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I can't help thinking when people talk about god, they are somehow confounding the concept of god with the universe. I am not denying people's claims regarding the experience of god (or God). But we are definitely made up of stardust and in this sense we are connected to the universe. It would appear our mathematical descriptions of the fundamental forces suggest they extend to infinity. Quantum theories suggest that the probability of events happening are determined by the state of the universe. 

I think Carl Sagan's words We are a way for the cosmos to know itself … are quite telling (I might quibble understand vs know).

We are continually experiencing the universe. 

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58 minutes ago, romansh said:

I can't help thinking when people talk about god, they are somehow confounding the concept of god with the universe. I am not denying people's claims regarding the experience of god (or God). But we are definitely made up of stardust and in this sense we are connected to the universe. It would appear our mathematical descriptions of the fundamental forces suggest they extend to infinity. Quantum theories suggest that the probability of events happening are determined by the state of the universe. 

I think Carl Sagan's words We are a way for the cosmos to know itself … are quite telling (I might quibble understand vs know).

We are continually experiencing the universe. 

Wiggle the language a bit and you have a fundamentally Christian statement.  

One of the purposes of Jesus’ incarnate existence was so that God could experience humanity.

 

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

We are continually experiencing the universe.

We are continually experiencing God to me would be more accurate since it encompasses more than the universe as a thing and life as stardust. Just my take ....

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24 minutes ago, JosephM said:

We are continually experiencing God to me would be more accurate since it encompasses more than the universe as a thing and life as stardust. Just my take ....

The Christian concept of at•one•ment.  Post-Jesus there is a mutual connection.

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Everything that people are saying reminds me of a quote from the Pauline Epistles;

"We see God reflected in creation."

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19 minutes ago, JosephM said:

We are continually experiencing God to me would be more accurate since it encompasses more than the universe as a thing and life as stardust. Just my take ....

Well this assumes God exists. 

I wanted to reply to this before I was away last week

On 3/9/2020 at 4:53 PM, JosephM said:

So here goes. The experience happened numerous times while driving, while alone, while in the presence of others, while meditating, while relaxing and  flying an airplane to mention a few that come to mind. It is something i can't make happen by conscious control though there is usually a need for it whether for myself or another. In other words i have no conscious control over bringing on the experience that i am aware of. I count it a gift. During an experience there is a feeling of no separation not only between God and Self but also the other if involved. There is a sense of no fear, no locality and a sense of Home that is difficult to describe afterwards. There are no questions, nor doubt in such a state, only knowing. Sometimes one toggles back and forth so as to bring in a question the self might have. When it has returned to a more normal state there is a sense of inexplicable peace and joy. No i do not take drugs, not even aspirins , The only exception is in the last few years i use eye drops so i will not lose my eye from pressure.

I'm not disagreeing with your experience here Joseph … I could argue I've had similar but my interpretations are different.

Firstly, I think we need to be a little circumspect about how we interpret our experiences. I have given my example of the red kitchen chair. There are similar arguments around the experience of sound. I used to have (and I suppose I still do at times) a sense of free will. We both seem have come to a conclusion that this experience is an illusion. So we understand we don't necessarily take our experiences at face value.

My god type experiences are more of awe than anything else. The few that I have had watching an organic compound crystallize between two slides in one of those old fashioned slide projectors. Repeating the experiment two days later for the class was also awe inspiring, more because of the class's reaction than anything else. Looking at a four-cell pre-zygote … a potential human being - down a microscope, was like looking at a reflection of the universe. These are just a couple.

Now, Harris and Pollan have recommended psychedelics (now more commonly called entheogens) as a way of experiencing spirituality. Now I am not recommending this; but I do note that the indole ethylamines that form many of the entheogenic compounds are closely related to serotonin, melatonin, tryptophan, and other compounds that the body needs and does produce. I just wonder I f on occasion the body produces an entheogen as a byproduct, that gives us our experience of god or awe?

So we are experiencing the universe for sure. Whether this is actually god, not so sure? My take.

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Those certainly are awe experiencing moments you shared. Nature and the universe seems to me to be filled with beauty and a sense of awe. Awe is usually defined as " a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder." I have felt these things you describe and i would say that God is in them but that would not fit the particular experience of oneness with God that i was attempting to describe. Either way i would not argue it.

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5 hours ago, romansh said:

I can't help thinking when people talk about god, they are somehow confounding the concept of god with the universe. I am not denying people's claims regarding the experience of god (or God). But we are definitely made up of stardust and in this sense we are connected to the universe. It would appear our mathematical descriptions of the fundamental forces suggest they extend to infinity. Quantum theories suggest that the probability of events happening are determined by the state of the universe. 

I think Carl Sagan's words We are a way for the cosmos to know itself … are quite telling (I might quibble understand vs know).

We are continually experiencing the universe. 

We are indeed connected to the universe. Some - but not all - might confuse the concept of god and the universe and for others there might be no confusion as they believe the 'two' are the same. However not all are so confused or are pantheists.

The Christian would say God knows himself already and we - and the cosmos - are God's 'letting be' so that that which is not God but 'other' can have life and being.

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3 hours ago, JosephM said:

We are continually experiencing God to me would be more accurate since it encompasses more than the universe ..........

Good statement.

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1 minute ago, thormas said:

We are indeed connected to the universe. Some - but not all - might confuse the concept of god and the universe and for others there might be no confusion as they believe the 'two' are the same. However not all are so confused or are pantheists.

The Christian would say God knows himself already and we - and the cosmos - are God's 'letting be' so that that which is not God but 'other' can have life and being.

Biblically, Christians are panenthiests.  We exist inside of God.

This is what Jesus accomplished in the atonement.  He brought mankind into God - the at•one•ment.  
 

