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After looking at Mike’s list – one I’d be interested in discussing is any of Paul Tillich’s works. Several of his books are complete on line:

 

http://www.religion-...gory.asp?Cat=24

 

Besides The New Being (1955) there is The Shaking of the Foundations (1955) and The Eternal Now (1963), among others. The language often sounds dated, reflecting a different period of history, but his thought seems aligned with progressive Christianity, from the parts that I’ve read at least. He was a big influence on Spong and other PC theologians.

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I've also been pondering starting a book discussion on Pure Land Shin Buddhism and Christianity. "River of Fire, River of Water", by Taitetsu Unno, is a very well-written set of meditations that serve as an introduction to the spirituality of Shin. There's another book on Shin that I've been looking into called "Living in Amida's Universal Vow", which is not quite as introductory yet still seems pretty accessible. The interest that a study of Shin might present for a progressive Christian lies in its general expression of the religious attitude; while Shin talks about concepts alien to Christianity (karma, rebirth), there are areas of very profound consonance, various practical and conceptual tools that might help progressives articulate and develop their spirituality.

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I have had a little touble following this thread. Please pardon an older man's slowing brain ;)

 

Can anyone let me know what the result is regarding The New Testament and the People of God? It sounds intiguing to me and would be a great follow up to Spong's Resurrection which I am reading at the moment. However my planned next book is Jesus 2.1 by Tom Shepherd followed by How to Read the Qur'an by Carl Ernst.

 

While I would like to participate in the book club, it may only be practicable as a lurker since it takes some time to ship books to Australia and many titles of interest are not readily available in bookstores here. I am a good customer of Amazon.

 

—Jim

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Can anyone let me know what the result is regarding The New Testament and the People of God? It sounds intiguing to me and would be a great follow up to Spong's Resurrection which I am reading at the moment. However my planned next book is Jesus 2.1 by Tom Shepherd followed by How to Read the Qur'an by Carl Ernst.

 

Jim,

 

I, and I think a couple of others, had wanted to read Wright's book in the Kindle version. So, I think we are waiting on this. Nick and I independently contacted the publisher and were told that it would be available soon (that was in late Nov or early Dec.).

 

George

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Bookclubers,

 

I have corresponded recently with the publisher of the Wright book about the availability of the Kindle edition. Although I was informed about a month ago that it would be available "soon," I am now informed that "older titles like the N T Wright one are slowly being converted.”

 

So, I am no longer holding my electronic breath and if the group would like to proceed hard copy, I too am prepared and will order the book. Since, Nick (the facilitator) hasn’t been around for a while, I will send him a PM and let him know the status.

 

George

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Mike, ,just curious, I know that alot of Western-thinking people like the idea of karma and reincarnation. Karma I can see a parallel with Christian thought in terms of sin and the consequence of sin. But reincarnation? Is there a solid Hindu or Buddhist apologetic book about this subject? Is there really any verifiable, scientific proof of it?

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hi.

 

I just (yes, just) read George's PM to me. Sorry I dropped off the radar, as the story is neither short nor particularly interesting. Suffice to say there was some good, some bad, but mostly "interesting times".

 

Regarding the NT Wright book, The New Testament and the People of God:

  • I've given up on getting a straight answer from the publisher about a Kindle edition. If anything, things are going in the wrong direction: when I started the discussion about reading books from his Christian Origins and the Question of God Series, volume of it was available (it wasn't the first). Now, none are. So... yeah. Not quite sure what is going on there.
  • I have been slowly reading Volume 1, and I can definitively say that this is an academic book with no interest in being anything else. The first 140 pages or so is a summary of a 'critical realistic' epistemology, and how it differs from positivism and postmodernism. In truth, I have no idea how others will read this section, as it was mostly me nodding and sighing as he went through a lit review of names I already knew from social theory (especially MacIntyre and Gremais). For me, this section was a bit ponderous, as this was stuff I had already read elsewhere. For others who aren't graduate students & faculty in the social sciences & humanities, I am unsure if this would be interesting, or information overload.
  • I'm currently around page 210 out of the roughly 470 page body of the book. He's started setting the stage for things. He's making clear distinctions between how the Pharisees and other groups think about Rome, how Macabees is a central point for how 1st Century Jews think, and a few others points. I find this book interesting, but again, it is very academic. I don't mean that as a "bad" thing in the sense that it is incoherent, nor do I mean it in a "good" way, implying deep truths beyond what normal language can offer. Rather, it's part of an academic discussion: the content is organized around agreeing and disagreeing with other historians, rather than actively trying to paint a picture of 1st Century Judea for the average reader. All the content to do the latter is there, though it's up to the reader to build the picture a bit.
  • Because of these points, I cannot in good conscience recommend it to the board as a whole.

Beyond that, I'm extremely unsure how much I will be around here in the near future. The semester is about to start, and my wife and I find ourselves in the interesting position that May is a professional singularity: after May, neither of us know where we will be working. Additionally, as we must move out of our current apartment in May, we also do not know where we will be living. This means that we have under 4 months to figure out what comes next, and that may be a bit challenging, as well as time consuming.

 

My apologies if anyone bought an NT Wright book and feels like they wasted the money. I will reply to this post if needed, but other than that, I will hope to be active here come the summer possibly.

 

Nick

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was wondering if anyone here would be interested in doing a book discussion on Thomas J.J. Altizer after we finish the Paul Tillich discussion? They have Alitzer's book, The Gospel of Christian Atheism online for free and I think it would be interesting to see what everyone's perspectives on it are here. I've read some of it myself but it's a little bit harder of a read than Tillich and some of his metaphysics is confusing to me but what parts I could understand I thought were beautiful and inspiring, and I think it would be a little easier to read in a group discusssion, especially with others who are more familiar with progressive theology than I am. Here it is online if anyone is interested http://www.religion-online.org/showbook.asp?title=523

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from chapter 5 (I wanted to know the ending before I began :) )

We are forewarned that a contemporary Christ will by no means be identical with the Christ of our Christian past, except insofar as he too is a kenotic Christ who is moving ever more comprehensively into the depths of life and experience. By following the way of the radical Christian, we can rejoice in the death of God, and be assured that the historical realization of the death of God is a full unfolding of the forward movement of the Incarnation.

 

Well that is a challenge I would join you in, Neon

 

He is a contemporary of Tillich's.

 

Dutch

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