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I have placed the following on the sugestions forum. I hope my idea becomes a reality.

 

There are a few people on here who seem to enjoy dialoging with non-Progresssive Christians here, be they Fundamental Catholic or more Evangelical Protestant. I view the Debate issue forum as more for us Progressives to offer differing views with one another..but perhaps there could be a NEW forum created/added here espcially for Progressive/Fundamental Christianity dialog.

 

Thank

BeachOfEden:)

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Hi Beach! :)

 

I have to admit I'm a little confused as to why you feel there is a need for a forum dedicated to debate between non-Progressive Christians and Progressive ones.

 

It's not like there has been any "knock down, drag out" Fundamentalist versus Progressive debating occuring on the board.

 

Come to think of it, I can't think of a TRUE argument happening between a Progressive and a non-Progressive since I signed up last December.

 

I can, however, think of a few arguments occuring between Progressives. ;)

 

I've been half tempted to go trolling on some of the more conservative Christian forums in order to lure a few over here. :rolleyes: This board needs more people participating in conversations.

 

As long as the debating is confined to the debate board, I say "The more the merrier".

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"I've been half tempted to go trolling on some of the more conservative Christian forums in order to lure a few over here. This board needs more people participating in conversations. "

 

Please don;t do that. It's bad enough on Beliefnet. It's sounds like people enjoying theological fights and if they don;t have them they get bord. Well, I don;t. I have been there and done that on Beliefnet and that's why I was first appealed to COME ON HERE because it was 'different' than all the other Lib verses Fundi dog fight boards. Fighting with fundamentalists over doctrines does not inspire me. As A progressive I neither find it educational or inspiring to fight verbally with the Evangelical far right nor the anti-theist Humanist left.

 

I think one of the reasons why conversations have slowed here is because while 3 or 4 people seem to love debating with Conservative Evangelicals and conservative Catholics and, I am beginning to think, that some here have actually invited them HERE, the rest of the Progressives are turned off by this. They saw this as the last haven and they now wonder if this site is going the way of so many others. On MySpace there are like 5 Progressive Religious group forums and on there the owners have the ability to screened out non-Progs..maybe Libs and Progs are flocking there because of this.

 

For me, it's not that any Evangelical or non-Liberal Catholic has been outlandishly rude here..it's just I don;t care to conversate with non-Progressives or non-Liberals..I. I have listened to religious fundamental view points all my life...I know precisley what they believe concerning women in spiritual leadership, their view on the rapture and hell and ect..and I really don;t care to hear there views on all this....

 

If I did ...I'd go to one of the Lib verses Conservative debate forums on Beliefnet.

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I would welcome people with diverse views here on the forum, as long as the mutual goal is working toward a greater understanding and appreciation of diverse beliefs. I think it becomes problematic, however, if you have a sort of proselytizing that develops either from one side or the other here on the board (i.e. a person from one particular viewpoint trying to convert another person to their way of thinking through stubborn argument). In that case, I think the best way to police that is, as was suggested in the other thread, to just collectively not respond to that person's posts, then hopefully they will get the idea and cut it out...

 

Peace,

 

John

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I think one of the reasons why conversations have slowed here is because while 3 or 4 people seem to love debating with Conservative Evangelicals and conservative Catholics and, I am beginning to think, that some here have actually invited them HERE, the rest of the Progressives are turned off by this..

 

Which 3 or 4 people on here "love debating with Conservatives"?

 

There haven't been any debates between conservatives and progressives on this board that I can think of since December 2004 (which is when I signed up) unless you count the conversations that have gone on with Darby, DCJ or James as "debates".

 

I highly doubt that those conversations have served to drive away any of the regular posters here.

 

My comment about inviting fundamentalists to the board was "tongue in cheek" Beach. ;)I haven't done so. I also doubt that anyone else has done so, or I imagine we'd have more conservative posters on this board than just THREE (3) - Darby, DCJ and James.

