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What Defines A "progressive"?


Eric333
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Hi, Eric,

 

I believe that God and the universe are evolving together. God who was in relationship with the formation of hydrogen 13.7 billion years ago is different than God becoming who is in relationship with the universe becoming today.

 

Well, that's one datum.

 

Dutch

Edited by glintofpewter
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Eric,

 

I'm not a PC per se myself, but enjoy reading and participating here. Welcome to the forum.

 

There are a number of posts and threads on here already concerning what the various members thoughts are concening PC - PC itself, PC & homosexuality, PC vs Atheism, etc. That might give you a good idea too.

 

By the way, enjoyed your story about Adam & Eve on your blog. A nice parallel.

 

Cheers

Paul

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Hi everyone, I came across this site while trying to better understand the progressive movement. If you consider yourself a progressive, and have particular thoughts on what defines a progressive I would love to hear them.

 

Thanks, Eric

 

http://www.eacology.com

Welcome Eric. It is good to have you join us. Others are welcome to disagree with me but I see faith as a journey rather than an arrival at a given set of facts or beliefs that exist for all time. (IMO) progressives accept that journey and live according to the lessons of that Journey with God. Fundamentists accept a given static belief and live according to lessons of that. Hence Progressives can accommadate diversity from the journey but Fundamentalists cannot and they become untrenched in what the meaning of a verse or a saying truly means or meant. This leads to differing fundamental groups coming to differing conclusions which do not agree with other fundamental groups and they all appear to say their beliefs are critical.

Progressives (IMO) just listen and let God answer what is to be done through the process of the love in ones heart. They appear to accept there is much that we may never know in this life but love is important and of God. God being defined as undefinable.

This maybe very simplistic for some but it works for me.

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Hi,

 

 

Being progressive to me means being open to possibilities and not subverting intellectual integrity in order to uphold a belief that no longer fits our worldview (e.g. the garden of Eden and "the fall" as a literal.) It also means respecting others' beliefs. That pretty much sums it up for me FWIW.

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Greeting Eric and welcome. Being progressive to me means evolving, changing and growing into an experience that is progressing until one is at peace in the ultimate experience within the being of love and unity.

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Thanks all for your warm and welcoming responses, this is a much needed community and I am excited to have found it. Thank's also to Dutch and Joseph for the steer to other threads already on this site on the topic. Given that, instead of continue another parallel thread, I posted a response on another existing thread which has been informed by some of the ideas I've found on this site. I would be curious to hear y'alls thoughts, its at the link below:

 

http://tcpc.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/2457-just-what-is-progressive-christianity-to-you/

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To me, "being progressive" is a way of being, a way of traveling on the journey through life. To me, that means trying to always be open to percieving as fully as I might, all within and without, what is really going on both within myself, and un all around me, and in how I might respond to that. Everything is constantly changing, I perceive the nature of existence and reality as 'change', again, both within and without. I am changing, (hopefully!) growing, observing, perceiving, processing, responding, again, both within and without.

 

Progressive as it applies to my matters of religion, faith, is just a part of that, one of the ways my "progressiveness" is manifested in my life. That does mean trying as best as I might to fall into dogmas, fixed ways of perceiving, responding, acting, thinking, but I alos try to acknowledge and keep in mind that I am the product of my environment and life experiences within my culture and society, and that is always going to be an influence, and I try to not let it over whelm other elements of how I percieve and respond. Having comprehended that "belief" is nothing more than an opinion held so strongly as to be felt as a truth, out of which we oberve and respond, I do try to continually 'test' what I may accept as 'belief.'

 

To me, being progressive neccessitates awareness and consideration of both past and present, in anticipating the future, consequences as they might work out, in making choices in moving forward.

 

Jenell

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Hi, Eric,

 

I believe that God and the universe are evolving together. God who was in relationship with the formation of hydrogen 13.7 billion years ago is different than God becoming who is in relationship with the universe becoming today.

 

Well, that's one datum.

 

Dutch

 

Dutch, that's pretty deep :) . Woulc you mind expanding on what you mean by "God is evolving", and by the notion of a difference in the God of yesterday and the God of today? Sounds interesting, but im not sure I totally grasp what you're saying.

