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About johnshuck

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    East Tennessee
  1. Thanks Flow, This is very good. I think it will take a crisis for us to wake up. Your idea of a gas tax is a very good one. If we simply conserve, prices will go down and we will use more. A tax with revenues going to alternative energy resources would stop overconsumption. Thank you as well for the positive glimmers. In the end, I put my trust in human creativity and compassion to help us through all of this. But as I said, it will probably take a crisis and a big one to wake us from our slumber. John
  2. I would like to start a new topic. I put a post on my blog today entitled Powerdown My concern is how progressive Christianity can be more than speculative but can help us deal with the issues that face us. I wrote the following: A theology for the 21st century needs to take seriously our context. I am reading Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World by Richard Heinberg. This is the sequel to his earlier book, The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies. Both are sobering works. I recommend reading his latest book first. He summarizes The Party's Over in the first chapter of Powerdown and offers options for responding to this reality. His thesis is that we have reached or will reach within the next few years, peak oil. I have discussed this in an earlier post. In Powerdown, he writes that we have four options: 1) Last One Standing: the path of competition for remaining resources. (This appears to be our current administration's plan to control the remaining oil reserves militarily). 2) Powerdown: the path of cooperation, conservation, and sharing. (This would require all nations of the world to name the issue, change drastically our way of living, and work for justice so that all people of Earth may have access to basic needs). 3) Waiting for a Magic Elixir: wishful thinking, false hopes, and denial. (This appears to be the option of most of our population. We think that in the nick of time we will find some magic technological advance to replace fossil fuels and be able to continue our way of life). 4) Building Lifeboats: the path of community solidarity and preservation. (This involves working with our neighbors to sustain small communities (gardens, energy sharing, etc.) Heinberg suggests that a combination of Powerdown and Building Lifeboats are the best options for our survival. This book is an important read. It is a book for those who are not afraid to learn the truth about what we are facing. What does this mean theologically? Where is God in all of this? My prediction is that when we begin to feel the crunch most theology will revert to option three: Waiting for a Magic Elixir. That will take the form similar to the Left Behind books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. In this scenario, our crisis will lead to the magic return of Jesus who will save us (at least save the true believers). Throughout history, this type of theology has emerged during times of crises only to leave the believers disappointed. It is in my opinion, less than adequate theology, to put it mildly. I believe there are other options. There are other ways to conceive of God's activity in the world and our response to God that are more realistic and more healthy and hopeful for Earth and its inhabitants. Options two and four, powerdown and building lifeboats need to be understood theologically as the way the Holy Spirit can prepare humanity for a sustainable and peaceful future. This is at the heart of my theological project. I don't pretend to have the answers. I am simply one voice among many calling for us to wake up and respond. John East Tennessee
  3. Hi Barbara! Great to hear from you again! I certainly do miss you and all the good folks in Utica Presbytery. Yup, I have travelled around. When I make a move it appears it is from one end of the continent to another. I hope you are continuing to preach. My congregation always told me you were the best pulpit supply! Speaking of Shuck, here is my ancestry. See if you connect! http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/i...low&id=I018
  4. I did get your e-mail and I responded. I miss central NY and you as well. I really appreciate your website! So glad to find you here. Rock and Roll! John
  5. Hi Dwight! Glad to find another PCUSA minister with a progressive bent. We may not be too far from each other. I am a PCUSA minister in East Tennessee, First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton. Where is your congregation? John Shuck
  6. Thanks, Jen! This progressive movement can even move the clergy! John
  7. Hello, My name is John Shuck. I am an associate member of the Westar Institute. I am a member of the Westar Leaders' Seminar. I am also the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, Tennessee. I am all about connecting progressive Christians and I would would like to link to members of TCPC on my blog. If you are a dues paying member of TCPC, a Fellow of Westar, or an Associate of Westar, I would like to link to your website or blog and perhaps feature you on it, Shuck and Jive. E-mail me johnashuck@earthlink.net The more connections we make, the more the progressive movement will thrive! John Shuck
  8. I am a PCUSA minister at a progressive congregation in East Tennessee. I am very pleased to see so many people interested in a thinking faith. I serve the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, Tennessee. I even have my own blog, Shuck and Jive. Finally, we are excited to bring Hal Taussig and Perry Kea to Elizabethton on November 3-4. They are fellows of the Jesus Seminar. They will do a JSOR on Faith Communities of the First and Twenty-first centuries with an emphasis on the emerging progressive movement. Hal Taussig is the author of A New Spiritual Home: Progressive Christianity at the Grass Roots. I didn't mean for all of that to be an advertisement! I am really just beginning to use the web to connect with other progressive Christians. Peace, john
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