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Everything posted by irreverance

  1. Hi @Anona Maus! Good to see another Wisconsinite here. I'm in Beloit. I recommend looking at the websites for the denominations your looking at. See if you can find clues there as to where they're coming from. Sorry, but that's the best I've got.
  2. Contemplative prayer is something I strongly value. In case someone here is not familiar with it, I thought I'd share a video. Are there others out there interested in the contemplative tradition?
  3. Wow, where to begin. So much has changed, and I feel like I'm constantly in flux. So, I think I'm just going to go with my understanding of the role dogmatic theology itself. I'm not saying dogmatic theology is bad. I think it's a great way to help people connect with others who are similar so that they can grow together. But it can also become a tool to nullify spiritual growth. I used to look at dogmatic theology as an attempt to be "right". And I back in the day I looked at different theologies to see which one was more "right". Now, I look at dogmatic theology as a dialogu
  4. I just noticed the word "solely" in the title. That changes my answer a bit. I doubt that any religion has a claim to "solely" make the world better. Every religion has its dark side, and (outside of specific theological uniqueness) promotes values that are duplicated in other religions. I don't think you can say any cultural phenomenon (religion, political ideology, economic system, etc) can claim to have "solely" made the world a better place.
  5. The problem with discussing "Christianity" is that it's a diverse religion. I do believe that the more compassionate versions of the religion promote values that make the world a better place. I also believe that there are versions of the religion that promote tribalized identities that can become defensive and authoritarian in ways that do damage to the body of humanity as a whole. Part of the issue here is human development. When looking at faith development, we see that one's ability to identify with others increases as the ability to process one's faith becomes more complex. The most
  6. Dialectics in a nutshell: Affirmation-->Negation-->Negation of Negation...which becomes an Affirmation...
  7. I think addressing racism involves many layers. Here's my really quick answer off the top of my head: First, recognize that racism (or any other form of bigotry) is ultimately an expression of fear. The answer to a fear-based problem is not more fear, which will cause them to become defensive, close down more, and dig in. That means while addressing the problem, it's important to avoid triggering fear in the audience you seek to open up. Second, rather than responding aggressively through force, find positive ways to affirm diversity that is attractive rather than repulsive. T
  8. For what it's worth, several years ago I did a series on my understanding of hell from a progressive-Christian perspective. I have it on my blog in audio format. Here are the links to the blog articles. https://evolvingchristianfaith.net/2014/06/what-the-hell-do-we-do-with-hell-part-1/ https://evolvingchristianfaith.net/2014/06/what-the-hell-do-we-do-with-hell-part-2/ https://evolvingchristianfaith.net/2014/06/what-the-hell-do-we-do-with-hell-part-3/ https://evolvingchristianfaith.net/2014/07/what-the-hell-do-we-do-with-hell-part-4/ (Note: If it is not appropriate to
  9. Here's some results regarding atheist and spiritual/religious bRaiNzz. Short version of what the data says (in this one, single study): "The more analytical you are, the less you believe in God." "The more empathetic you are, the more you believe in God." His theory, then, is that religion/spirituality promotes empathy. Of course, my big question is this: are we looking at the chicken or the egg here? Could it be that the more empathetic people are drawn more to religion/spirituality? For what it's worth, I don't think it has to be either/or, but rather hast the
  10. I like to think of God as being at once... The life-giving Source of Creativity The loving Way of Interpenetration The Abysmally Absolute Other
  11. "A theology where creativity, imagination, and embodiment is centered allows for theology to not be a thing that ends arguments, but rather opens up possibility for more conversation."
  12. I see progressive Christianity as an approach to Christianity that takes seriously developments in the world around us. We don't prioritize tradition over insight. Yet, we don't simply accept new insights without critical thought.
  13. I guess I see the main hook as being the general topic itself: The relationship between the Bible and Science. If someone from a more moderate perspective were to put a website together that was intentionally geared at helping people from a more conservative perspective appreciate science, it would be easy enough. In order for it to work best, I think that teasing blog articles could get attention and lead to signing up for a regular email. That email (which goes to private accounts so people could read in secret) would create a narrative over time designed to empower readers to question
  14. I think this science vs religion divide is a major problem. But I think that part of the problem is that certain religious communities reject science and therefore delegitimize it as a source of truth...unless they get sick and have to go to the hospital. So, it's nearly impossible to overcome since they are exposed to the narrative from an early age. We see this rejection of science as an issue with how to prevent the spread of COVID and whether to accept vaccinations. I don't think the resistance to science is that unpredictable. After all, if your primary authority is the Bible, and yo
  15. Welcome, @Faith201! That's a great question. Whether one can be both Christian and pagan depends on who you ask. I don't have any issues with it. You might be interested in reading ChristoPaganism: An Inclusive Path. It's a really good book. And here's one I've not read yet, but would like to some day: The Path of a Christian Witch. Here's another one I've read, but I'm not so sure I recommend: Christian Wicca: The Trinitarian Tradition. The problem with this one is that the description of Christianity is exclusively of an evangelical type, and I would argue highly inaccurat
  16. I notice you posted this in two forums. I'm going to copy/paste my reply here to keep all the conversation in one place. @PaulS or @JosephM, can we lock or delete the other thread to focus this conversation? Here'w what I wrote... Hi phylmor! Welcome to the forum. You mention this is for a seminary assignment. It might help if you share the nature of the assignment with us. Knowing that in advance might help focusing responses.
  17. @John Hunt, great reflection. A book I read sometime back, An Atheist Defends Religion, argues something similar regarding values. While he was not religious himself, he argued that the human race needs religion because the values it promotes (in general) are good for humanity. This level of values simply can't come from the scientific world. Fwiw, I'm not sure the "isms" are less effective than religion when it comes to binding human beings with an identity. I would argue that religion is no more and no less effective. As elements in our meaning-making process, the effectively serve the
  18. I really liked this video. Love the way it includes both adherents and atheists.
  19. Hi phylmor! Welcome to the forum. You mention this is for a seminary assignment. It might help if you share the nature of the assignment with us. Knowing that in advance might help focusing responses.
  20. I love this. Neat! It must be great to be able to have all those insights at your fingertips at work. I appreciate the pagan perspective (if there is such a singular thing) myself. I think they have a lot to teach the world, especially when it comes to respecting the other. Well, at least in theory. From what I've seen, openness to others is a developmental task for all religions, and just like with Christians, pagans can also struggle with the ability to make room for others. But I love the de-centered approach to religion. Here's a question that I think paganism challen
  21. Hi John! Welcome to the community. We're glad you're here. I didn't even know they had a Christianity section on Quora. I should check that out. Do the answers come mostly from an evangelical perspective there? When you say "local parish" what denomination are you referring to? Just curious. Also, can you share what you are hoping to find here (or elsewhere on the web)? I'm interested in hearing where your spiritual quest is taking you.
  22. Speaking of news, I think it's important for people to know how biased or accurate their source is.
  23. @PaulS, thanks. Here's hoping things go as smoothly as possible. Meanwhile...
  24. Plotting and scheming. Just plotting and scheming...

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