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"born Again" Progressive?


des
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Hi,

 

I had an experience recently, changed my faith, my feelings, etc. I felt "renewed" in my faith, so I am wondering am I "born again"? This term has been so badly messed up by

Fundamentalists that I doubt I could ever really use it seriously. So I use the term "renewed" (for lack of anything better). I began to dust off some of those hoary old

concepts and look at them in a different way. For example, the incarnation. I never

particularly liked it. But then I thought isn't God alive in all of us, why wouldn't God be

alive, and perhaps in a unique way, in/with Jesus. I thought about a lot of such things.

But it was more "thoughts", it was also feelings and "spirit" for lack of a better term.

 

 

So anyone else have such a feeling(s), experience?

Anyone care to give it some additional light?

 

--des

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Well yes, like I rember this one time me and my 2 best friends were hiking the beautful Santa Barbara Bontanic Gardens. The water fall was full and all the poppies were in bloom and it was so inspiring and beautful that there three of all just paused in awe looking up at the light shinning through the redwoods and at that moment my friend smiled and said he felt he was in the presence of God and my gal friend and I said we felt the same thing.

 

I think the word "Renewl" is much better than "Born Again".

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I certainly would agree that one can be a born again progressive. I consider myself one.

 

Of course, there is an issue over terminology, and fundamentalism has over used the term. The biblical reference they back up the doctrine with, from Jesus and Nicodemus, I would translate as meaning 'born from above' which is, entirely, metaphorically.

 

But true. We do need to be born from above to see the kingdom of heaven. If I remember right, in Marc Borg's the Heart of Christianity, there is an entire section on understanding the metaphor of being born from above thru a progressive lens.

 

So yes, I'm fine with that. And people really do have experiences of renewal and experiences with God.

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  • 1 year later...
I began to dust off some of those hoary old concepts and look at them in a different way. For example, the incarnation. I never particularly liked it. But then I thought isn't God alive in all of us, why wouldn't God be alive, and perhaps in a unique way, in/with Jesus. I thought about a lot of such things.

 

Your comments about the Incarnation are the same thoughts that I had when I started to rethink the Incarnation and the Trinity.

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I began to dust off some of those hoary old concepts and look at them in a different way. For example, the incarnation. I never particularly liked it. But then I thought isn't God alive in all of us, why wouldn't God be alive, and perhaps in a unique way, in/with Jesus. I thought about a lot of such things.

 

Your comments about the Incarnation are the same thoughts that I had when I started to rethink the Incarnation and the Trinity.

 

 

It is tricky to do. Taking an old concept at looking at it a new light. Of course you have to make sure those you are talking to know what *you* mean by the old concept. I think that is why sometimes we simply come up with new words!

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In The Heart of Christianity, Marcus Borg urges those of the "emerging paradigm", whom I think it is fine to call "liberal" from his description of them, to take back the phrase "born again" to describe the transformation that is central to Christianity. It made sense to me.

 

I'm not sure why that is distasteful to so many. Is it too biblical? Does it sound like pride? Does it sound like a declaration that one speaks in tongues?

 

I am a born-again Christian, but on detailing what that means to me, it means a transformation that was not conservative at all. It's like the last time I said the Bible was the word of God, by which I meant it was God's instrument to teach us about Jesus, even if it was written entirely by men, even if the gospels are in large part fantasy. That's not what people mean by Word of God, I suppose. Words are ambiguous. There's no getting past that.

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David d:

 

In The Heart of Christianity, Marcus Borg urges to take back the phrase "born again" to describe the transformation that is central to Christianity. It made sense to me.I'm not sure why that is distasteful to so many."

 

(A) too biblical? No

 

(B)sound like pride?No..but see (D)

 

©Does it sound like a declaration that one speaks in tongues?

 

In my opinion, Yes. I, and I believe, many DO associate the term to be "born Again" to worship in a Penecostal or 'charismatic" way, and for me that is a form of worship that is highly distasteful and anti-intellecual to me.