 

They saw this as the last haven and they now wonder if this site is going the way of so many others.

 

I'd be curious to know who these other posters are that felt intimidated and so have left. I'm not saying that might not be true., but I'd be curious to find out who and why.

 

My guess would be - They left because they have lives outside this forum.

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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I am actually really curious to know what it is that interest Progressive Christians to inner-dialog with conservatives. For example, if a conservative catholic comes here and shares their views on why they agree with the Vatican that women should not becomes priests and also that they agree priests should not be allowed to marry and that using any form of birth controll should not be allowed....as a Progressive christian, how does hearing these views inspire your own Progressive views?

 

I am serious. Please, anyone, DO explain this.

 

Thanks:)

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I'd like to add that one reason I don't contribute much to this forum, is that there is too much agreement. We're a pretty inbred crowd here. We almost have a smugness about how right we are. Much of what goes on here is pretty boring, frankly.

 

I, for one, would like to see a really articulate conservative come on board and mix things up a bit. We need our views challenged or we won't grow.

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I am actually really curious to know what it is that interest Progressive Christians to inner-dialog with conservatives. For example, if a conservative catholic comes here and shares their views on why they agree with the Vatican that women should not becomes priests and also that they agree priests should not be allowed to marry and that using any form of birth controll should not be allowed....as a Progressive christian, how does hearing these views inspire your own Progressive views?

You seem to be utterly fixated on this socially conservative Southern Baptist type stuff. Nobody here really considers the SBC much of a theological force to be reckoned with, yet you can hardly let a post go by without bringing them up in some way. You've obviously got some kind of personal grudge there. To even accuse me of defending this type of nonsense, like you've done in the past, makes it clear to me that this is more about emotions than reasons for you.

 

Nobody's talking about wanting to argue with Southern Baptists over whether women should wear make-up or not. I, for one, am talking about real theological engagement about ideas that are fundamental to a Christian philosophical understanding of the world. As for your earlier statement that "you know precisely what they believe" about this or that, you clearly don't, because you consistently lump conservative Catholics, JW's, and SBC's together on issues of fundamental theology, even though their views are light years apart on almost every conceivable point. I'm not sure you'd understand the differences between Karl Barth, Pope John Paul II, and Chuck Swindoll, because you don't seem to be able to stop stereotyping people's views long enough to really understand the differences. And you don't seem to want to understand them either, because now you've taken it upon yourself to put "No Non-Progressive" disclaimers on every thread you start -- which feels awfully similar to me to signs that say "No Coloreds" on the back of buses. If there's anything that infuriates me about so-called liberals, it's reverse discrimination.

 

It really saddens me that a food fight has risen up about this issue, and I sincerely apologize for any overstatements or emotional reactions I've made to help bring it about. I now wish I'd left it all alone and done something more constructive.

Edited by FredP
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I am actually really curious to know what it is that interest Progressive Christians to inner-dialog with conservatives.

I can only offer my answer to this and don't pretend to speak for others. There are seveal reasons.

 

1. Liberal Christianity supported Hitler. This serves as a reminder to me that just because a theolgical approach is considered "liberal" or "progressive," it doesn't mean that automatically it is leading us closer to God. I believe that the more conservative Karl Barth was closer to the mind of God in his condemnation of the Nazi regime than were the liberal theologians who supported Hitler. When we forget such lessons in history, we are doomed to repeat them.

 

2. The second is a two parter about the transcendence and immanence of God.

 

A. I believe that God is well beyond my finite comprehension. Out of respect for God's transcendence, I recognize that just because I believe something to be true about God (which makes it my truth), it doesn't make it true in and of itself. I've been through enough theological shifts to recognize that all theologies are relative. This is about theological humility.

