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I’m Derek Evans from the USA. I originally grew up in a Southern Baptist church who taught that homosexuality was a sin, Evolution was a secular lie, and all non christians will go to hell, but after years of intellectual and spiritual growth, I have recently made the decision to fully embrace progressive christian views. It was a long and hard journey, but I made some remarkable breakthroughs by the grace of God. Nearly 2 years ago, I gave up young earth creationism to become an old earth creationist. Shortly after that, I softened my exclusivist views in order to accomodate the mercy of God, and then later adopted an agnostic view on homosexuality.  The past year has been the most rapid growth, because starting at the end of last year, I quickly became an inclusivist, then began to finally accept evolution, and after a multiple week long spiritual crisis, fully embraced homosexuality, and then within the last few months, became radically pluralist compared to my original starting point to the point of accepting prayers from Muslims and Hindus and praying for a Muslim in a way that according to him, no christian has ever prayed in before, and he was so touched by it, he trusted me enough to try to introduce me to his girlfriend. I want to strengthen my faith as a progressive christian even more, and I thought this would be a great place to start. I was originally part of a progressive christian group, but have since left because of a misunderstanding between me and some of the members. I hope to meet you all soon! To give you some more present information, I am really interested in philosophy, sexuality, psychology, martial arts, and traveling the world. I am 21 years old, and hope to one day become a spiritual leader like Martin Luther King and Gandhi, as well as find a good woman soon. I currently go to school for hobby and pay, because my Dad was in the military before I was born, and volunteer at an organization called the Urban Mission, where I am very well regarded as both an intellectual and a hard worker. I am at a great place in my life, and I enjoy helping others via the things I am good at. I am a very friendly person, so if you have any more questions, just ask. I welcome questions.

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2 hours ago, Iflybyyou said:

Thank you Burl! How did you end up becoming a progressive christian?

I like small groups.  There is a section with personal essays somewhere.  They put in new software and I'm not sure where it ended up.

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1 hour ago, Burl said:

I like small groups.  There is a section with personal essays somewhere.  They put in new software and I'm not sure where it ended up.

Yes I just noticed it. It’s called the Personal stories and journeys section.

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Greetings Derek,

Came through the same traditional path and found it also a very painful but rewarding journey. It is good to hear you fellowship in peace with other religions. I think study of each will reveal many commonalities even though the words may be different. Sounds like you are very open-minded and have set great goals for yourself. May you find much joy and peace in your quest and welcome to our Progressive Christianity forum.

Joseph

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9 hours ago, JosephM said:

Greetings Derek,

Came through the same traditional path and found it also a very painful but rewarding journey. It is good to hear you fellowship in peace with other religions. I think study of each will reveal many commonalities even though the words may be different. Sounds like you are very open-minded and have set great goals for yourself. May you find much joy and peace in your quest and welcome to our Progressive Christianity forum.

Joseph

Yes I have found some surprising commonalities. For example, most religions, even some Pagan ones, teach love and compassion. Most of the major religions believe in a good, omniscient, omnipotent, and all pervasive God. Most religions teach that some form of repentance or faith leads to salvation. Most religions teach about an afterlife where the righteous are rewarded and the unrighteous are corrected, punished, or lost. It’s remarkable. I wish you well on your similar journey, and may you also continue to find peace here.

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3 hours ago, Iflybyyou said:

Yes I have found some surprising commonalities. For example, most religions, even some Pagan ones, teach love and compassion. Most of the major religions believe in a good, omniscient, omnipotent, and all pervasive God. Most religions teach that some form of repentance or faith leads to salvation. Most religions teach about an afterlife where the righteous are rewarded and the unrighteous are corrected, punished, or lost. It’s remarkable. I wish you well on your similar journey, and may you also continue to find peace here.

Commonalities are expected. The interesting parts are found when teasing out the differences.