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To me, "being progressive" is a way of being, a way of traveling on the journey through life. To me, that means trying to always be open to percieving as fully as I might, all within and without, what is really going on both within myself, and un all around me, and in how I might respond to that. Everything is constantly changing, I perceive the nature of existence and reality as 'change', again, both within and without. I am changing, (hopefully!) growing, observing, perceiving, processing, responding, again, both within and without.

 

Progressive as it applies to my matters of religion, faith, is just a part of that, one of the ways my "progressiveness" is manifested in my life. That does mean trying as best as I might to fall into dogmas, fixed ways of perceiving, responding, acting, thinking, but I alos try to acknowledge and keep in mind that I am the product of my environment and life experiences within my culture and society, and that is always going to be an influence, and I try to not let it over whelm other elements of how I percieve and respond. Having comprehended that "belief" is nothing more than an opinion held so strongly as to be felt as a truth, out of which we oberve and respond, I do try to continually 'test' what I may accept as 'belief.'

 

To me, being progressive neccessitates awareness and consideration of both past and present, in anticipating the future, consequences as they might work out, in making choices in moving forward.

 

Jenell

 

That's very well said Jenell. I think a common trait of many religious adherents is that they dont want change / evolution, but rather they want something written in an inerrant book which they can believe in and be happy. Living a life of growth and change takes guts. You come across as wise and courageouis for articulating it that way!

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Eric,

 

I'm not a PC per se myself, but enjoy reading and participating here. Welcome to the forum.

 

There are a number of posts and threads on here already concerning what the various members thoughts are concening PC - PC itself, PC & homosexuality, PC vs Atheism, etc. That might give you a good idea too.

 

By the way, enjoyed your story about Adam & Eve on your blog. A nice parallel.

 

Cheers

Paul

 

Thanks Paul!

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Hi,

 

 

Being progressive to me means being open to possibilities and not subverting intellectual integrity in order to uphold a belief that no longer fits our worldview (e.g. the garden of Eden and "the fall" as a literal.) It also means respecting others' beliefs. That pretty much sums it up for me FWIW.

 

Thanks Yvonne...and I agree 100%. Also, just for kicks since you mentioned the Garden of Eden as non-literal (and since your name is Yvonne). I have a website and I wrote a short blog recently about whether that story is literal or not. It just so happens one of my fictitious characters is named Yvonne... :) Here's the story if you ever want to check it out http://www.eacology.com/2012/03/adam-and-eve-real-true.html

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Eric, about "God evolving":

 

Jakob Boehme, a cobbler who died in 1625, said that before this universe, God was complete, perfect, static except for the smallest of urges to know himself. To do that he must be in relationship with another. So God made space or split god's self so that there could be two in relationship. God becoming and the universe becoming.

 

In the Flood narrative in Genesis we see that God had a learning opportunity when he regretted killing all but a few humans in anger. An example of God evolving, learning how to be in relationship. God was learning how to be in relationship.

 

But at this point the relationship is with homo sapiens, an evolved species, so what has God been learning the other 13.7 billion years?

 

God knows all there is to know and all the possibilities that have been gathered up from past occasions and are available for the next moment. What God doesn't know, but looks for expectantly, is something new. Novelty is what drives evolution. Then each novelty is added to all the possibilities for the next moment. John Cobb says that God's goal is to add value. In all the possibilities God recognizes the highest values we have obtained thus far and lures us forward with the highest value. Today it is love and compassion.

 

But idiosyncratically, I would suggest that if we roll back evolution all the possibilities that are available now would not be available, for example, at the time hydrogen was forming shortly after the big bang. At that moment, if God knows all that there is to know and all the possibilities based on past occasions but not all that is going to happen because novelty is new even to God, then at that moment God is somehow different. What we know of human love could not have been known. It had not yet evolved.

 

 

Dutch

 

As I have said elsewhere:

 

Nothing, nothing more than desire, a desire born in the pain of vulnerability (they call it the big bang but Jakob Boehme would call it the big rage), a desire for relationship, a desire that would hold atoms and solar systems together, a desire to be connected side by side and heart to heart, externally and internally, the desire of bacteria to recognize family, the desire for slime mold to know self-sacrifice, a desire dancing for possibilities in a fertile universe, a desire 13.7 billion years deep - that was all there was before this, us, the universe began.

Edited by glintofpewter
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