 

(D) When you spoke of pride...there is something kinda related to this in that for Evangelical Protestants the term "born Again" Christian has come to be defined as being an a special chosen type of Christian, while all other types of Christians ca not be verified as true.

 

BORN AGAIN....EVANGELICAL...

 

All these terms have come to be used to indentify a 'precise' type pf christianity known as Evangelical Protestant. While Catholics, Unit Church and ALL 'OTHER' non-Evangelical Protestant Christians may very well discribe an experince as being "Born Again"...or may say they ARE "Evangelical"..never the less...neither of these terms will be acknowledged as true by Evangelical protestants who have come to claim these precise theological terms as their own.

 

WHAT DOES BORN AGAIN 'REALLY' MEAN?

 

A very logical question to ask is, WHAT PRECISELY DOES 'BORN AGAIN' MEAN??? Different people will give different answers..but as far as my resreach has gone, from a bibical point of view..to become "BORN AGAIN" means to DIE and turn into a spirit being..and as such I don;t relate to claiming this discription of thelogical term to myself.

 

I am a born-again Christian, but on detailing what that means to me, it means a transformation that was not conservative at all. It's like the last time I said the Bible was the word of God, by which I meant it was God's instrument to teach us about Jesus, even if it was written entirely by men, even if the gospels are in large part fantasy. That's not what people mean by Word of God, I suppose. Words are ambiguous. There's no getting past that.

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It is true that "born again" became synonymous with "Evangelical", whatever that word means, as if no one else wants to spread the story of Jesus. I remember feeling frustrated on debate boards when atheists used "Christian" interchangeably with "Fundamentalist", as in "take all the Christians out and shoot them".

 

At the same time "transformed" sounds like a sci-fi term.

 

Then something like "child of God" sounds fake to me.

 

I liked Christian, not otherwise specified, at one point, but there's as much baggage with "Christian" as with "born again".

 

So I go by David and know that if anyone really wants to know my faith, it's going to take me a while to explain it. It's like Marcus Borg's, but then it isn't. That might be the shortest version I can narrow it down from Christian.

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David D:

 

"I remember feeling frustrated on debate boards when atheists used "Christian" interchangeably with "Fundamentalist", as in "take all the Christians out and shoot them".

 

That sums up prefectly my frustrations with the Liberal Left.

 

Once again, it is hard to blame them considering *I* couldn't find progressives/liberals for years. "They" aren't looking. How could they possibly know that Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and George Bush are not the only kind of CHristian? Most (Fundamentalists/Conservative) Christians don't know it either!

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Good post, btw, I wish I was not such a late-comer to it!

 

I consider myself "born again" I guess in sort of the evangelical sense, although for me the journey for me was from fundamentalism/pentecostalism to where I am today. For me, it is an experience/process that goes beyond mere assent to a set of cognitive ideas and ethical/moral ideals. While I do hold to fairly classical Christology in the orthodox sense, there certainly has been an iconoclastic thing going on with me the past few years where I have painfully realized that many things I thought were "christian", certainly were not: infallibility of the written Bible, strict doctrinal assertions about salvation, assertions that there would only be Christians in heaven, American "manifest destiny", conservative religio-political ideals, etc. But I do not believe that there should be a marraige of "progressive" Christian beliefs with a blanket dismissal of religious experience. A life of prayer/meditation and piety is still important, and perhaps something that should be wrested from fundamentalism as well. :)

 

-Joel

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I'd consider myself as having a classic Christology, perhaps even in the Orthodox sense.  ;)  (At least I'm thinking about it.)

