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New Version Of The 8 Points - Restated And Renumbered


JosephM
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Please note ....

"From the beginning of TCPC, the intention of the '8 points' has been to present an inviting expression of a particular approach to the practice of Christianity. Our hope is that this series of ideas will be appealing especially to those who do not find a comfortable fit with traditional understandings of Christian faith, and result in thoughtful conversation on basic themes throughout the Progressive Christian network and beyond.

 

We will continue to present the original version along with other more recent versions for comparison in our various printed and electronic venues. As always, we want to avoid a dogmatic and literalistic understanding, including in our own written articulations of the faith.

 

You will no doubt find your own ways of articulating the nuances of Christianity expressed in the 8 Points. We encourage you to find creative ways to live out those expressions in your daily relationships and routines."

 

Bob Ryder, Former TCPC Executive Council member

 

 

 

TCPC%208%20Points%202011-web.jpg

 

 

Even though i have included the new version with the old side by side in the original forums for comparison, the new version of the 8 points has its own forum so as not to confuse the re-numbered points with the old. Comments and thread discussion of the newly stated points should be started in the new forum HERE.

 

Thanks for your cooperation.

JosephM (as Admin)

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Hi Steve,

 

The 8 points were revised by our organizational leadership and staff at ProgressiveChristianity.org (home) as a result of inputs comments and discussion and debate from 100's of affilliated churches, individual affiliates, letters and discussion board responses over the years. Rank and file includes all of the above.

 

Responses and comments to the older revision of the 8 points here by message board members were available to them for consideration. This message board of course being just one small part of the main organization. As a result of all inputs you have the revised points as now listed which i think makes us appear a more "pluralist" organization which we indeed are.

 

Joseph

 

Here is a response to a letter by our president Fred Plumer that may be of interest titled "Winter Ponderings." taken from our home page.

 

Winter Ponderings

by Fred Plumer

 

Recently I was asked the following two questions: How do you define Christianity in a way that does not make it unique and therefore superior to other world views? And, if you remove the divinity and miracles of Jesus, what remains that makes Jesus so special?

These struck me as very good questions, so here's what I answered.

Thank you for taking the time to write. I believe you ask a valuable question. First off, as an organization we are “pluralist.” That is why if you look at our 8Points you will notice that we do not believe that Christianity is the only way to experience the holy, the divine or enlightenment, if I can borrow that term. We see Jesus as a special sage, a prophetic teacher who has broken through the curtain that appears to divide the sacred from the mundane. It is our belief that he has reached the “mountain top” and has left us a path in his teachings and his life that can be modeled and potentially lead to the same kind of experience. For example, in the book of Thomas, Jesus is quoted: “Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden thing will be revealed to him.”

 

 

The path is a way to an awakening to what is already here. We do not believe his teachings are about what happens after we die but rather are about how we can experience the Oneness, or Wholeness of all creation here on this beautiful planet that we share. Therefore, our emphasis is on behavior and practice rather than dogma and beliefs.

 

 

Is he the only teacher in history that could do that? Of course not. That is the meaning behind our number 2Point- “We affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey; You might be asking why follow Jesus instead of Buddha or Thich Nhat Hahn or maybe Rumi. For me personally I have a long history with Jesus. Admittedly, like a long marriage that relationship has changed over the years. I would like to think that it has evolved. Certainly I have learned more about Jesus in my nearly fifty years of study but I have learned as much about Jesus and what he was teaching from my study of other great teachers. However at some point, I believe, you must pick a teacher if you ever really want to understand or experience any path. The goal is usually the same…the steps may be different.

 

 

If I wanted to climb Mt Everest, I would research all of the people who have successfully climbed that mountain and then decide which one do I think is the best teacher for me and then I would ask the person to teach me everything I need to know about climbing that mountain. For example, today I would choose Reinhold Messner. I would read up on everything that has done, study his recommendations and if he were not alive, (he is), I would find others that had been successful students of his and ask if they might mentor me. Most importantly I would prepare for the ascent by practice.

 

 

Based in my research, my station in life, my culture and my affinity, I chose Jesus to be my teacher. I want to experience the “Divine” or “Oneness” that he experienced. And so I have become a follower of his path. I study and practice just as I would if I was planning to scale Mt. Everest. And the more I practice the more aware, awake and centered my life becomes. I used to tell my students that the difference is like viewing life on a 14 inch black and white TV screen and then seeing reality on a 50 inch HD color screen. We just see more of life, more of what is real and more of the beauty. It helps one have a better sense about who and what Jesus was and in some ways more about who we really are as participants in this planet.

 

 

What makes Jesus so special? I guess my most honest response to most people who ask me that is that they will have to try it to find out. But first organizations like ours have to do a better job of clearing the path of the weeds of ego and tribalism and the stones of control and power. And secondarily we must find better ways to help people make a better transition from a faith of fear to a faith of love.

I hope each of you continue your journey "up the mountain" this year, and that you stop often enough along the way to soak in all the beauty you will find as you go.

Love, Fred

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