditation. "Vast emptiness and nothing sacred". The notion of "the Sacred" is frequently a descriptor in a dualistic worldview, typically of a certain notion of transcendence. The point of Mahayana Buddhism is that Dharmakaya (the eternal body of all the Buddha's wisdom) is immanent in the world, not separated from it. Dao doesn't correspond to western concepts of God. People don't pray to Dao, nor is Dao itself loving. Dao is just the all-pervading principle behind the world of the "Ten Thousand Things" (phenomenal world) and the source of wisdom and virtue.
  15. This is an article by Tom Wright on Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet and what that imagery actually meant in the first century: http://ntwrightpage.com/2016/04/04/apocalypse-now/ Schweitzer understood the image of "the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven" literally, and concluded that Jesus was a mistaken apocalyptic prophet, as the space-time universe did not end. Wright argues that imagery was never meant to be understood literally in the first place by first century Jews.
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