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Quiet Board


irreverance
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For what it's worth, this board in general seems to be pretty quiet. I was just wondering who posts regularly and who is lurking.

 

So, here's the request:

If you post regularly, reply to this.

If you read regularly but don't post, reply to this.

Everybody, tell us how you got here in the first place.

 

 

Now, back to me...

*ahem*

 

Well, it looks like I am now a relatively regular poster. I originally connected with this site through a google search for "progressive Christianity" (it was a match; go figure). Later, a friend told me about it (that was when I signed it). I hadn't posted yet. Recently, I reconnected with this place through a reference on the Proggie board on B-Net.

 

Now, it's y'all's turn.

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Here is my experience with this Board, for what it is worth:

I am a participant in Bishop Spong's Board. It was there I learned of this one. I was quite active at first until I mentioned "A Course in Miracles". I was instructed that the course was New Age and thus not of interest. As a result my postings dropped off drastically. Currently, I receive notices of new topics regularly and reply when they are of interest.

 

Jeep

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I read here regularly and post occasionally. The forum has been a real blessing to me.

What I've seen over there last 2 or 3 years has been that it's most valuable function is in helping isolated progressive Christians find their voice and articulate their beliefs in a safe environment. Once their Christology and Theology is worked out a bit, they settle down and start living it out. There comes a point when it's time to stop talking about it and start doing it or being it (right?). So on this forum we get spurts of inspiration and discovery. Or we get frustration and venting. A little debate perhaps. Then of course we get a steady, helpful stream of articles, conversations, and sermonettes from BrotherRog.

 

Jeep, I know what you're talking about when it comes to some of the New Age topics that have been raised. Although some of us find metaphysics, meditation, Course in Miracles, yoga and such to be a natural extention of our progressive Christian path, I have found that most progressive Christians don't really relate to it. Too mystical, too supernatural. I've found that my so-called "New Age" practices/beliefs are more akin to moderate or conservative practice of Christianity.

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Jeep, Arrgh!! You know full well that I am the ONLY person who has expressed their opinion that Course on Miracles is too "New Agey" for me. You also know full well, that I have reminded you that I am NOT an official in any way in this bulletin board or in TCPC.

Edited by BrotherRog
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One thing I think would help greatly is that is the very term "Progressive Christianity" could be added to Google and Yahoo's directory in religions and THEN place this site THERE. Currently, there is no such term there....ONLY "Evangelical". Also, maybe advertose this site on Beliefnet's Progressive Christianity message board.

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Fatherman:

 

Thanks for your helpful message. I echo much of your sentiments and do follow this Board and do comment occasionally.

 

Your feeling that "New Age" thinking is akin to moderate and conservative views, rather than progressive ones, was helpful. I had never thought of it this way. I was exposed to fundamentalist doctrine by Dr. Louis T. Talbot when I was young. It didn't take too well because of my science education at Cal Tech in the "30's". Since then, I have spent my time on reconciling science and theology, finding that pursuit under broad and fruitful returns because of the support of Sir John Templeton in recent years.

 

I have found "A Course in Miracles" so far to be compatible with both science and theology, and an excellent commentary on the Christian Bible for our times. I find it difficult to grasp but practical in its application to living in modern times. Its message seems to be rejuvinating UNITY CHristianity and that may be progress.

 

Jeep

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I just recently found this site through its affiliation with the Center For Process Studies and now that I found it, I check it several times a day.

 

I was raised a Fundamentalist, spent some time in the 5-point calvinist camp (convinced I had the Truth), had some soul shaking experiences as a full-time police chaplain, discovered that Nietsche was right - that particular God IS dead, realized again for the first time that to know Jesus is to know God, and found Process/Relational Theology as a rational way to explain my relationship with God.

 

As for "A Course in Miracles" - while I believe that none of us can ever fully understand God or be able to devise a theology which will explain God (there will always be the limits of language and weakness of insight), I do think that it is important that those concepts that we do hold are coherent explanations of our experiences. Therefore, I don't believe that all views are equal (a "mushy" kind of deconstructive postmodernism), but neither do I believe that anyone has a monopoly on Truth. All views should be open to critical examination. I believe "A Course in Miracles" falls short in such an examination.

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PantaRhea:

 

You certainly have a right to your opinion, but I am surprised since I have come to the opposite conclusion.

 

I too was raised on the Christian Bible and its doctrine of the separation of man from God in the Garden. The duality which results defies credulity. And the doctrine of the sacrificial atonement as the means of restoration is nothing but barbaric in my view.

 

Spong, in his first thesis of his Twelve puts it this way: "Theism as a way of defining God is dead.....[we must] find a better way." For me, the reality of God cannot be threatened, the unreal in the end doesn't have an existence. The Course in Miracles seems to me to validate this in my experiences of it so far. Is it the better way? The jury is still out.

 

Jeep

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PantaRhea:

 

You certainly have a right to your opinion, but I am surprised since I have come to the opposite conclusion.

 

I too was raised on the Christian Bible and its doctrine of the separation of man from God in the Garden. The duality which results defies credulity. And the doctrine of the sacrificial atonement as the means of restoration is nothing but barbaric in my view.