 

B. I believe that God is at work in the world and in the lives of others in the same way that God is at work in my own life. I experience God at work in my life giving greater birth to this thing that Christians identify as "salvation." As such, I am always becoming more than I already am. Because of my personal focus on the Incarnation, I tend to intimately tie together what it is to be human and what it is to be divine. As I "grow in Christ," I am growing in my humanity, because of the work of the Spirit in my life. I understand this as integral to the process of "becoming human" itself. Therefore, I see this process happening in those around me, conservative and liberal alike.

 

Yes, I'm talking about the immanence of God here. Because I believe that the becoming of other humans is intimately tied into the nearness of God in their lives, I interact with them with an expectation that I can and will encounter God through them, despite the fact that they can be very "other" than myself. Because I respect the sovereignty of God, I respect their freedom from my self. Therefore, I do not devalue them by wielding the powers of shame and exlusion against them. Rather, I am open to the truth that they bear because I am seeking the truth of God that I experience through them, even though I might vehemently disagree or even downright condemn certain beliefs or actions. There is no such thing as an openness to the holy Other unless we are open to the immanence of God in the "other" that is our neighbor.

 

3. There are different understandings of what "progressive" means. (Another multi-parter.)

 

A. On the one hand, it is a social stance. Certain issues come to the fore here, such as civil rights, economic responsibility, unjust use of military power.

 

B. On the other hand it is a theological stance. Under the progressive umbrella, we find liberation theology, process theology, some neo-orthodox theology, and other general revisionist approaches.

 

C. The above two don't have to go together. For example, Brian McLaren and the Emergent movement would probably fit into the "theologically conservative, yet socially progressive" camp. Meanwhile, John Shelby Spong would, of course, fit into both.

 

D. Progressive is a relative term (which is kind of related to the previous point). We have mentioned "openness theology" around here. Theologically, that's a very conservative approach. But, it would probably be labelled "progressive" (indeed dangerously so) in the SBC. So, are openness theologians "progressive?" Well, for their denomination, yes they are. But as far as the larger theological landscape goes, no they are not.

 

3. As a trinitarian, I believe that God is more about "relationship" than "belief." One of the ways that God works in this world is through the people of God entering into relationship with one another in such a way that they grow together. Therefore, the life of faith seems to be less about believing the right things about God or pursuing the right political agenda, and more about living out quality relationships that embody an other-centered, justice-oriented, and self-giving love. We are becoming vessels of divine, unconditional grace as we become more indescriminate in our expressions of that quality love.

Edited by XianAnarchist
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Rather, I am open to the truth that they bear because I am seeking the truth of God that I experience through them ...

 

Exactly!

 

I'm floored again and again when I find myself reading threads over at bnet, agreeing with a poster's comments, and then finding out that the poster is a ultra-conservative, born-again Christian.

 

Two threads over, I read the words of the exact same poster that I just agreed with, only to find myself completely disagreeing with them. However, the fact that I agreed with them on the one point makes me want to DIALOGUE with them on the point that we DIDN'T agree on. I wonder if perhaps they have something to teach me.

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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"You seem to be utterly fixated on this socially conservative Southern Baptist type stuff. Nobody here really considers the SBC much of a theological force to be reckoned with, yet you can hardly let a post go by without bringing them up in some way."

 

So what? Why does this bother you?

 

"You've obviously got some kind of personal grudge there."

 

I thought this was a PROGRESSIVE site. Maybe I am wrong.

 

"To even accuse me of defending this type of nonsense, like you've done in the past, makes it clear to me that this is more about emotions than reasons for you."

 

Research this thread. When did I use YOUR name? Are you simply coming forward and telling us that you believe my discription fits you? Who's problem is that, then? Mine or yours?

 

"Nobody's talking about wanting to argue with Southern Baptists...-"

 

You seem to be pretty passionate about defending them

 

"I, for one, am talking about real theological engagement about ideas that are fundamental to a Christian philosophical understanding of the world."

 

That's a little vauge. Mind expnading on what this means?