The atonement was everything in Jesus life from incarnation to his eventual session at the right hand of God until the present.  It was God’s full experience of humanity.

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1 hour ago, Burl said:

Biblically, Christians are panenthiests.  We exist inside of God.

I find that true of many Progressive Christians. However, many of my relatives that identify as fundamental/traditional Christians would differ as some of them see God as only outside of themselves and far away with a uniting in the future inspite of NT writings that can be interpreted to the contrary. 

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31 minutes ago, JosephM said:

I find that true of many Progressive Christians. However, many of my relatives that identify as fundamental/traditional Christians would differ as some of them see God as only outside of themselves and far away with a uniting in the future inspite of NT writings that can be interpreted to

Even Calvin admits (somewhat grudgingly) in his NT notes referencing Acts 17:28 that we do exist within God.

[  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.  Acts 17:28  ]

That should convince most fussy traditionalists.

Peter Abelard (1071-1121) developed the at•one•ment concept of atonement as an expression of God’s love for mankind.  Abelard ought to be nominated as the first progressive Christian.

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14 hours ago, Burl said:

Biblically, Christians are panenthiests.  We exist inside of God.

This is what Jesus accomplished in the atonement.  He brought mankind into God - the at•one•ment.  

The atonement was everything in Jesus life from incarnation to his eventual session at the right hand of God until the present.  It was God’s full experience of humanity.

This ia a tough one for while it is biblical, I agree that many think in theistic terms. The panenthesitic take on God has been neglected it seems for much of Christian history.

Do your understand atonement and incarnation pantheistically?

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1 hour ago, thormas said:

This ia a tough one for while it is biblical, I agree that many think in theistic terms. The panenthesitic take on God has been neglected it seems for much of Christian history.

Do your understand atonement and incarnation pantheistically?

Panentheism is theistic, and I do understand everything about Jesus panentheistically.

I don’t think panentheism has been avoided, but public preaching necessarily needs to kept basic and culturally relevant.  Pastors preach about the timelessness and omnipresence of God, which is really panentheistic.  

Most people don’t even want to go to church, much less take a deep dive into the philosophy of religion.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Burl said:

Panentheism is theistic, and I do understand everything about Jesus panentheistically.

I don’t think panentheism has been avoided, but public preaching necessarily needs to kept basic and culturally relevant.  Pastors preach about the timelessness and omnipresence of God, which is really panentheistic.  

Most people don’t even want to go to church, much less take a deep dive into the philosophy of religion.  

Not sure what you mean by theism being panentheism - unless you are with Macquarie who calls panentheism by the name dialectic theism?

My experience is that most people have thought of God as an outsider God, in his heaven, who breaks miraculously into the 'natural' world. I think this has been changing but I allow it is still the dominant take on God.  Having said that I do recognize that even in the Catholicism of the 60s there was a bit of a panentheistic take on God. However, even omnipresence was more an 'eye from the sky' take on God.

 

 

Edited by thormas

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1 hour ago, Burl said:

Most people don’t even want to go to church, much less take a deep dive into the philosophy of religion.  

That may be an accurate statement. I can only speak for my own experience with my children and their church. My daughter , husband and grandchildren go to a fundamental Baptist church. They love going and are very community oriented at the one they attend. They do sports there , plays,  Bible school, numerous dining get togethers, support missions and are extremely active and close to other members. Their life revolves around their church and its members (Go as many as three times a week). They are as you say not interested in the philosophy of religion however they do want to go to church and are along with other members refusing to suspend services as many other churches are because of the Coronavirus. They most likely don't even know what panentheistic means.  Salvation is preached at every meeting and event i have attended with them  and they believe in a literal Heaven,  that God lives there., and that the Bible is literally God's word. My spirit is grieved each time i attend and witness the programming of the youth there. But it is what it is.

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29 minutes ago, thormas said:

Not sure what you mean by theism being panentheism - unless you are with Macquarie who calls panentheism by the name dialectic theism?

My experience is that most people have thought of God as an outsider God, in his heaven, who breaks miraculously into the 'natural' world. I think this has been changing but I allow it is still the dominant take on God.  Having said that I do recognize that even in the Catholicism of the 60s there was a bit of a panentheistic take on God. However, even omnipresence was more an 'eye from the sky' take on God.

 

 

 

In the OT God and Mankind are essentially separate from each other.  The relationship is largely the Hebrews purifying themselves to allow God to use them as tools in bringing forth the divine will.

This relationship starts to gradually change to a panentheistic one which is fully completed at Pentecost.  John 14 explicates the theology behind the objective reports in Acts 2.

Panentheism is synonymous with at•one•ment.  This change in our relationship with God is the good news Christians are expected to promulgate.   

Unfortunately this degenerated into proselytism,  but that’s people for you. 
 

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1 hour ago, JosephM said:

That may be an accurate statement. I can only speak for my own experience with my children and their church. My daughter , husband and grandchildren go to a fundamental Baptist church. They love going and are very community oriented at the one they attend. They do sports there , plays,  Bible school, numerous dining get togethers, support missions and are extremely active and close to other members. Their life revolves around their church and its members (Go as many as three times a week). They are as you say not interested in the philosophy of religion however they do want to go to church and are along with other members refusing to suspend services as many other churches are because of the Coronavirus. They most likely don't even know what panentheistic means.  Salvation is preached at every meeting and event i have attended with them  and they believe in a literal Heaven,  that God lives there., and that the Bible is literally God's word. My spirit is grieved each time i attend and witness the programming of the youth there. But it is what it is.

Yes, some churches don’t move beyond the Sunday School level but that’s a good beginning.

I don’t care much for those churches either.  They remind me of parent-teacher nights and having to squish up in my daughter’s desk.

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