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Paul Tillich: The New Being


Mike
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Hello all,

 

I'm wondering if anyone else would be interested in a discussion on The New Being. Paul Tillich was one of the heavy-weight theologians of the 20th century. I think this particular book would be an ideal candidate for a book discussion because it is divided into 23 brief theological meditations. Moreover, the entire volume can be read here online (thanks Karen for the info). Also, it's not available for Kindle but its available in e-book format from Barnes and Noble's website for free.

 

The actual book costs 13.46 on both Amazon and B&N, and available from .01 up used on Amazon. Should be easy enough to find at your local library, as well.

 

So, it's not a difficult book to get one's hands on.

 

What do you think?

 

Peace,

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello there -

  • I am a brand new member to this website after by chance coming across an article by John Shelby Spong. The result of the reading was a quick trip to Barnes and Noble to pick up Jesus for the Non-Religious. I was amazed to hear words that echoed what I had been feeling intuitively for many, many a year. So I wouldn't mind joining this book discussion if only to sink more deeply into this amazing and soulful journey. Let me know if you still plan on moving forward. I am aware of Paul Tillich, but have not read nor discussed him at any great depth. Many thanks.

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It seems thus far we have 5 people interested in the discussion. Perhaps this is enough to get started?

 

Yvonne, I wouldn't worry about it being over your head, as this book is a collection of sermons and meditations, not one of his overtly philosophical works.

 

Peace,

Mike

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Well I think we have enough people interested now. :D

 

How would we like to organize this? We could either keep it all in the same thread or break it up -- though since these are small chapters I think we could simply keep them in one thread and set a time frame response and discussion for each chapter (again, which is 23 total).

 

Peace,

Mike

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I suppose we can start, then, probably immediately, since this book is readily viewable via the Internet.

 

What say everyone? Perhaps this Friday we'll 'officially' start the discussion? Or would a later date work for everyone? Shall we set a week per chapter?

 

Peace,

Mike

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It's Friday - a few reactions. Seems dated. That he puts the righteous in a box with little promise of a way out reminds of a pastor who once said to his affluent congregation that they needed to access or find a poverty of Spirit.

 

I like the idea that forgiveness is not something Jesus gives but that the womans coming to Jesus is a result of her experiencing forgiveness. At least that's what I thought Tillich was saying until I got to the end of the chapter. Two quotes

 

Jesus does not forgive the woman, but He declares that she is forgiven.

 

Jesus gave [forgiveness] to the woman who was utterly unacceptable.

 

Dutch

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I do like the connection that Paul Tillich makes between love and forgiveness. It does seem to me that love which is unconditional acceptance of others and oneself cannot be without forgiveness. And likewise in my view, forgiveness cannot be without love. To me, forgiveness precludes exceptions and Tillich uses the word unconditional to make that point and by also saying "forgiveness is independent of anything we do". I like how he says "His (God's) love is the law of our own being" and also "that it is the law of reuniting love" To me, those words give a glismpe of love working even though it may seem like judgement, oppression , wrath and far from any human idea of love.

 

I think he does a fair job in bringing out the point that our bitterness, feelings of rejection by life and its fears and horrors is not a result of "its objective darkness" but rather our seemingly separation from its power and source of life. Forgiveness in my own experience is key to awareness of that source.

 

I enjoyed the read which is my first new book over the past two years (read free with Nook signup on my Android, thanks again Matt67). At a deep level i would go beyond what Paul Tillich has said in Chapter One and say... from the standpoint of that love ..... that there is in reality nothing to forgive or to be forgiven of except that which is self created by ones estrangement from God and 'other' that requires such to be re-united.

 

Joseph

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Yes he could have. What I never realized about that story was the fact perhaps that the woman was all ready forgiven perhaps by seeing or hearing Jesus or hearing about him. I really feel comfortable with Tillich, though I am aware of the limitations and even wrong turn one can take theologically with him and his integration of existentialism and Christianity. When he refers to going deeper what comes to mind is Genesis 1 with the Spirit of God hovering over the deep - as if from true very beginning, God is penetrating into this material world to form it. I see that theme throughout scripture - the idea of molding, conforming, shaping, creating. Creation is not static at all.

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I think that one has to sense the forgiveness in order to see Jesus. I don't know how to describe the sequence but there has to be a tenderness of the heart/soul to recognize what Jesus has to offer. In this way then the righteous can be described as hard, as Tillich does. I keep wanting to go beyond the horizon of the passage and of Tillich's commentary to rescue the righteous. Tillich's portrayal of the righteous is always a challenge but does it mean that one must be "born again" to experience reunion and resurrection?

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Thanks everyone for the contributions.

 

I also liked the phrase "law of our own being". To me it is just as true to say that I implicate ultimate truth as ultimate truth implicates me. Therefore, "God's love is the the law of our own being."

 

We feel rejected by life, not so much because of its objective darkness and threats and horrors, but because of our estrangement from its power and meaning. He who is reunited with God, the creative Ground of life, the power of life in everything that lives, is reunited with life. He feels accepted by it and he can love it. He understands that the greater love is, the greater the estrangement which is conquered by it.

 

 

I agree with Dutch that the chapter as a whole reads a bit dated. I'm still trying to interpret what I feel about Tillich's overall message about righteousness and sin. These aren't terms we tend to use much on this board. :)

 

As long as we feel rejected by Him, we cannot love God. He appears to us as an oppressive power, as He who gives laws according to His pleasure, who judges according to His commandments, who condemns according to His wrath. But if we have received and accepted the message that He is reconciled, everything changes.

 

I felt that this passage touches an oft overlooked gospel theme that dates right back to the New Testament, that God in Christ -- the New Being -- the new Creation -- has already reconciled the world to himself. It is we who need to "be reconciled to God." We need only act on that acceptance.

 

Peace,

Mike

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