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A "godless" 8 Points


BillM
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This is an obversation about the 2011 Version of the 8 Points versus the older version, stimulated by another conversation elsewhere on this forum. Again, this is just an observation and I am certainly not demanding an official explanation.

 

We were discussing elsewhere how Western Christianity is moving away from having God as part of its religion, moving away from affirming God or theism. Though it's true that statistics can be made to say almost anything, I found these statistics concerning the 8 Points to be interesting and, imo, indicative of this move away from theism.

 

In the older version of the 8 Points:

"God" is used 4 times

"Jesus" is used 4 times

 

In the newer (2011) version of the 8 Points:

"God" is used 0 times

"Jesus" is used 2 times

 

In my opinion, we are losing something distinctive about our Christian faith, even though it may be progressive, when we abandon the traditional language of our historical legacy. I am all for reconsidering how we interpret or reinterpret the traditional language that has been passed down to us through both the Bible and the institutional Church. But I'm not removing it. A Christianity without God, again in my opinion, not only betrays its legacy, but betrays even Jesus' own understanding of his life and mission, and doesn't have anything to offer people that they can't get in a Hallmark greeting card.

 

Sincerely,

Bill

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Officail response follows.........

 

"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

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Joseph, thanks for posting that official response.

 

It seems that the only constant in life is change. :) Sometimes it seems for the better, sometimes it seems for the worse, and sometimes it is just too early to tell. Even in our personal lives, changes come, and when they do, we often decide, either consciously or subconsciously, what to take with us and what to leave behind. C'est la vie.

 

From a personal, testimonial point-of-view, when I first came to the TCPC website and forum, I was hurting inside. At that time, I had pretty well decided, based upon my past experiences within non-progressive Christianity, that I could no longer believe in God. And Jesus was little more to me than the superstitious creation of the early church.

 

But I read a lot on the website. I read a lot on this forum. And much of what I found in both locations was helpful to me. I found that I was not the only one struggling with some of the things that hurt me, and, more importantly, I found people (some of them still here) that helped me to see God and Jesus in fresh, new ways. These ways, while perhaps going somewhat against the "letter of the law", were still very true to the spirit. Over time, and much continued struggle, I found that I could still affirm my belief and experience of God and that Jesus was, for me, a reliable compass to point the Way. For that, I am thankful. And I know that TCPC is not telling me that I have to give any of that up. But, yes, I am saddened that TCPC is, in my opinion, taking progressive Christianity down this path where it is losing its distinctiveness in favor of being all things to all people. The only way to accept all beliefs is to affirm none, and that is the direction that I see TCPC moving toward.

 

I understand that the 8 Points wants to present an inviting expression of a particular approach to the practice of Christianity. But I question how Christianity can be devoid of God, especially since God was so important to Christ?

 

I also understand, from personal experience, that traditional understandings of the Christian faith do make people uncomfortable. But will TCPC soon remove the words "Christian", "Christianity", "Christ" and "Jesus" from their website, forum, and 8 Points just because these words make some people uncomfortable?

 

But, and I'm full of my own opinions tonight, I think they err to believe that distinctiveness is the same thing as being dogmatic or literal in understanding. A Corvette is a very distinctive car, but this in no way implies that it is the only car.

 

So I am just sad and disappointed that the very things that initially drew me to this site/forum are slowly being erased. The new 8 Points simply make no reference to God other than in ambiguous "New Age-y" terms. If the 8 Points reflect what TCPC thinks is the most important characteristics, dare I say distinctives, of progressive Christianity, I just find it regrettable that God is no longer considered to be important enough to get even one mention.

 

Sincerely,

Bill

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Bill,

 

It is my view that one is free to use ones own way to articulate those nuances expressed in the 8 points as Bob Ryder has pointed out. The 8 points in my view are far from godless. Their re-written form as expressed seem to me to be more pluralistic. It is the belief here at ProgressiveChristinity.org that Christianity is not the only way to experience God, the Divine, the sacred or however you wish to express it. Jesus has indeed left us a path in his teachings but the language of translaters using the word God or Father could just have well used the words the Divine or some other term without missing the message. Christianity to me is more in ones living out those expressions than in the words one uses.

