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AslansTraveller last won the day on May 24 2019

AslansTraveller had the most liked content!

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About AslansTraveller

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  • Birthday 03/06/1956

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    Theology, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Spiritual Formation, Jacques Ellul, Liberation Theology
  1. Sorry I've come to this discussion so late, but the line that hits home for me is: "Scripture is narrative that moves (hopefully) one to a relationship with the Divine;" That's the key. Our spiritual life is a pilgrimage, a story, a journey. The Scriptures is the telling of the story of a particular people to whom Christians belong by their choice. The Bible is not a book of propositions and rules (I've always thought the development of numbering the lines of the Bible was unfortunate. What other type of book has such numbering? Law Books.) It is not just rational mind, but heart and feeli
  2. Excellent! And for me that is a key point. It isn't just referring to Jesus for a set of proposed ethics to which to give intellectual assent, but to be involved, related and relating to a living Person, Someone who guides, loves and comforts here and now. Turning to Jesus just for a set of suggestions about how to behave is, in my experience, pointless. The world is full of great ethics, great and wise sages and their ideas and guidance. Big deal. But as a Christian, I believe that Christ will work with us, directly and lovingly through the Holy Spirit to give us what we need to follow Him. I
  3. And this is an excellent example of what I'm getting at. I'm not saying all disease is demonic. But I'm unwilling to say our medical science is so all powerful that we can explain it all. Maybe Jesus was using language familiar to his audience. Or maybe we're using language familiar to ours. Maybe we're both using metaphors neither of which are totally descriptive, but are useful in dealing with a problem. After all, we can't see a demon, we can't pull one out and nail it to a specimin tray. But then, we can't do that with a "destructive thought pattern" either. Exorcism is a com
  4. Prayer is an excellent subject, all too often neglected or oversimplified ("Prayer is where I give God his marching orders, isn't it?"). A couple of very good resources I've found: 1) Prayer by Richard Foster. Excellent overview of the many types and purposes of prayer. Written by a man who knows his stuff. 2) Prayer of the Heart by George Maloney. Personally, I've found great peace and blessings with the basic "Jesus Prayer" as used by the Eastern Christians and a bunch of other folks for about 1500 years. Lord Jesus Christ (on the inhale) Son of God (on the exhale) Have m
  5. Dear Jesus, In the posts above, you neglected to mention another possibility: that there is both possession and mental illness. Now, which is which and how do you tell? Francis McNutt, a long time professional in the healing ministry advises that anyone doing that sort of ministry have a knowledge of psychology and/or advisors who have such training to that the difference can be detected. It doesn't have to be "either/or". M. Scott Peck, author of People of the Lie was a psychiatrist who, despite all his training and experience, found that there were some cases (not all by any mean
  6. Mmm, I'm not sure your analysis applies to the 9/11 terrorists. They weren't poor people, they were fairly well off men of Saudi citizenship. They weren't the type of poor, jobless young men that keep showing up in Britain and Iraq, for example. The question is: are we, America, innocents being attacked by those envious of our God given blessings, or is there something about our foreign policy that is getting folks upset? Good point. I haven't read that book, but have heard that his work with Malachi Martin should make one cautious. Martin is a man whose veracity has had some qu
  7. I fear we're getting a little too ivory tower here. Of course there is good and evil. We all know it, we all work with that as an assumption, even when we don't admit it during intellectual discussions. Consider: child rape, genocide, torture for fun. What do we do with those things? They are evil. We know it and we act upon that knowledge in our day-to-day lives. Without the categories of good and evil, we are silenced. How can we criticize racists, fascists, dictators, Bush, without acknowledging such categories? Can we absorb them under some sort of "just the flip side of good"
  8. It is a fascinating subject. I know C.S. Lewis addressed it in his "Space Trilogy". Basically he had a solar system full of life, but only earth was fallen (we were called the "Silent Planet"). It allowed him to portray unfallen cultures on other planets, and he did a great job. I have read quite a few short stories over the years that have addressed the question. Some have Jesus incarnating as one of the natives to offer salvation, others have it being our job to carry the Gospel into the universe. No solid agreement, so the creative field is open. Until we have definite contact of one f
  9. I can understand and sympathize with this idea, but I wonder about four things: 1) How does this fit in with the idea of being "yeast"? Would we want a denomination where all the progressives gather, emptying their influence from the other denominations? Isn't better that we be scattered about, keeping other denominations from being dominated with theocrats to whom we've given a clear field? 2) One of the problems with some denominations (UU and UCC come to mind) is that their voices can all too easily be dismissed "oh, yeah, those liberal nut cases!". 3) A "progressive denominat
  10. Very well put. I especially like the phrase you use "transformation centered Christianity". That is what real Christianity is about: NOT having a set of intellectual propositions to which you give intellectual assent, but a relationship of trust (another word for 'faith') and loyalty which moves you to a life of change and development. This is, fortunately, being reborn with works like Dallas Willard, Richard Foster and the reborn interest in the disciplines of the Christian life, the work of the Desert Fathers, the Orthodox monastics, even more esoteric folks like Gurdjieff, Mouravieff, Oursp
  11. I've stumbled across Mr. Cutsinger in several books of Schuon's he's edited and an excellent book Paths of the Heart based on a conference between Eastern Christians and Sufi's (with a strong Traditionalist element) which took place not long after 9/11. I've found his work very readable and clear. I find the work of men such as Cutsinger and Smith especially good because they give an approach to religious pluralism/tolerance which doesn't involve any sort of "tossing the baby out with the bathwater" i.e. sacrificing elements that are valuable in any religion for the sake of some sort of
  12. I have come to the conclusion that I will never find a single church which will meet all my needs. Maybe that's unreasonable. Every denomination has something I don't like and every one has things I do like. So I think it's going to become a case of going where I need to go based on what I need at the time while maintaining my own personal spiritual practice on my own. In other words, I have to hunt for and gather what I need and not expect anyone to "give" it to me.
  13. "imperfect words"? No, I think you are speaking great wisdom. I have kept after this question"are all religions true?" and found much wisdom I hadn't realized before. What you have to say speaks volumes. In a way it was a conflict of head vs. heart. In my heart I couldn't really believe that others were all heading down the wrong road. Especially since I have found great wisom in other religions (the Sufi's especially). Meanwhile, my head (or actually, a fairly rigid and literal intepretation of the Bible) was saying "There is only one Truth! How can conflicting ideas all be true?" I did
  14. I think you're doing pretty well re: spam, compared to some. I visit another board which is so permeable, the spam shows up as "new members" and as new topics in the forum itself!
  15. I would agree with you pretty much. We are all fallen and fallible and none of us is doing what we should. The question thus is: are we like the Pharisee "Thank you God for not making me like other men . . ." or the publican "Lord, forgive me a sinner." I would look less for the performance of a set of rules than an attitude of desiring God, His love and presence while being fully aware of it all being gift, not earned.
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