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Our science started with the Greeks where philosophy, religion and science were linked together to find the principle character, quality and cause of all things then we disconnected them. If the universe is a free, receptive, improving and an interconnected system then scientific laws are an ideal model for understanding the reliable and proven connections in reality. There will always be some features of the physical universe that the laws of nature cannot capture so we need the connections of philosophy, religion and science. The universe is not a self-enclose system, but an emergent, evolving system which endeavors to a motivation beyond itself. A spiritual foundation with a scientific connection to philosophy offers a balance of openness and intelligibility that can maintain a suitable environment for a personality to find its deepest potentialities. This post if on paper that you are reading in one perspective is a post, in another perception it is a collection of atoms and molecules before being viewed as a composition of mass or wood cellulose. I like to think of it as an arrangement of knowledge and intelligence. None of these positions destroys the soundness of the other viewpoints. They all approach this post from a different angle and they are all just as real as the other ones. It is completely normal to respect differences as a precaution against self-righteousness and getting it wrong. If a dilemma leads to an awareness of Eternity, follow that way; and if another approach appears that is different from the first and it works then follow it. It is good to change and be encouraged to expand to the present moment clear-sightedness. The following quote was attributed to Isaac Newton just before he died, “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” Albert Einstein expressed it in different words, “I believe in intuitions and inspirations...I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am.” Thomas Merton a Christian Mystic said the same thing in another way, “To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, it is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.”
Hey, I just found this board and thought I'd turn you on to something I found a while back. The author or founder of this liberation movement apparently started developing his message way back in 1982, when Ronald Reagan and the "Christian Right" rose to political power. (He exposes them as the hypocrites that they are.) But he wasn't able to publish his first book and web blog until January 2002. He's published four books since then, and the message highlights are now available at The All Faiths Coalition for Peace, Freedom, and Justice, which is a portal to the message. I've looked into it quite a bit, and I think it's the real thing, not "pie in the sky." And, by the way, there's a very good reason why he's so far been "rejected by his generation." I've found it's been discussed on OpEdNews.com, Huffingtonpost.com, Beliefnet.com, TigWeb.org, and a bunch of others. The original author is also apparently a singer songwriter, and his songs, written between 1978 and 1982, can be heard here. Let me know what you think.
Lately, I have been thinking about the historical Jesus and the terms “Christ” and “Christian”. I did a search in the forums for discussions about Jesus, and found some useful discussions. However, I would like to ask everyone this question. Are we in danger of taking Christ out of Christianity? These questions came to me because of the “feel” I'm getting from forum posts. If the term Christ means anointed or appointed, and if we do not take the resurrection and ascension literally, what use is the term? If the term Christ has no validity, why call ourselves Christian? Or is it all just semantics? I am genuinely interested in thoughts.
Hi everyone, I've just come across Bishop Spong's work and find it very exciting and intelligent. I'm writing this post to underline a point which I'm getting the impression has largely been overlooked or downplayed, perhaps in an effort to "keep the peace" or avoid conflict. The first of Mr. Spong's 12 Points for Reform begins thus: "Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead". Now, it seems clear to me that this is an atheistic statement. After all, atheism is not simply an epithet -- although it is often used in the U.S. as though it were one. It has an objective and neutral meaning, namely an ideology which is not theistic. There is an established precedent for religious atheism, both ancient and modern. The earliest formulations of Buddhism, for instance, did not concern themselves with deities, only with the addressing of human suffering and other ethical concerns. I realize that Bishop Spong would be loath to put his ideas in such stark terms, and I can sympathize with his reluctance to do so (I imagine if he did, it would force him to split from his church and would likely undercut his ability to affect change in the broader Christian community). Still, there's something that seems less than perfectly honest about this hedging. He says we must find other ways to formulate God, but if these formulations are non-theistic, aren't we really talking about a creed of Christian atheism? Formulations such as Paul Tillich's (a Christian existentialist) that God is the ground of all being, sound to me to be naturalistic metaphors. By that, I mean they make no necessary appeal to a supernatural or metaphysical realm as an article of faith. I want to be clear that I think this is a good thing! I would just like to see a more frank declaration of this underlying attitude. I would love to hear perspectives from those of you who are better informed than I on the bishop's authorship & also to learn more about how you see your religious attitudes relating (or not) to belief in a divine, supernatural being.