 

Perhaps you do believe "we are losing something distinctive about the Christian faith. Up to now it seems to me many have let church organizations and the writings of men define that for us while Jesus isn't recorded writing anything himself as you well know. .These 8 points are just one way of articulating Christianity and PC strives to avoid any dogmatic or literalistic understanding including within these 2011 8 points. We frankly don't believe the teachings of Jesus traditional Christianity teaches such as being about what happens after one dies but rather believe he taught how we can experience and share that wholeness and oneness that is expressed in behavior and practice. Language has changed not to remove God but rather to express God in more plurastic terms.

 

So while you may personally have a problem with them and are free to do so, it seems to me there is no need to make them a stumbling block to your own expression of Christianity as it is not the intention of the revised 8 points to do so. You can keep the old version if its expressions appeals to you better. We have purposely not excluded them. Your comment of it " doesn't have anything to offer people that they can't get in a Hallmark greeting card." seems to me to be a bit brash and sarcastic. But that is only my personal opinion.

 

Joseph

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Joseph,

 

It is the belief here at ProgressiveChristinity.org that Christianity is not the only way to experience God, the Divine, the sacred or however you wish to express it.

 

I agree. I am in no way saying that Jesus is the only way to God. But I think think that, historically speaking, Jesus is the way for "Christians". Torah is the way for Jews. The Quran is the way for Muslims. Meditation and Enlightenment is the way for Buddhists. To remove the distinctives, in my opinion, diminishes the richness of the traditions.

 

Jesus has indeed left us a path in his teachings but the language of translaters using the word God or Father could just have well used the words the Divine or some other term without missing the message. Christianity to me is more in ones living out those expressions than in the words one uses.

 

Again, I agree. But how we communicate these expressions does employ the use of words. Words are important because they are short-hand for our ideas and concepts. Certain words call up certain ideas and concepts. So if I said that I was praying for and working for Allah's kingdom or for the glory of Zeus, you would not simply conclude that I was speaking of the same ideas/concepts found in Jesus' teachings.

 

We frankly don't believe the teachings of Jesus traditional Christianity teaches such as being about what happens after one dies but rather believe he taught how we can experience and share that wholeness and oneness that is expressed in behavior and practice.

 

I agree. And I know enough of the Bible to make a persuasive case that, indeed, traditional Christianity has misinterpreted much of Jesus' message and mission. But, Joseph, it is one thing to say that we have misinterpreted what is there; it is quite another to remove what is there. Warning: another personal point-of-view: I see no way to talk about Jesus' message or mission or ministry while, at the same time, surgically removing all God-language and God-talk from his life and teachings, even if we don't know his exact acts and words. It is akin to asking me to tell you about my childhood and background but saying that I cannot use the words "father", "mother", or "parents" because some people have had bad experiences with their families.

 

Language has changed not to remove God but rather to express God in more plurastic terms.

 

Here, I'm sorry, but I do disagree. In removing God, it does lose some ideas/concepts which, yes, may need to be left behind. But it also loses Jesus' references and teachings about who God is, what God does, and our relationship to God.

 

So while you may personally have a problem with them and are free to do so, it seems to me there is no need to make them a stumbling block to your own expression of Christianity as it is not the intention of the revised 8 points to do so. You can keep the old version if its expressions appeals to you better.

 

As I said at the outset, Joseph, it is an observation. The new 8 Points are not a stumbling block to me as my hope, faith, and trust is in God, not in a creed. But I do wonder, out of curiousity, how long before TCPC decides that the word "Christianity" makes for an "uncomfortable fit" for some people and it, too, is jettisoned in favor of a new and improved, "ProgressiveSpirituality"?

 

Your comment of it " doesn't have anything to offer people that they can't get in a Hallmark greeting card." seems to me to be a bit brash and sarcastic.

 

Perhaps. But Hallmark cards are so without distinctives that they say nothing memorable. They offend no one. But neither do they leave a lasting impact. They're nice, but not life-changing.

 

Thanks for listening. These posts, as usual, reflect only my views.

 

Sincerely,

Bill

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Joseph,

I agree. I am in no way saying that Jesus is the only way to God. But I think think that, historically speaking, Jesus is the way for "Christians". Torah is the way for Jews. The Quran is the way for Muslims. Meditation and Enlightenment is the way for Buddhists. To remove the distinctives, in my opinion, diminishes the richness of the traditions.

