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Craig V.

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  1. Wow, thormas, your degree and all that exposure to differences, what an experience. I went thru the "Baptist Holy War" at SBTS, all the faculty got purged over three years by the Fundamentalists. It sounds like you have had your share of upheaval and disappointment in the faith too. Thank you for sharing with me. I am hoping that I am not too naive, but again I have been very impressed with what I have come across so far. The Jesuits have an enormous retreat facility here in Wernersville, PA (visible from the parking lot of my St Johns UCC Church), and I have been looking at their websit
  2. Thormas, given your remarks about your Catholic background: What, if any, difference do you feel about Pope Francis and the Jesuits? I realize that the Jesuits are only one of 30 or so Catholic orders, so they still must exist with the legacy of Augustine and asceticism et al, and it seems as if Pope Francis is constantly under siege. As a Protestant, I knew about some of the Jesuit legacy of arduous devotion to so many diverse human beings, achieved across continents and across centuries. Of contributions to education, arts, and science. (Educating Voltaire, Castro, Hitchcock, and
  3. Hello PaulS, thank you for the topic and invite, quite on my own mind. I believe you saw and commented on an earlier thread where I referred to my experience. The convergence of the Jesuit Values, humanist UUA principles, and any good categorization of the 37 parables of Jesus and Sermon on the Mount. A real trinity to live by. But what has been my most radical experience is the result of my disability three years back. I essentially have been on sabbatical. And the resulting writing project that is the product and result (deferred from my SBTS experience when a professor made
  4. Yes, Romansh --- Indeed I have a post-progressive view (I think my 80-pg renunciation of Paul and Pauline Christianity would earn me the heretics' fire a few years ago) and yes, I believe in the service clubs. I was president of my Key Club (Kiwanis for young men) and in Kiwanis. Was moderator of a weekly Sunday radio program on current events, sponsored by Kiwanis, for years in the LA area. But as was said above, too often we have "thrown out the baby with the bathwater when disavowing religion" there is something special about the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, or even the Mormon Beehive (
  5. Hello Romansh, I agree or sympathize with much of what you are saying. My concern is not so much the 8-points definition, which you are reconciling to. None of us have proof of the divinity aspects, or what degree divinity applies. For me, the exciting concept is convergence between the Six Jesuit Values, the UUA Seven Principles (unitarian universalists, ie humanists), and any well-done categorization of the 37 parables of Jesus and Sermon on the Mount. There is convergence which I refer to as "the real Trinity". The positive value of those principles does NOT require metaphysical
  6. This place is evoking less my seminary classroom with spirited, but respectful even loving debate. And more the "Lord of the Flies" or some sort of Man-Cave rivalry. The classroom was at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary . . . .and ground-zero of the "Baptist Holy War" during the Fundamentalist takeover. Yet I do not remember ANY insults, not one, from my time there. Despite the faculty purge, and student sit-ins, and protests. Civility never disappeared. David, I am sorry you have received the majority of the insults. On the other hand, you have said some prov
  7. Thanks! I read and know the OT well. But I believe that Jesus INTRODUCES us to the Authentic Supreme Being . . . for the unassailable rationale above. I try to keep this to myself at church, and don't want to offend anyone here, but it was my endorsement of the beginning of the John Moriarty video that David posted.
  8. Hi David, I will have to watch more later, I got only to the "Walk Naked to Tara" illustration, the video is over an hour so I saved it. (I am too overweight for that advice!!) But so far, I agree. Here is my take on the value of our Old Testament: some of that tradition was edifying, some morally implausible. Too often a tyrant-god emerged, capricious and vindictive (the “meat coming out of their nostrils” bully of Numbers 11), a flash-angry martinet telling Moses or Joshua to “show no mercy” or “leave none breathing” in their conquests. Those San Bernardino mujahedeen, husband
  9. Thormas, I am guessing that David is pleading for more tolerance about his writing style, and yes, It is starkly elaborate if not too obtuse for this lamentable Twitter/Facebook age.. David, I opened up your email and am half-way thru the 24-page work you sent me, thank you. I had so much junk from my denomination this week, that I did not notice it until yesterday. I think the analogy I would make, rather than to LGBTQ tolerance, is that you stylistically evoke the Gospel of John, as opposed to that of the synoptic gospels. I had seminary teachers that were rather dismissive of John,
  10. My own upbringing would indeed seem pathological. My Mormon mother caused a scene in a theater when I was ten years old, yelling out disgust about Jack Lemmon's "Under the Yum Yum Tree" All the other patrons applauded and laughed as we left the auditorium. I was a Mormon missionary. Later, l I read too many history books about Joseph Smith and became a Southern Baptist. Later I went to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. and then due to the Baptist Holy War, and faculty purge, a professor's influence took me to the UUA (Unitarian Universalitsts). Here and now in the USA, the grey zo
  11. Over the last week a new page was added, the section titled "Aargh!! What's that Sizzling Buzz inside my Head?" This blends in some more of the cognitive neuroscience involved in changing very deep and visceral beliefs, into this topic. It is a new page 28. My D.Div. friend I had mentioned was supportive and sent me back more material to add to it. Her feelings of being perplexed were that none of these considerations were adequately covered in seminary, which is exactly what I felt as well. It seems strange and jarring, one feels queasy until there is enough time and substantiatio
  12. Dear Readers: This matter impacts deep lifelong beliefs across our cognitive landscape. It is disruptive. It is not like reading an article in the New York Times. Or a seminary dissertation on a narrower subject. More about cognitive disruption is in the appendix, pg 102, from neuroscientist Dr. Kathleen Taylor. The truth and facts are proven easily in just a few pages, for those unencumbered by Western tradition. The length, the 80 pages, is to help the rest of us get through it responsibly. Is that really worth your effort and interest? The cognitive mayhem?
  13. Yeah, I agree. I suppose those advertisements for Bishop Shelby Spong's new book (published by affiliates of this site) would say the same. My background is included in the first 14 pages, and I am not at all offended, thormas, if you are not interested. On breaking tradition, sometimes less extended education is handy. I have pre-ordered Spong's book, regret his stroke, and will miss his influence in the future. By the way, Spong's rationale on Paul's homophobia gets the full treatment in my work . . . and if you think about it, that powerful "thorn in the flesh" is conceivably what has cau
  14. Hi, thormas. I am the author of the download, the essay. That will be more evident for those who download it and look at it. So my summary to Burl, were highlights of my own manuscript, as he requested. But to repeat, for such a topic, so deep and embedded in our tradition and beliefs, a nearly inconceivable surprise, it is shocking. Thus my priority is to ensure no believer reads it if they are too bound by tradition to handle it successfully. I want it to be faith promoting. I am very active at church. It has boosted my own faith and made me feel much more optimistic
  15. Thanks for your interest, everyone. You need a chance to read thru it and think about it. Trust me, I have been thru this, excerpts will only create anxiety. Sorry about the length, but we need to consider this topic from several angles. We are dealing with hundreds of years of a grand delusion. Every part of you will feel that this is alien and strange, even though ditching Paul is a cause for jubilation, and Matt 7:13-23 foretells our situation. (thormas, which article? let me know the page. but I will retire for the night). Thank you.
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