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  1. Okay, before I say anything else, let me first say that I am not asking this question in mockery or distain, just in honesty. And I am, to a large degree, asking it in my own life and journey. I'm not sure what my own answer is yet, so I thought I would ask you good folks here. With that preamble said, here goes: One of the popular and traditional notions within religion is that God (or the Divine or the More or the Sacred) is beyond ken, that God is so transcendent as to be ineffable. In other words, our words and experiences of what we call God always fall short of accurate description and transmission. I, too, have had experiences of God that are extremely difficult to put into words, that can usually only be described with limited metaphors and analogies. So I agree that all "God-talk" is, by definition, limited to and very subjective of human experience. But if this is truly the case, if all of our "God-talk" is mere meaningless babble, then why do we talk about it at all? Why bother? It seems to be a popular trend on this board that we constantly remind ourselves and our posters that our views are limited, and there is, I believe, certain justification for doing so. We need to be humble about what we say or what we claim to know or our truth claims. This is one thing that progressive Christianity has instilled in us. At the same time, it seems that because we are to be humble about what we know or claim or experience to be reality or the truth, that it sometimes comes across that we simply don't know anything, that we are blindly stumbling around in the dark and none of us has anything except extremely faulty human perception (illusion) going for us. So, again, why bother discussing matters of meaning, faith, and/or truth if it is hopelessly beyond us to know or experience it? Please, I'm not pointing fingers. I myself know full well that when I talk of God, as my sig says, my opinions are my own. I know that I am attempting, metaphorically, to find the value of pi using only an abacus. But does this mean with can know nothing?!? I know I am going to sound like a flaming fundamentalist conservative with this last related question, but it haunts me, even in my heterodoxy. Don't Christians of almost all flavors say that one reason that Jesus is valued is because he has, to some extent, made the unknowable known, the transcendent immanent, the ineffable effable, the truth somewhat accessible, even if still limited? If it is true that all any of us has is our own unique, subjective experience that has no validity to it other than what we ourselves give it, then why bother talking about our illusory "whispers in the dark"? If we, collectively, know no more now about God/Reality after 6000 years of human and sacred experience, then what progress have we made? If life is all, as Socrates seemed to think, no more real or substantive than shadows cast by a fire on the walls of a cave, then why bother discussing any of it? Shouldn't we, then, as Ecclesiates says, just eat, drink, and be merry? Is it all ultimately vanity? ws
  2. Just wanted to drop this off here. "Faith and theology" is one of my favorite religion blogs. It's accessibly written by smart people. It's theology is very orthodox, but it's very useful. They have a series of blog posts, collected here, that is basically an annotated bibliography of core theological concepts. It leans in a Protestant (Reformed-ish, Anglican-ish) direction, but everything leans some way or another. I've found it very useful.
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