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2 hours ago, Burl said:

Commonalities are expected. The interesting parts are found when teasing out the differences.

yes point 2 is by far the most interesting affirmation of progressive Christianity. I am still trying to understand it, and many models have been put out by many different people, including John Hick, although he is often criticized for creating a new universal meta-religion instead of actually proposing a genuine solution to the pluralism problem. I was actually just about to propose my own model on the point 2 forum and get some feedback on it.

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2 hours ago, Burl said:

Commonalities are expected. The interesting parts are found when teasing out the differences.

But there are the commonalities and next to love and compassion (The  Two great commandments), all else is mere commentary.

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2 minutes ago, Iflybyyou said:

yes point 2 is by far the most interesting affirmation of progressive Christianity. I am still trying to understand it, and many models have been put out by many different people, including John Hick, although he is often criticized for creating a new universal meta-religion instead of actually proposing a genuine solution to the pluralism problem. I was actually just about to propose my own model on the point 2 forum and get some feedback on it.

Derek,

John Hick is the man; he was a great theologian. Christianity is a universal religion but I have not heard Hick associated with meta-religion (of course I guess it depends on how such a 'religion' is understood).

I am off to the doctor but look forward to your model.

 

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25 minutes ago, thormas said:

Derek,

John Hick is the man; he was a great theologian. Christianity is a universal religion but I have not heard Hick associated with meta-religion (of course I guess it depends on how such a 'religion' is understood).

I am off to the doctor but look forward to your model.

 

Yeah I appreciate his contributions, and the fact that he was basically the father of modern pluralistic philosophy cannot be ignored, there is still much work to be done. And yeah some people actually criticize this man for proposing a new meta-religion that simply takes an inclusivistic attitude towards the world's religions, kinda like a version of Relativistic inclusvism. I personally don't find much fault in his ideas, except that he seems to water down the religions as simply being cultural perceptions of an unknowable reality rather than acknowledging and appreciating the religions for what they are.

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Honestly, the Progressive Christianity site content is unrelated to this small group.  Now that Bishop Spong is no longer active I don't see the movement developing critical mass.  I suggest continuing your personal journey and not getting too deep into those points.

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1 hour ago, Iflybyyou said:

Yeah I appreciate his contributions, and the fact that he was basically the father of modern pluralistic philosophy cannot be ignored, there is still much work to be done. And yeah some people actually criticize this man for proposing a new meta-religion that simply takes an inclusivistic attitude towards the world's religions, kinda like a version of Relativistic inclusvism. I personally don't find much fault in his ideas, except that he seems to water down the religions as simply being cultural perceptions of an unknowable reality rather than acknowledging and appreciating the religions for what they are.

Actually, I have to agree with Hicks here. If one does not accept that divine revelation is information then, revelation is the self-revealing, the self-giving of God to creation (so subtle it is typically missed, though indispensable to our humanization). In such an understanding then faith is the human response to that self giving: religions are individuals in tribes, communities who have an 'insights' into or 'perceive 'something More" of' that is spoken of, written about, celebrated because it resonates with the group and makes sense of life (for them).

I never thought of Hicks in terms of meta-religion simply because of his inclusivity. Actually, if there is only the (One) Way, it presents itself or is 'seen' (a bit) differently to us, those who are the same and yet different from one another. So the One Way is 'many' and it, ultimately, matters not what it is called, what name the various human 'tribes' give it, as long as it is taken and lived. If, as you said earlier, love or compassionate concern are taught by most religions, then, it seems, the only question is: does love give life, does love affirm life, does love create life. If it does, then it seems the the 'stuff' of life is love and the failsafe to this 'truth' is ever-present. 

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2 hours ago, Burl said:

Honestly, the Progressive Christianity site content is unrelated to this small group.  Now that Bishop Spong is no longer active I don't see the movement developing critical mass.  I suggest continuing your personal journey and not getting too deep into those points.

Well, this is a depressing note. I still read Spong's site occasionally with its new contributors and the program seems both diverse and active. Plus the points still resonate. 

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Welcome to the forum Derek, I hope you find it beneficial reading and discussing things here.

Cheers

Paul

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