 

Spong, in his first thesis of his Twelve puts it this way: "Theism as a way of defining God is dead.....[we must] find a better way." For me, the reality of God cannot be threatened, the unreal in the end doesn't have an existence. The Course in Miracles seems to me to validate this in my experiences of it so far. Is it the better way? The jury is still out.

 

Jeep

The right to an opinion is definitely one right which inalienable, but too often all we have are opinions without reasons. Before we dismiss the jury for deliberations, we must first make sure that they have sufficient evidence upon which to make a judgement.

 

While I understand and share your sentiment and revulsion against the most common view of the atonement, and I find much with which to agree in the (as I understand it) pantheistic view of The Course in Miracles, I think that the theology presented is a non-relational view of reality and that it fails to meet rational standards of coherency. Further, I think the positive teachings of this view are included in a Process/Relational theology.

 

My intent is not to find reasons for division by pointing to the antithesis of the thesis of the Course, but hopefully to show that a synthesis is already available.

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I check in here from time to time, post every once in a blue moon. I discovered this website when I was checking out another website by a local UCC Church -- I was upset about the elections and the arguments that Bush won again because evangelicals were worried about gay marriage. . .

 

I would post more, but I'm a writer and editor with deadlines, and I've gotten a little behind lately. Also admittedly I've been attracted by the online forum on another website and online journal, integralnaked.org, in which people from various religious backgrounds (largely Buddhist, but including Jews, Christians, and perhaps some new-agers as well) discuss progressive spirituality, the evolution of consciousness and ideas on how to integrate knowledge from the realms of science, spirituality, politics. It's great, but there is a monthly fee to subscribe to the online magazine.

 

Is anybody here familiar with Ken Wilber and his integral philosophy? If not, I'd highly suggest that progressive Christians become familiar with his work, because his Integral Institute will be up and running within the next few years, and it will include a spirituality component. The spirituality component will include leaders and organizations in the various faith traditions--including Christianity's Contemplative Outreach, an ecumenical organization that teaches centering prayer. Anyway, books by Wilber worth checking out include A Theory of Everything, A Brief History of Everything, One Taste, and The Marriage of Sense and Soul.

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Jeep:

 

Here is the official word from the official TCPC employee and manager of the boards: PLEASE write about a Course in Miracles to your heart's content. As BrotherRog has said several times, he is just one person with one opinion, and even he invites you to say whatever you wish.

 

We welcome discussion about anything that progressive Christians have found to be of interest. There are bound to be many people who will agree and many who disagree with any conclusions you come to about ANYTHING, including the CIM. But that is what makes us so wonderfully diverse.

 

So, once and for all, banish any thought in your head that you and your interests are not welcome here. You can be our official CIM expert, in fact, you should start or restart a thread just for that so that others who want to agree or argue can find you more efficiently ;)

 

Best,

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fails to meet rational standards of coherency.

That sounds like something akin to what David Tracy would say. As a process theologian, by chance are you familiar with his work? Righ now I'm reading A Blessed Rage for Order.

Edited by XianAnarchist
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I registered for this forum today, so I guess I don't completely qualify as a lurker. However, I'm usually quite quiet.

 

I was turned on to this websight by a chatter over at one of yahoo's religious debate rooms who posted a link.

 

I can't comment on Course in Miracles, because I've never read it. :P

 

I think the term New Age has become an umbrella term for too many belief systems.

 

I've heard many say that Matthew Fox is "new age", which just makes me chuckle.

 

Aletheia

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fails to meet rational standards of coherency.

That sounds like something akin to what David Tracy would say. As a process theologian, by chance are you familiar with his work? Righ now I'm reading A Blessed Rage for Order.

No, I'm not familiar with David Tracy. Is he a Process Theologian? It doesn't matter... I'm a promiscuous reader. I'll try to remember to add him to my list.

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I think the term New Age has become an umbrella term for too many belief systems.
~ AletheiaRivers

 

I agree. I sometimes use it for myself because no other word I would use has any meaning to most folks. If I called myself a Kriyaban Christian I'm afraid I would only confuse people.

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LOL!!

 

I practice a form of meditation called Kriya Yoga. The "official" organization of Kriya in the U.S. is SRF (Self Realization Fellowship) to which I am not associated. SRF practices Kriya as a religion (or cult), but the original purpose was to enrich your chosen faith.

 

It is not something that you can teach yourself. It requires instruction and initiations from a guru or an initiated teacher (for free or with a donation). The details of the practice are only discussed with fellow initiates. This is not to be exclusive, but to insure that the practice is preserved in its most original state. It has been passed down this way for centuries (or millenia) from teacher to student.

 

A Kriya yogi/practitioner is called a Kriyaban.

 

Paramahamsa Yogandanda is responsible for bringing the practice to the U.S. He was best known for his book "Autobiography of a Yogi"

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On a realted note, I've heard that Bahkti yoga is a form of Hinduism that is quite similar to Christianity - that it's very much centered around compassion, mercy, and perfoming acts of love in the world. This said, it looks like it is a "works-based" religion rather than a Grace-based one.

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