 

" As for your earlier statement that "you know precisely what they believe" about this or that, you clearly don't, because you consistently lump conservative Catholics, JW's, and SBC's together on issues of fundamental theology, even though their views are light years apart on almost every conceivable point."

 

Why are you so defensive about defending one or more of these fundamental faith groups? Maybe you should think about defending them on their sites. You seem to feel so passionate about them

 

 

"I'm not sure you'd understand the differences between Karl Barth, Pope John Paul II, and Chuck Swindoll, because you don't seem to be able to stop stereotyping people's views long enough to really understand the differences."

 

Really? And tell me do each of these restrict women's equality any differently? If the answer is no..then who cares? Sexism is sexism no matter what the name brand of the religion is.

 

"And you don't seem to want to understand them either, "

 

Being force to live with and around them for 26 years I think I understand religious fundamental quote well..thank you very much and because of it I am a little sick of them.

 

"because now you've taken it upon yourself to put "No Non-Progressive" disclaimers on every thread you start --"

 

That's because you people insist on doing an innerfaith with fundamentalists and because this site has yet to make a seperate forum for that i have no choice.

 

"which feels awfully similar to me to signs that say "No Coloreds" on the back of buses. If there's anything that infuriates me about so-called liberals, it's reverse discrimination."

 

Don't compare not wanting to innerfaith with ultra conservatives with racism.

 

"It really saddens me that a food fight has risen up about this issue, and I sincerely apologize for any overstatements or emotional reactions I've made to help bring it about. I now wish I'd left it all alone and done something more constructive."

 

Well, I have decided to leave as well. When I first came here it was a Progressive christian haven. Now it has turned into a Billy Graham innerfaith forum from hell. Let me know if this goes back to being a Progressive forum again.

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Beach,

 

I really appreciate your not wanting to debate with fundamentalists. I also appreciate your wanting a safe place to voice your opinions. I feel the same way.

 

But again, I ask you, where on this board has anyone insisted on "doing an innerfaith with fundamentalists"?

 

Do we even HAVE any fundamentalists that post here to do a inter-faith dialogue with?

 

I read the debate forum over at bnet regularly. The discussions that happen on this board aren't even remotely close to the debates that happen over there.

 

If the debate forum on TCPC was being abused by fundamentalists who were here trying to convert everyone, then I could see a need for a seperate forum. However, it's not and so I guess I just don't understand where the anger is coming from. :(

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If I may be straight forward with all..that mentality that Fred has been displaying here towards me does NOT reflect the mentality of the actual theme that TCPC displays itself such as in it's printed newsletters that i recieve in the mail. For example, if Fred found my opinions here offensive that I can not see where he would not be equally offended on what TCPC wrote themselves in their own newsletter about 'they' beliving that Billy Graham being a stumbling block to progressive Christianity.

 

If you take this Billy Graham article, for example, I read it and did NOT take offense..but then again I am not a Christian fundamentalist so why would I? When individuals from TCPC or the Progressive forum on Beliefnet express their their disagreement with either the fundamental natures displayed by Protestant fundamentalist, Catholic ones, JWs or Christian science I do NOT take offense. Again why would I? When Des shared her annoyance with her preivious CS fundamental upbring I did not get my ass in the air about it. Why would I? I enjoy hering her issues with them. And I feel if someone can;t handle a person expressing their grienvinces with fundamental faith groups,,be they Protestant, Catholic or other..then they should not be here..rather than attacking us.

 

Like I said on the other post i am uncertain of the present feel here..but I wanted to express this and in the mean time I am going to address this issue on the Progressive Christian and Liberal Christian forums on MySpace.

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Like I said on the other post i am uncertain of the present feel here..but I wanted to express this and in the mean time I am going to address this issue on the Progressive Christian and Liberal Christian forums on MySpace.