 

Bill, You amuse me. :) No one took Jesus out. By your own admission Jesus is mentioned twice in the revised 8 points. How many times must Jesus be mentioned so as not to "diminish the richness of tradition"? I thought i made it clear "we believe he taught how we can experience and share that wholeness and oneness that is expressed in behavior and practice" . No other way is mentioned other than Jesus for Progressive Christianity even though it says we believe thwere are other ways to God as you acknowledge. Perhaps you are correct that some distinction is removed that "diminishes the richness of the tradition:" Well the PC movement has certainly been getting away from traditional Christianity and i for one personally feel richer for it and do not wish to go back to tradition and all that tradition entails. Tradition seems to me to have held people in bondage long enough.

 

Again, I agree. But how we communicate these expressions does employ the use of words. Words are important because they are short-hand for our ideas and concepts. Certain words call up certain ideas and concepts. So if I said that I was praying for and working for Allah's kingdom or for the glory of Zeus, you would not simply conclude that I was speaking of the same ideas/concepts found in Jesus' teachings.

 

:) Yes but it seems you go to extremes by your examples which to me appear not to relate to what is said in the 8 points.or Bob Ryder's or my response comment. The word God is not very distinctive at all except maybe to traditional/fundamental Christians and i would guess from your writings here that your view would definitely not agree with what they were taught . Words are important but frankly the word God in my view doesn't communicate anything distinctive that i would understand exactly what the other person really meant or understood, if that is what you are so concerned about.

 

 

But, Joseph, it is one thing to say that we have misinterpreted what is there; it is quite another to remove what is there. Warning: another personal point-of-view: I see no way to talk about Jesus' message or mission or ministry while, at the same time, surgically removing all God-language and God-talk from his life and teachings, even if we don't know his exact acts and words. It is akin to asking me to tell you about my childhood and background but saying that I cannot use the words "father", "mother", or "parents" because some people have had bad experiences with their families.

 

Nobody has asked you to remove God language if that is the nuance of your personal expression in words. No body is forbidding anyone or requiring anyone in PC to use or not use the word God as you seem to suppose. Your example again is to me extreme and misses the point. The 8 points are not telling you to use any particular words to limit your communications.

 

Here, I'm sorry, but I do disagree. In removing God, it does lose some ideas/concepts which, yes, may need to be left behind. But it also loses Jesus' references and teachings about who God is, what God does, and our relationship to God.

 

Bob Ryder encourages you as do i to use "your own ways of articulating the nuances of Christianity expressed in the 8 points" Again Nobody is removing God from anything by changing words. I fail to understand your position of such extreme statements as if the new 8 points are limiting you or robbing you or Christianity of something.

 

As I said at the outset, Joseph, it is an observation. The new 8 Points are not a stumbling block to me as my hope, faith, and trust is in God, not in a creed. But I do wonder, out of curiousity, how long before TCPC decides that the word "Christianity" makes for an "uncomfortable fit" for some people and it, too, is jettisoned in favor of a new and improved, "ProgressiveSpirituality"?

 

Bill, You are not alone. Many here trust in God rather than a creed including me. Difference is i can use the word God, ground of being, the Divine, the One, Absolute Reality, and other words to describe or express God without being uncomfortable in those expressions or words or feeling i am losing Christianity. It is to me enough to live the day rather than me to fear for some possible future event in PC that you describe that may or may not take place. But your insistence and concern or worry which you say is curiosity has repeatedly been brought up here now and in the past. Your concern is duly noted.

 

I have no more to add. Perhaps others have a view to express about your OP or concern that the 8 points is Godless.,

Joseph

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The revised 8 points is not godless. Here are two references to God.

 

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.
Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life..

You have said before Bill that you do not believe in a God who tinkers with the world. This phrase is one way to talk about the God who does not tinker - unless, that is, you have reverted back to believing in theistic God out there able to help but doesn't capriciously.

 

If we have a panentheistic view then this is another reference

 

Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth.

Many will say that grace only comes from God so is is another reference

 

Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes.

 

and how many religions or systems of belief carry as their chief value "selfless love" - another reference to the Gospel of Jesus, which goes beyond the Hallmarkish, "Love your neighbor".

Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.

 

 

That's 4-5 more references. Unless the only words that count dogmatically are "God" and "Jesus".

