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About peacemover

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  • Location
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Interests
    spirituality, music (I play jazz & classical guitar), reading, spending time outdoors
  1. Good observations, Fred. Postman's books are very astute and insightful, although I would have to say are also a bit alarmist in some respects. One could also make the stretch and say that the Orwellian negative utopia is how things played out in the rise of communism with the state-sanctioned repression; whereas in capitalist, free-market nations like the U.S. and western europe, it has been control through saturating the pleasure-inducing media with messages that sub-consciously control or influence the populus, a la Huxley. The eight points, in essence, to me, seem to amount to a s
  2. Fred, I wholeheartedly agree with your astute observation of the progressive contradiction, that all ways to the divine are equally valid. The most liberal "progressive Christian" scholars exemplify this contradiction to the greatest degree, I believe. The verbiage of the 8 points, along with the rhetoric of the far-left liberal wing of progressive Christianity says they believe all ways are equally valid. However, with a nod and a wink they proceed to seek to trash, deconstruct and impugn any form of evangelical Christianity that does not completely subscribe to their "metaphorical" int
  3. The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder is an excellent book on the person of Jesus from a Christian pacifist perspective. Others on this board may feel that Yoder's theology is a bit too evangelical, but I have gotten a lot out of his writings, including this hallmark, seminal book. I have not read it or looked at it in a few years. I am planning to pick it up again and give it another reading. What do you think about it? Peace, John
  4. Meditation does offer many beneficial physiological effects including relaxing the response of the autonomic nervous system, and reducing the production of corticosteroid-like hormones that are generated whenever we have a fight-or-flight response to threatening stimuli... This has been well documented in the work of physicians such as Dr. Herbert Benson, of Harvard Medical School who wrote the classic book "The Relaxation Response," as well as Dr. Harold Koenig of the Duke Center for Spirituality, Religion and Health, who has written and published widely on the subject. I will try to pos
  5. Sounds good to me! I can't stand labels, but because of the polarization of the conversation, every position stated is compared against the liberal/orthodox paradigm... I don't even like the buzzword "progressive" because it can circumvent the needed articulation of what exactly this means... Peace, John
  6. Excellent questions, MOW. By enlarge, I did find the segments from 'Living the Questions' to be sensitive to the compassion to which you seem to be referring. The possible exception was the segment on prayer, in which Marcus Borg seems to almost mock anyone who believes in the efficacy of intercessory prayer. John Cobb, John Crossan, John Shelby Spong, Nancy Ammerman, and others showed much sensitivity to the issue of a compassionate response to sufferers, though.... I thought... Peace, J
  7. Aletheia, I have really wrestled with the questions and claims of the Christian faith, and while my heart is firmly committed to social justice, progressive politics, and liberal democracy, I also have been feeling that Christian moderates like McLaren, Yancey and Campolo, and even Ron Sider are closer to my beliefs as a moderate Christian evangelical with a social conscience. I read a lot from the progressive school- Borg, Crossan, even Spong, and while I heartily embrace the questions and scholarly inquiry they raise, I am coming back to believe that there needs to be some basis of
  8. I support the goals of JS, and think their methods and findings are refreshing, and do bring new light... especially for all the neo-conservatives who would like very much to take us all back to the flat earth, literalist-fundamentalist understanding of the Bible. We all know it is not that simple; all I was saying was that one area where I think JS has fallen short- amidst all the great accomplishments of advancing the cause of progressive Christianity, etc, etc, is that it has preached to the liberal choir... Perhaps some of the agnostic masses, of which Borg speaks of repeatedly in
  9. That book is the sort of dialogue I was thinking about- "The Meaning of Jesus Two Visions" by Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright... Part of the problem is that there is so much polarization on both sides... Most Christian progressives would probably consider someone like N.T. Wright a conservative evangelical, perhaps with moderate tendencies... I recently lent that book to a friend of mine who is very theologically conservative, and he told me that N.T. Wright was basically regarded as a liberal heretic by the more conservative Christian scholars... I don't know- I guess we just cont
  10. I have tried to keep up with the Jesus seminar a bit, and found the approach of open inquiry from a variety of disciplines to be refreshing... The one aspect they lack, to their detriment, I believe, is to include scholars from various convictions- both those who are "progressive" as well as those who are "evangelical" or even "conservative"... The dialogue brought about by the Jesus seminars has ended up being rather one-sided, because Funk, Spong, Crossan, Borg and others have only invited to the table those from the conviction that scripture is almost purely metaphorical and lacks h
  11. Has anyone here read or heard about the book Democracy and Tradition by Jeffrey Stout?? In the thoughtful book, Jeffrey Stout, professor of religion and culture at Princeton University, offers a persuasive call to people of faith to join the public square dialogue on important issues such as justice and democracy. He cites the call to this engagement from figures such as John Dewey, Walt Whitman, as well as Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Ralph Ellison. Stout also offers an in-depth and persuasive critique of the work of theologians and ethicists John Milbank, Alasdair MacIntyre, and
  12. I have gotten a lot out of the following books on prayer and meditation: Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, by Richard J. Foster A Testament of Devotion, by Thomas Kelly Conversations with God: Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans, edited by James Melvin Washington, Ph.D. The Shape of Living: Spiritual Directions for Everyday Life, by David F. Ford The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction, by Eugene Peterson just about any book by Henri J.M. Nouwen Prayers Plainly Spoken, by Stanley Hauerwas Here is My Hope: A Book o
  13. Those first few sessions of LTQ, in my opinion, did not seem to me to be congruent with at least part of "point 4" of the "eight points": Just my opinion... Again, otherwise I found the course to be very stimuatling and insightful... Peace, John
  14. Hi John. I am interested to know what in the "deconstruction" process you found "seemingly incongruent with the self-proclaimed inclusivity of progressive Christianity". You suggest that the replacing of one set of rules etc with "newer" or more "modern" rules etc. is somehow incongruent with inclusivity. How would you define an inclusive Christianity? Are you suggesting that an inclusive Progressive Christianity would be without "rules, traditions and code words"? If so, how do you define or distinguish a Christian tradition as distinct from other traditions? I'm working to understand wha
  15. Des, I think the piece you are referring to is The Merchants of Cool Great series and good resources and info on the website... Thanks for mentioning that one... Peace, J
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