 

I, personally, do wish that you would take this somewhere else. It's getting tiresome and productive of nothing. Several of us: myself, Peacemover, Fred, Aletheia, Xian, Cynthia, darby have all already told you quite clearly that we wish to keep the forum operating as it is. You seem now to be operating in your own best interests and not in the interests of the group and seem hell-bent on scapegoating Fred to boot. For the sake of your own comfort and security Beach, you are making everyone else uncomfortable and jeapordizing the security of the group. Please. Just stop.

 

 

lily

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darby, I thought you were the (token) articulate conservative. :-)

 

 

>1. Liberal Christianity supported Hitler. This serves as a reminder to me that just because a theolgical approach is considered "liberal" or "progressive," it doesn't mean that automatically it is leading us closer to God. I believe that the more conservative Karl Barth was closer to the mind of God in his condemnation of the Nazi regime than were the liberal theologians who supported Hitler. When we forget such lessons in history, we are doomed to repeat them.

 

Yikes Beach, where did you get that from? Christians in Germany and elsewhere (in some cases) were not active against Hitler (with some notable exceptions like Bonhoeffer). Many Christians in Germany are Lutherans. It's perhaps mainline but I wouldn't say liberal or progressive. I believe that Hitler attempted to coopt the churches in Germany and was successful to some extent. It doesn't say anything about Liberal Christianity. (And if some liberal theologians were pro-Hitler, does that say anything about liberal Christianity?)

BTW, Bonhoeffer is sometimes held up as a model for Progressive Christianity. He seems to me to be a model for Christianity, period.

 

 

--des

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Beach, really if you are so bothered by the exactly 3 conservative posters (or anybody else for that matter) why don't you just put them in your ignore list? Go into your "my control" section and set it up to ignore anybody you don't want to read. You will still see them quoted but it might take some of the punch out of their statements. As you read you get a little statement that says "you chose to ignore _____".

 

IMO, they have mostly behaved themselves, but, imo, there have been a couple exceptions at times.

 

Yes, I have found it sometimes distracting to have a conversation about some issue, and had it taken over. But I also find a really interestingly written conservative post will get me thinking about something in a new way.

 

I think it may be harder for you as I get the feelign that you are younger than some of us here and perhaps more reacting against your background than having beliefs that are stronger of your own. If I am right about that, I would understand how reading a conservative voice might be more annoying or disturbing. I honestly don't know how well I would have taken this forum at age 20 when I was struggling against being an ex-CS. (I may not be right about this.) But in any case, just go and set up your ignore list. I think that is what it is there for.)

 

BTW, when I was younger I would get on usenet (we didnt' have forums like this) and I would get in an argument with someone and I felt almost compelled to finish it. I found it helpful to either not read at all or to set up something like this ignore feature.

 

--des

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1. Liberal Christianity supported Hitler.  This serves as a reminder to me that just because a theolgical approach is considered "liberal" or "progressive," it doesn't mean that automatically it is leading us closer to God.  I believe that the more conservative Karl Barth was closer to the mind of God in his condemnation of the Nazi regime than were the liberal theologians who supported Hitler.  When we forget such lessons in history, we are doomed to repeat them.

Yikes Beach, where did you get that from? Christians in Germany and elsewhere (in some cases) were not active against Hitler (with some notable exceptions like Bonhoeffer). Many Christians in Germany are Lutherans. It's perhaps mainline but I wouldn't say liberal or progressive. I believe that Hitler attempted to coopt the churches in Germany and was successful to some extent. It doesn't say anything about Liberal Christianity. (And if some liberal theologians were pro-Hitler, does that say anything about liberal Christianity?)

BTW, Bonhoeffer is sometimes held up as a model for Progressive Christianity. He seems to me to be a model for Christianity, period.