 

 

Dutch

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The word 'God' is associated with and connotes a theistic being "who tinkers with the world." Using other terms (or names) avoids this connotation. However, I don't think it precludes a traditional understanding as well.

 

Jesus and other biblical Jews also used a number of different names and titles and attributes as names (which in English we would capitalize like "Divine"). Later, Jews began avoiding the sacred name and using alternatives which they still do. So, this is not completely out of line with Judeo-Christian tradition.

 

George

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Bill, You are not alone. Many here trust in God rather than a creed including me. Difference is i can use the word God, ground of being, the Divine, the One, Absolute Reality, and other words to describe or express God without being uncomfortable in those expressions or words or feeling i am losing Christianity. It is to me enough to live the day rather than me to fear for some possible future event in PC that you describe that may or may not take place. But your insistence and concern or worry which you say is curiosity has repeatedly been brought up here now and in the past. Your concern is duly noted. I have no more to add. Perhaps others have a view to express about your OP or concern that the 8 points is Godless.

 

Joseph, I hope you know me well enough to know that I am comfortable with all of those words also. I can, and do, use words such as Creator, Source, Reality, Ultimate, the Divine, Father, the Sacred. I think you and I would agree that God (or whatever superlative name we humans choose to use) is beyond our words and concepts. Nevertheless, we work with what we have. :) And I'm certainly no longer a traditional Christian. I'm a self-admitted heretic! :D So I have no "insistence" or "worry". I have, as I have stated, curiosities and wonderings. I do wonder, in going away from tradition Christianity, what progressive Christianity is going toward. But with two teenagers in my house, I certainly don't lie awake at night, thinking about TCPC. :) As I initially stated, the previous version of the 8 Points explicitly mentions God four times. The new version doesn't mention God except by implication. What this means or whether it means anything is probably something left up to each person to determine. It's an observation, Joseph, not a condemnation. TCPC is a good organization and I still support it. Progressive Christianity, imo, provides a much-needed bridge for people with similar backgrounds to my own or for others who might be interested in considering the Truth as Jesus saw it and lived it without all the baggage that traditional Christianity and the Church usually says goes with it. But, as you know, as wide as the doors are here, still, for various reasons, it isn't for everyone. As a wise man once said, "Test all things. Hold to what is good." I think God is good, so I think God is worth holding onto. More importantly, because He is good, He holds onto all of us, even me.

 

Sincerely,

Bill

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We were discussing elsewhere how Western Christianity is moving away from having God as part of its religion, moving away from affirming God or theism...

..."God" is used 0 times...

..."Jesus" is used 2 times...

 

In my opinion, we are losing something distinctive about our Christian faith...A Christianity without God, again in my opinion, not only betrays its legacy, but betrays even Jesus' own understanding of his life and mission

 

Bill, I think that you are grossly misreading TCPC and most of the folks on this forum.

 

No one is abandoning G-d, but I do think that G-d is leaving traditionalist Christianity behind. Perhaps this is the real reason for your discomfort? You feel you are being left behind.

 

BTW, as a Jew (the origin of your religion according to your confession), G-d does not have a "name," so I think your obsession with maintaining that language is not Biblical.

 

and doesn't have anything to offer people that they can't get in a Hallmark greeting card.

 

So, what's wrong with Hallmark? I used to write for them. I think there are sentiments expressed in Hallmark cards that are very powerful.

 

NORM

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I can, and do, use words such as Creator, Source, Reality, Ultimate, the Divine, Father, the Sacred. I think you and I would agree that God (or whatever superlative name we humans choose to use) is beyond our words and concepts. Nevertheless, we work with what we have. :) And I'm certainly no longer a traditional Christian. I'm a self-admitted heretic!

 

So...........you are exactly like everyone else in this Forum. Sorry, but I just don't understand your complaint.

 

NORM

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Er, just to be clear; personally, I HAVE abandoned a theistic G-d.

 

I just felt it necessary to come to the defense of TCPC. These folks have been very supportive and tolerant of little old me.

 

NORM

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BTW, as a Jew (the origin of your religion according to your confession), G-d does not have a "name," so I think your obsession with maintaining that language is not Biblical.

 

Jews, at least all Jews, don't claim that God has no name. It is Y.H.W.H.; they just refrain from saying it. But, they do use other names like Adonai, HaShem (literally 'the name;), etc. There was no such constraint during Biblical Judaism.

