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Everything posted by murmsk

  1. I think we can all agree that conservative religion in general and Christianity in particular has been on the wrong side of history at virtually every crossroads. Whether it has been women, racial, sexual identity or semitism the conservative church has always chosen oppression over love. So why is the church still around? I like to think it is because more moderate church sees it and pushes for social change and support for the less advantaged and eventually win out. I am old enough to remember segregation and remember our church sending marchers to Selma. I am old enough to have spoke t
  2. Religion whether it be Christianity or any other tradition is simply a tool for humans to strive for a better world . Simple as that! steve
  3. "science is not in the proof business." this is exactly right but is is in the knowledge business. This is a book my Phd Chemist mostly atheist father read and recommends . It mostly views religion from social science standpoint. steve
  4. this was obviously an advertisement for his book. Its too bad he hasn't shared a little more about himself and his perspective. Much of what he says has some relevance for the bible literalists but ignores the fact that all Christians and maybe even most Christians don't fall in his neat characterization. steve
  5. I am late to this discussion but would like to chime in. First...On the discussion of science and medicine. Physicians are not scientists and seldom produce science. We live in the world of anecdote... we are practitioners , we try and use the science of others to provide the best outcomes for our patients but don't confuse that with science. As a general rule medical science is done in the schools and research centers. Second.... Science is not a way of knowing its a way of finding things out. Religion is not a way of knowing its a way of living. Knowing is an abstract sense th
  6. This book might be of some interest Why Science Does Not Disprove God https://www.amazon.com/Why-Science-Does-Not-Disprove/dp/B00IA68UCG/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=science+disprove+religion&qid=1620313638&sr=8-1 steve
  7. I am convinced that in most situations labels are at best unhelpful. Often we are viewed through the labels we accept. And more importantly it seems to be human nature that when we accept a label we tend to work to become that label. s
  8. My journey came out of my need for consistency . Being a person of science, dismissing data simply because it doesn’t fit a desired conclusion rubs against everything that is me. So if i am going to read the Bible I can’t ignore the more distasteful sections ie: support of slavery and its view of woman for example. I needed a way to read the Bible and view of Jesus and God that is 100% consistent whether in reading about love or that woman shouldn’t speak in church. Authors like Markus Borg encouraged my view that is now common in progressive circles that the Bible are a group of writings, son
  9. I have found meaning in Markus Borgs description of God as being “something more” s
  10. My sense is that the bible is a literary collection of songs, poems,stories and history written by a faithful people. The concept of sin had very little meaning for me for much of my life mostly, I think, due to how it is used in many churches as an sword to keep followers in line. I always bothered me because I see some good coming out of forgiveness of sins if it is handled properly. People need to know that they can be forgiven for the mistakes they make. My current thinking on sin is that sins are nothing more than counterproductive mistakes humans make. and Original Sin is humans ten
  11. Coming from a science background, I have always had a great deal of trouble understanding let alone accepting the thought that some people still reject evolution. Historically I have difficulty not viewing them with distain as they choose to believe something that seems to me to be utterly foolish. I had a revolation a week or so ago. In spite of the fact my degree is in chemistry I do not understand the math behind the support for the big bang. I have never seen another galaxy , i have never been to the Galápagos Islands . My point is while I have a general understanding of the the
  12. I am one who views the bible as the writings of a spiritual people. As such the writing reflect the attitudes, views and beliefs of that society. When asked "where did we come from" and "why did this happen" they had no science to fall back on so their answers reflected their simple observations as well as story constructs. As i have stated before, I view sin as mistakes and original sin as human flaws that drive us to make mistakes. Steve
  13. I read in the news that Marcus Borg has passed. His books were foundational to me and my spiritual understanding. With out his influence I would still be holding "CHURCH" at an arms length. Thank you Markus. steve
  14. I have a more simplistic view of sin and original sin. Sin ,to me, is nothing more than mistakes. Mistakes that hurt people, mistakes that hurt us, mistakes that hurt the environment......... Original sin, to me, are the human tendency to do those things. Selfishness, lust, dishonesty, desire to dominate....... Jesus died for our sins the way MLK died for our sins. or because of our sins. Not a blood atonement but rather a willingness to die while standing for what is right. MLK died because my forbearers gave in to human tendences to dominate, he died so I would know a diffe
  15. One of our old pastors who I very much respected was his words " very conservative but NOT a fundamentalist " He viewed the bible conservatively but compassionately. I asked him once what was the difference... he said a conservatives beliefs are a conclusion a fundamentalists are a statement. steve
  16. this does make me uncomfortable. It is always easier to not think. I think it is of ultimate importance to strive for truth and understanding . The freedom you describe is a comfort from ignorance. If we don't think , we don't worry. I don't think this is what you mean. Let me restate it... I have come to the conclusion that knowing the history is not terribly important to my spirituality. I am perfectly comfortable with the concept that Jesus as a man didn't exist or that he did in different form than NT . I think that is likely. I think there is a freedom from not tying ones faith to
  17. What kind of person condemns another to eternal damnation simply because of the company they keep? If one views grace and compassion as good, why would we accept less out of God? I guess for me it came down to if the fundi's view of God is correct... I want no part of it. Ill hang out with Gandhi, Confussious , the Dali Lama and _____________ in hell. steve
  18. dido, The "when we will be heard" is a very important part of the statement. Often, when in dialog especially with fundi's there is a refusal to listen. I personally get very frustrated with people who choose to be ignorant and thus don't spend my time talking. steve
  19. Marcus Borg's "Reading the Bible AGAIN for the first time" and "Hearth of Christianity" to be good understandable primers for open progressive thought. I introduces the thoughts that the traditional view of Christianity is not convincing for a large number of us and provides a framework around which a person can follow their heart to a new understanding of faith. Also the "Living the Questions" DVD is a series of 20 minute lessons on progressive faith. steve
  20. I have learned over the years that it is possible for something to be "true" where the truth has little or nothing to do with historical accuracy. .... parables are a good example. s
  21. Impossible to know what changes were made very early on. The fact that there are so many blatant contradictions suggests to me if there were changes they happened before the books were considered together. Simply, if i was going to make changes... I would start with the contradictions.The fact that they are still there suggests faithful transcriptions. I like Markus Borg's description of the scriptures ...... They are the writings of a spiritual people. Divinely inspired ... perhaps?As writings of a spiritual people they include and reflect the attitudes of the time. Markus B
  22. Maybe hell is you die and understand the effect you had . Maybe hell is regret?
  23. There is really only one that is needed. I am convinced that living beings evolve. This is as close to proven as science gets. We have seen it occur ... the Galapagos Islands is the best known example of a gene selection due to an environmental advantage. If one admits that even on evolutionary change has occurred then logic demands that we accept that evolution can happen not that it did in the specific but that broadly it can happen. From there you would look for evidence to support or (not support) the notion of the specific. I applaud you, renewedinfaith, for your questioning spir
  24. Science run on the following statement "Do observations/data fit the hypothesis?" I doesn't require that all the little things are fully answered, but does require that the little things that you do have answers for fit the observations. The thought that "just because every little nonce is not been answered the hypothesis if false" suggests a lack of understanding of the scientific process. In this case the little things that we do have answers for fit nicely the evolution hypothesis. Further, the logical extrapolations from observation fit as well. The short answer to this
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