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Looking for meaningful conversations

Discussion in 'Are you new to ReligiousForums.com?' started by amatuerscholar, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    Welcome to the forum.

    As to meaningful conversations, well, you’ll have to decide whether your interactions here fit your definition!
     
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  2. Theo102

    Theo102 Active Member

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    "In the beginning was the logos"

    Hello and welcome.
     
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  3. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    @amatuerscholar LOL...spellcheck is your friend. :D

    Welcome to the madhouse. ;)

    Just wondering if you view "theology" as something that Jesus taught? Do we need a degree in theology to understand and practice his teachings?

    I learned more from the Bible itself than I ever learned from a man with a degree in theology....just sayin'.....:cool:
     
  4. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    Nice to meet you. I look forward to some conversations and learning more of your thoughts.
     
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  5. amatuerscholar

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    I'm more of a panentheist, which I think helps sum up a lot of problems. With that, I see God as being self-limiting, in that God is all powerful, but in order for humans to have any power, to be humans, God has to take a step back. This is an idea I'm working more through though as it works in some cases, but when placed in the context of the Holocaust, there arises other problems.

    Growing up, I was a very devout believer in fundamentalism Christianity. What changed that was the movie Stigmata, which introduced me to the Gospel of Thomas. When I started questioning that, I was told that I needed to stop or I was going to hell. That didn't sit right with me, and I started looking elsewhere as I still had faith in God. I converted to Judaism as it's part of my heritage, so it was a way to connect with that, but also because I met a Rabbi who really helped me work through my questions and thoughts about God. But looking back now, it was simply too late. I was already really loosing faith and part of that was just rebelling against my parents.

    As for what brought me from being a militant atheist to a theist really was researching the historical Jesus. As a militant atheist, I was convinced of the Christ-myth theory. But as I continued researching it, I started reading the views of historians, and of various scholars, and I couldn't justify my acceptance of the Jesus-myth idea, which made me question other ideas that I had. Mainly though, it helped strip away some of my anger, and pushed me to be more open.



    I view theology as the complete study of God or gods. So while it does look at what Jesus taught, it goes beyond that. Part of it is how to read the Bible and place it in a historical context. How others interpreted various verses. It tackles ethical and moral issues. So I see it as much more.
     
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  6. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    Very interesting stuff. I read some of your blog on your website as well. I think you and I have may have some common thoughts about these thing. I've recently been reading works by John Dominic Crossan that have helped put things into a more reasoned discussion about the historical Jesus. I agree, while it's hard to read the gospel accounts as literal history (which is not their purpose), it's another thing to glibly claim it's just made up out of whole cloth. There is just too much detail there that can been seen, to imagine this is nothing but pure fantasy. Too many things line up, when examined from a cross-disciplinary perspective.

    I also draw from those like James Fowler and other developmentalist looks at stages of faith, and how that mythic-literal thought is an earlier stage of faith. What it sounds like to me, and where we probably share more in common than not, is you have moved through stage 4 faith, the Individuative/Reflective stage, which is able to deconstruct meaning from myth, and are moving into Stage 5 faith, Conjunctive faith, where one rescues the baby from the bathwater, so to speak, using Fowler's models. That's pretty much where I've been at for awhile now.

    If you're interested, I attempted a thread to open discussion beyond mythic-literal faith, drawing off some of Crossan's thoughts. I found them quite revealing, and true, looking at the "Biblical Heartbeat" as he calls it: How to Read the Bible, and Still be a Christian
     
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  7. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    From the beginning of man's history, there has always been "God"....later developing into "gods" and ways to appease them, so there is no denying the spiritual nature of man, but his unbridled excursions into matters of faith, have not led the human race into anything but conflict and confusion. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on why, if there is a God who is the Creator of all things, he would permit this situation to take place?

    I have researched a lot of these issues online rather than going to any formal education facility, which to me often creates its own problems when denomination plays a role in how the scriptures are interpreted and taught in those facilities. There are as many points of view as there are scholars, so who is to say who has the correct handle on any of these things? The truth IMO is not subject to popularity or human interpretation. There is one truth, and I believe that the Creator is the only one who can guide a person (having read their hearts) to that truth. (John 6:44; 65)

    Faith IMO is not necessarily the product of an intelligent mind, (atheists see faith as completely irrational) it is the product of one's spirituality....their heart....which can be expressed in extremes in both directions, and everything in between....so I see Paul's words in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 to have application in this. Everything that is not truth is a personal 'delusion'......but one that God permits, so that our (free willed) choices tell him everything he needs to know about us. He allows us to keep our delusions (no matter how sincerely they are held) if he sees no potential in us for change.

    I am a bit of a research junkie as I consider myself a perpetual student of the Bible.....a course from which I will never graduate....(as if I could ever know it all.) Degrees mean nothing to God...only to men. Looking back at the attitude of the Pharisees in Jesus' day we see a similar attitude today, as if being educated and earning a degree means that we must know more than anyone else.....nothing has changed really. Elitism is nothing new, especially in religion.
    Jesus and his apostles were not "educated" in the rabbinical schools and were regarded as 'uneducated' and in no position to preach or teach others anything about God and his purpose...especially about this false Messiah, Jesus....

    I will be interested in your opinions on a range of topics, and how you came to your conclusions.....I hope you find some challenges and some food for thought on these forums.

    I came here with a swag....graduated to a tent, then a caravan and now I'm considering building a small cabin....it's basically my second home. :)
     
    #27 Deeje, Feb 20, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
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