 

George

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Jews, at least all Jews, don't claim that God has no name. It is Y.H.W.H.; they just refrain from saying it. But, they do use other names like Adonai, HaShem (literally 'the name;), etc. There was no such constraint during Biblical Judaism.

 

George

 

From my understanding, having gone through conversion to Judaism, those aren't names - they are attributes. The tetragrammatron is four Hebrew consonants that cannot be pronounced. On purpose. There is no one name for G-d. Saying that G-d has a name is a Christian thing. Actually, it's more of a Western thing. It's hard to explain, because the English translation of the Hebrew scriptures leaves one with the impression that G-d is a "person." When you read the Hebrew, it becomes clear that G-d transcends anthropomorphism.

 

Take Ha-Shem, for example. It is translated as "The Name" in English. But it is more accurately translated as the one who defines what is understood as a name. Kind of "the Name of Names."

 

G-d, according to the Jews, has no body. It is spirit. No body. No name.

 

NORM

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There is no one name for G-d. Saying that G-d has a name is a Christian thing. Actually, it's more of a Western thing.

 

Norm,

 

I beg to differ. This may be a theological interpretation by a select group of Jews, but this does not have a historical or universal basis. In academia, YHWH is considered a 'name.' Some examples:

 

The Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (Harris and Platzner): "Yahweh: A translation of the sacred name of Israels god, represented 7000 times in the canonical Hebrew Bible . . . ."

 

The Anchor Bible Dictionary: "In Israel of the biblical tradition only one name of God was cultically appealed to: Yahweh (yhwh)"

 

Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon: "Yhwh: Yahweh, the proper name of God of Israel."

 

Hebrew for Theologians: "One of the most striking uses of Qere (the correct reading) is the Divine name (y.h.w.h.) which should not be read as it is written, . . ."

 

Further, it is explicit in the Hebrew Scriptures:

"God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, `The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you': this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations." (Ex. 3:15) (BTW, the Hebrew word here is shem 'name')

 

George

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Since I brought the change in the eight points to the attention of this forum and since I made it a point of contention in the Tillich book discussion perhaps I can join this discussion and then again return to silence since I can no longer support the eight points in their current version.

 

For those who have read Tillich remember that Tillich’s whole system is dependent upon the importance of the symbol. It has been my argument that the loss of the word God is not important because of some word, but because it indicates the loss of the importance of the symbol.

 

I think Joseph argued that all words are symbols. That is true in an elementary sense but it completely misses the point. What is needed is a word that is a symbol for what words cannot deal with. In simple speech and writing we normally can depend upon words describing; that is the normal function of words. In that elementary sense words are symbols for what they describe. What is needed is a word for what cannot be described.

 

Although I am not an Old Testament scholar nor an expert on Jewish theology I have always been under that understanding that NORM is correct here when he states that in Jewish tradition there was needed a word that was unlike any other word in that it was a symbol for what words could not describe. There was a need for a word that was unlike any other word because it could not be spoken.

 

This is what for me has been lost with the “Godless Eight Points”. The word God has been used by most people as something that can be described/can be spoken. But for many Progressive Christians the word God has been associated with what can not be described/can not be spoken. The words now used in the Eight Points may mean that for some, but I would suggest that they are words normally used to try to describe what can not be described. They are words that many use to point towards that which can not be described/can not be spoken. But lost is a word that can still be used as an equivalent of the Jewish need for a word that loses its power when it is spoken.

 

I complained that the supporters of this website have given in to the nominalists who state that there is no reality to anything that cannot be associated with a word. I continue that complaint.

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I think the 'symbol' deserves change. Times change, understandings of God change, words and meanings change. I personally fail to see how replacing God with something like the Sacredness, the Oneness, and the Unity of all life (all with capital letters) does anything to diminish the symbol, rather it opens the symbol to the more that most people here consider the symbol to mean. But I also acknowledge that to some, this change is a big deal, and I do respect that.

 

Personally, I feel a lot more comfortable with people moving away from a singular noun to describe what cannot be described. I think staying with the one word/symboil runs the risk of stereotyping or providing the illusion that it means what every one else means when saying the word 'God'. Clearly though, God means so many different things to so many different people. And I think that's where this site is going with regards to inclusiveness rather than exlusiveness.