This was Xian's post, not Beach's. Don't know if that was a typo or not. :)

 

Anyway, yes, "liberal Christianity supported Hitler" is an oversimplification, but it's true to a larger extent than most people realize. Mainline Lutheran churches in the early 1900's were heavily influenced by German liberalism, and the most influential philosophers of the day were finding their "voice" in a newly inspired sense of nationalistic pride. Even as keen a theologian as Rudolf Bultmann was so enamored with Heidegger's ideas that he wasn't able to see the horrors they implied. Does that say anything about liberal Christianity as such? I don't know; the mainline churches' complacency probably has as much to do with the social nature of mass movements than with any directly theological reasons. But what can be said is that mainline liberal theology wasn't counter-culture enough to offer any compelling reasons not to support Hitler, and that omission was a grave weakness.

 

But there were important progressive theologians that did stand against him: Bonhoeffer, as you mentioned, and Paul Tillich come to mind. Even as they were quite progressive theologically, though, both men had a very strong sense of the radical otherness of God in their theologies, and were skeptical of theological "accomodations" to the cultural status quo -- unlike the truly liberal theologians who constantly attempted to reduce religious and spiritual phenomena to the newest scientific or philosophical fad. (Granted, Tillich did try to explicate fundamental theology in terms of existential philosophy, but he radically challenged "orthodox" existentialism as much as he made use of it.)

 

As an aside, this just goes to show how hard it is to pin down terms like "liberal" or "progressive" and define what they mean. Bultmann and Tillich are considered ultra-liberal by "evangelical" standards, but they were actually important figures in the demise of classic 19th century theological liberalism. Barth and Bultmann had a surprising amount in common! And I'm always slightly amused by evangelicals' appropriation of Bonhoeffer, though of course I encourage it! I think that's one example where the light of a truly exemplary life completely cuts across ideological boundaries.

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Fred, I would not consider Bonhoeffer theologically liberal or progressive. He opposed Nazism and was a strong advocate for human rights and social justice. However, his theology, particularly on matters such as the atonement and interpretation/authority of scripture are anything but liberal, and are, in fact, quite conservative in many ways.

 

Peace,

 

John

Edited by peacemover
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Fred, I would not consider Bonhoeffer theologically liberal or progressive.  He opposed Nazism and was a strong advocate for human rights and social justice.  However, his theology, particularly on matters such as the atonement and interpretation/authority of scripture are anything but liberal, and are, in fact, quite conservative in many ways.

 

Peace,

 

John

Well, he's hard to pin down at any rate. He owed an enormous debt to liberal theology for certain ideas, especially as he struggled with the place of Christianity in the modern world toward the very end of his life. The implications of his notion of a "secular" or "religionless" Christianity are hardly conservative, even as his ideas on grace and discipleship speak of a level of personal committment to Christ that seem very out of place in classical liberalism. I think he's so universally liked precisely because his challenge rings out and captures us all.

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I am NOt the one who posted the thing about Hilter and I really have no idea what that poster's comments meant.

 

 

cunninglily Yesterday, 11:34 PM Post #18

 

 

 

 

 

Group: Members

Posts: 175

Joined: 18-March 05

From: Lafayette, Louisiana

Member No.: 319

 

 

 

QUOTE(BeachOfEden @ Jul 26 2005, 06:01 PM)

Like I said on the other post i am uncertain of the present feel here..but I wanted to express this and in the mean time I am going to address this issue on the Progressive Christian and Liberal Christian forums on MySpace.

 

 

 

 

Cunn:

 

"I, personally, do wish that you would take this somewhere else. It's getting tiresome and productive of nothing. Several of us: myself, Peacemover, Fred, Aletheia, Xian, Cynthia, darby have all already told you quite clearly that we wish to keep the forum operating as it is. You seem now to be operating in your own best interests and not in the interests of the group and seem hell-bent on scapegoating Fred to boot. For the sake of your own comfort and security Beach, you are making everyone else uncomfortable and jeapordizing the security of the group. Please. Just stop."

 

Translation? Clear as a bell, Cunn..in other words get F---- outta here! I shall leave here as you have demanded.

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