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StarDust

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Hello,

 

I became curious about this site / worldview after reading Michael Dowd's "Thank God for Evolution" book and watching his "God in Big History" video series: http://thegreatstory.org/god-in-big-history.html, and after listening to some lectures by Matthew Fox on YouTube. I've read a handful of books by Marcus Borg as well. I've read a bunch of Bart Ehrman's books over the last couple of years. And, I've done my fair share of reading books by religion's critics as well, like Sam Harris, etc.

 

I did not grow up religious, and my only brief exposure to Christianity was through a non-denominational congregation that interpreted the Bible as literal history. That is, if it said Jesus cast demons out of a human and into a herd of swine, then he literally did just that -- likewise with turning water into wine, walking on water, and, ultimately, coming back from the dead. I hope I'm among like-minded people here in saying that the "demon possession" theory of illness is preposterous in the 21st century, at minimum. I could not be part of something that asked me to stop thinking or think dangerous ideas about where illness comes from.

 

I grew up as an avid follower of Carl Sagan's programs and books, and thus developed an appreciation for the scientific mindset. In general, I am extremely skeptical of the idea of "supernatural forces". I tend to view reality as a continuous process / whole, and the idea of a god who intervenes in nature from time to time working miracles or favoring one ethnic tribe over another doesn't seem right or likely to me based on my understanding of science.

 

Anyway, I eventually became involved in a great Unitarian Universalist congregation for a while, after leaving behind the former literalist experience. I realize UU is very small in numbers, and thus it's not known to many people. It has opened my eyes to the reality that fundamentalist do not have a monopoly on religious community.

 

The way Dowd is able to use traditional religious language and metaphors, while also speaking to modern reality about science, evolution, climate, ecology, etc (Fox as well does this), is very interesting and inspiring. I was also intrigued recently to learn that Martin Luther King, Jr. rejected the virgin birth and the physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus as ahistorical/mythological.

 

So, I guess I'm dropping by because I have had a perhaps jaundiced view of Christianity in the past, and it's something I should get past. Aside from the people I mentioned like Borg, Ehrman, Fox, Dowd, does anyone have any other recommended resources or listening on the Progressive Christian side of faith? I prefer audio or YouTube lectures or narratives since it's easier than sitting down to read.

 

Thanks!

StarDust

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Hi Stardust and welcome,

 

It was a real eye-opener for me also to realise that fundamental Christianity wasn't the only way of interpreting/understanding the bible. I was raised a fundy Christian but left the fold around 19 when I awoke to the biased injustice of that religion's Bible God. At first it was an anger towards that God and then a kind of 'block it all out for 20 years' before I began looking back into Christianity and found progressive Christianity as an understanding of Christianity that made so much more sense to me.

 

I liked reading sermons by a Quaker named Phil Gulley who posts them on his Gracetalks site. I watched a few videos of Bishop Jack Spong too. And I don't know the link these days but it was on this forum that I was directed to an excellent series of free audio university lectures on biblical scholarship, particularlly around the Old Testament, which i found quite fascinating and illuminating (nothing you'd ever hear raised in a fundamnetal church certainly).

 

I hope you find the resources and archives here useful.

 

Cheers

Paul

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Hi Stardust,

 

welcome to the forum. I can echo most of what you said in your introduction especially the idea that you " tend to view reality as a continuous process / whole, and the idea of a god who intervenes in nature from time to time working miracles or favoring one ethnic tribe over another doesn't seem right or likely to me based on my understanding of science." Once you get familiar with the search engine here i am certain you will find some interesting conversations to join in or start your own thread conversation if you like. I don't have any YouTube recommendations but there are plenty of applicable ones out there that others here might suggest.

 

As far as miracles go, i don't accept them either just because a book may speak of it but at the same time i reserve a no opinion on the topic. Personal experience weighs more heavily with me and it suffices me to remain open to all things whether they can be explained by science or not. Uncertainty is something i have learned to live with most times quite comfortably. At the same time, 'blind faith', as it pertains to religion, is just not in my bag of acceptables either.

 

Again Welcome,

Joseph.

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Stardust, I think you are among like minded people. I look forward to reading your views. May we all expand and grow together until we burst and start over.

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Thanks everyone for your input and welcome!

 

I'm currently listening to the Advent of Evolutionary Christianity series by Michael Dowd. It's quite interesting, and does not feel anything like fundamentalism. I found the interview with Matthew Fox to be very interesting. Has anyone read any of his books or seen him speak?

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Hello. I am very new to this. I got divorced awhile back and ended up moving to a different state because I found the cost of living cheaper. Now I have been trying to find a church that I fit into and having a hard time with that. Figure I would try this online for a bit while I still hunt. I have 3 great kids that I get to be with for a week every other week so yes I still live close enough to see them often. I am looking for a bible study online as well

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