 

Then again, I could be completely wrong :)

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Paul,

 

I would agree that words and meanings change. Again my point is not about words but is about having a word which represents what can not be spoken. I am looking for that which NORM suggests is basic to being Jewish. Would you suggest to NORM that the word Sacredness should replace Yahweh?

 

Norm has suggested, and I agree, that within the Jewish tradition there was a need for a word for that which could not be spoken. I have argued that Christianity needs such a word also.

 

Are you saying that the need to be inclusive is larger and more important than this? Who do you want to include? Seems to me that you want to include those who would reject that there is any reality that cannot be described by words. If you agree with NORM by doing so you exclude a lot of Jews in your attempt to be inclusive.

 

Thanks,

David

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David,

 

i think what you miss is that the word "God" as you say for MOST PEOPLE has been used as something that can be described. It does in my view conjure up images for traditional and fundamental Christians because of church organisational teachings. Its definition has made it no longer a word that cannot be described because many PC's do not share in its given definition through use. Using the words Sacred, the Divine, the Oneness and unity of Life and the like i feel makes it more abstract because PC here does not want words that through teachings and programming of members have made it (the word God) not an abstract symbol but more a symbol that points to something more concrete like that takes on the image of a man and the attributes of humans.

 

I would disagree with your assertion that it was done by PC here to just be inclusive. PC here as expressed by Bob Ryder in an above official response indicates that PC's are free to articulate whatever nuance of words best fits the nuances of their expression of the 8 points. If one likes the older version better that is fine but many want to move on to words that are more abstract than the present thoughts conjured up by religion for the word God. This freedom is not an edict but merely in my view a natural progression away from legalistic and dogmatic understandings and conformance to different words whose meaning for many PC's on their journey is not as descriptive as old words which are limited because of its past use.

 

So while i would agree with your wanting a symbol that expresses that which cannot be described , i disagree that God is that word anymore.

 

Joseph

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Joseph,

 

The word God may work for you anymore. I can understand that. However, most progressive theologians and scholars would disagree with you. Look at Borg, Spong, Funk, Song, any theology department on any seminary campus….everyone is looking at how the word God can be new and fresh.

 

There are some who have given up. One good example is Ian Lawton who has taken on the “Spriritual but Not Religious” theme and has tried to be inclusive of all faiths. His story shows that to do this he took the cross down off of his church and rejected the name Christian for his group. He used to be a spokesperson for TCPC as a Progressive Christian. In his attempt to be inclusive he lost the church building and had to cut back on expenses. By trying to be all things to all people his group is much smaller.

 

Please give me some examples of some people that we would agree are progressive theologians that support that the word God does not work for them any longer and that Christians should stop using the word God.

 

Thanks,

David

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David,

 

You seem to assume intent on peoples part unless of course you personally know Ian and how the other authors now feel about it. Borg and Spong were not outside in this decision.

 

Joseph

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Joseph,

I don't understand your response to my request for some evidence that any leading progressive theologian supports that the word God does not work for them. I have watched Ian for a while. I used to get his services via DVD and kept up with his group as much as possible including via email.

David

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David,

 

I could suggest to Norm that Sacredness could replace Yahweh, but it would only be a suggestion and up to Norm if he sees value in it. If Norm wants to use Yahweh I guess that is his business, but in my opinion people can move past a word that has previously held significance, into a future with new words, if those new words means something more to that person.

 

I understand you are arguing that Christianity needs A word for that which could not be spoken, I don't think it does. My views are probably similiar to Joseph's in that I think the word 'God' is actually holding people back because of its connotations with fundamental Christianity (I note I have taken liberty with Joseph's post but I think that's how I understand him). Just in my opinion, I think that these other words reflect the 'more' about God than traditional language. But that is just my opinion.

 

As for the 'inclusiveness' bit, I don't think it is a 'need' but rather a desire of PC to be more inclusive. But not because there is an agenda to be inclusive, but because it can't help but be inclusive. I don't see it as an either/or scenario, but rather PC & the new 8 points seems to acknowledge more about God which to me isn't captured in the use of the term 'God'. Does that make any sense?

 

As for who I would want to include, I would want to include everybody and anybody, who doesn't want to cause harm. If they are genuine, they are welcome. I think it would be dissapointing if many Jews felt excluded because of this issue. Then again, there's probably quite a few literalist, fundamental, Christians who feel uncomfortable here too.

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