 

Interesting. I've flirted with Eastern Orthodoxy for some time, but I doubt we will go to the dance together. ;)

 

I very much like theology from the East. It is not as "wooden" as Roman Catholicism and all subsequent soteriology derived from the image of the Divine Courtroom. But you have to be willing to take everything EO has to offer - the culture, the authority of the Church (with a big "C"), and the notion that everything the Church does is holy. The first time I visited a parish, the priest quoted St Cyprian to me - "You cannot have God as your Father without the Church as your Mother." I should have responded with Augustine's, "The Church, she is my mother, and she is a whore." but I bit my tongue.

 

The liturgy is beautiful. The experience of God in the EO church is full. But I had to say thanks, but no thanks. But if it is for you, by all means. I'm sure you will not regret it! :)

 

-Joel

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I very much like theology from the East.

 

Yeah, me too.

 

But you have to be willing to take everything EO has to offer - the culture, the authority of the Church (with a big "C"), and the notion that everything the Church does is holy.  The first time I visited a parish, the priest quoted St Cyprian to me -"You cannot have God as your Father without the Church as your Mother." 

 

That is pretty much what has kept me from going. As I was discussing with a friend recently, I'll probably go to the Episcopal church close to where I live. It's "high church," and they have classes all the time (religion, art, poetry) which might offer me some of what I yearn for, and yet leave me the "experience and reasoning" portion of my faith intact.

 

I should have responded with Augustine's, "The Church, she is my mother, and she is a whore." but I bit my tongue.

 

Would have loved to be a fly on the wall if you had. ;)

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That is pretty much what has kept me from going. As I was discussing with a friend recently, I'll probably go to the Episcopal church close to where I live. It's "high church," and they have classes all the time (religion, art, poetry) which might offer me some of what I yearn for, and yet leave me the "experience and reasoning" portion of my faith intact.

 

Yeah, the Anglican Communion is the via media between extremes (sometimes). My wife and I attend an Episcopal church currently. I had to listen to my dad's griping about me going to a communion that elevated Robinson to the Episcopacy, and a parish that has a woman priest. I told him I didn't care. It has taken a while for me to realize that church is a lot like AA - who cares what everyone else is doing, it only works if I work it. :)

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"The first time I visited a parish, the priest quoted St Cyprian to me - "You cannot have God as your Father without the Church as your Mother." I should have responded with Augustine's, "The Church, she is my mother, and she is a whore." but I bit my tongue."

 

You know, that saying reminds me up by past JW upbringing. Though JW does not refer to their human board of leaders as "Mother"...They do consider their "Organization" THEE channel to God. :rolleyes:

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Actually no, JW leaders don't claim infallability with their truth claims. They have "light" that gets "brighter and brighter" as the "day draws near."

 

So, if "present truth" contradicts "previous truth," it's because it was veiled in darkness.

 

We ex-JW's like to call it the "blinking light" theory. :P

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Actually no, JW leaders don't claim infallability with their truth claims. They have "light" that gets "brighter and brighter" as the "day draws near."

 

So, if "present truth" contradicts "previous truth," it's because it was veiled in darkness.

 

We ex-JW's like to call it the "blinking light" theory.  :P

 

:lol:

 

I have to say thought, at least they will admit to being wrong. I haven't seen that in the fundamentalist/conservative circles I've been in!

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QUOTE(AletheiaRivers

 

"We ex-JW's like to call it the "blinking light" theory."

 

Or maybe it could also be called The Red Light/Green Light Thoery. :lol:

 

 

"I have to say thought, at least they will admit to being wrong. I haven't seen that in the fundamentalist/conservative circles I've been in! "

 

Hummm..true. For example, we all know that many Protestant groups no longer explain hell as a literal place of eternal torment...like United Methodists and others, but then again, did ANy of them ever admit that they wrong WRONG in their previous interpretayions on this?

 

Sometimes a faith group will admit a past wrong view..but then they make matters worse by simply replacing it with another. For example, some years back the Southern Baptists publically apologied for suporting the slave trade and for treating Native Americans inferior....yet they merely replaced this with treating women sexist or slamminng all non-Evangelical protestants as CULTS. :angry:

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