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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Personal Relationship with Christ? Huh?
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Evo1:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
I did not link the telegram from the King directly with the Eucharist.

Lessee...

My payslip. I get one every month, and it's personal. But I do not have a personal relationship with the payroll department.

Right, your example of the King was not analogous to the Eucharist. Are you suggesting that the pay slip scenario is? I'll hang fire with my response to a yes here since I just got burned with the King one. [Biased]

If not, would you like to give me something you think is analogous so that I might understand what you are getting at when you deny that the personal and relationship elements of the Eucharist are indeed a "personal relationship?"

The payslip is a closer analogy. Are you going now to try to prove that I have a personal relationship with the payroll department? I can assure you I don't, not of the kind that the phrase "personal relationship with God" implies to me.

RAM - you refer to:

"Which is the quiet support and confidence I gain when thinking about Him at hard times"

and "the joy I feel when I see Him in the world around me."

If I experienced either of those, then I'd see a basis for the concept of "personal relationship". But I don't. Indeed, the universe seemed extremely Godless for example last night when I had an anxiety attack about the whereabouts of Mrs Backslider and the Backslideret. I felt terribly alone, powerless, and totally without any support, divine or otherwise. Someone as powerful as God, if He were into personal relationship, surely would have made His presence felt? He didn't. He doesn't. There is no personal relationship between me and Him.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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eta. - Evo, if you're going to play silly buggers with semantics to prove that my own words imply I do have a PRWG, then forget it. I don't see the point in you persuading me that what I don't call a PRWG is one. The fact is that whatever relationship I exist in towards God, which you might call a PRWG, and I don't, does not seem like one to me, nor is it the satisfying thing other people on this thread describe it as.

It doesn't look like a duck, doesn't quack like a duck, so I'm not inclined to say it is a duck.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Josephine

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# 3899

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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
I've picked up on a kind of reluctance on the part of some to dare to believe that Jesus Christ -- the Cosmic Christ of that great hymn in Colossians, "for whom and through whom all things were made" -- takes a personal interest in them, or is accessible to them.

LutheranChik, two of my four children have Asperger Syndrome (a form of autism), and a third has many traits in that direction. And I can promise you that God is not accessible to them in a way that creates warm fuzzy feelings. It just doesn't work that way for them. The feelings of personal connection, of bonding, of belonging, just don't come easily to people on the autism spectrum at all, even with human beings that they see and touch and talk with regularly. And for those feelings to happen with someone that they can't see and touch and talk with -- it may not ever happen. And even if it happens, they're not likely to trust those feelings.

That doesn't mean that they don't have a relationship with God -- but rather that it's going to look and feel different from the relationship that others have. Their relationship with God will likely be focused far more on doing than on feeling.

For people to insist that this is the only, or the best, or the right way to have a relationship with God are excluding autistic people from having a relationship with God by defining it in a way that they may never experience. You're placing a heavy burden on them by expecting them to be just like you.

Karl is right -- "personal relationship" means far more than "a relationship with a person." I have a relationship with the janitor at work, but it's not a personal relationship. Personal relationship implies intimacy, closeness, warmth -- things that I don't have in my relationship with the janitor, and that some people aren't ever going to feel in their relationship with God.

And that's okay. God isn't just the God of neurotypicals. He's also the God of autistics.

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I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

Posts: 10273 | From: Pacific Northwest, USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Evo1
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# 10249

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
The payslip is a closer analogy. Are you going now to try to prove that I have a personal relationship with the payroll department? I can assure you I don't,

Rest easy Karl, I promised I'd keep my mouth shut didn't I - you can rely on me for that [Biased]

As an employee of the company, I might easily say that you have a personal relationship with the company - why else would it buy you a gold watch after 50 years service?

But that aint a good analogy either I'd say. A better analogy with the Eucharist might be my mum, who every Sunday, with her own hand, used to slave over a hot oven and gave me and my brood a meal. Not because I had worked for it, or because I was entitled to it by right/law/anything else you might want to add, but because of her love for me.

Now that was personal and there was a relationship there. I can understand that analogy with the Eucharist. But the fly in the ointment is that it is also a "personal relationship". But then, what else really could the Eucharist be? If it wasn't, why accept it?

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Just think how horrid I would be if I didn't have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Posts: 1058 | From: Hull, England | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Suddenly the veil falls from my eyes.

I found out a few years ago that I have AS. 'nuff said.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
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# 9826

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A PRWC isn't the same as having Christ at my beck and call: "I feel bad, Lord -- come and cheer me up." "I'm in trouble! Fix it!" I've had very low times in my life where I do believe that Christ made self present to me in a very "up front and personal way"...but by the same token I've had similarly sad or traumatic experiences where I had to "walk by faith and not by feel." But was Christ absent from me in those times? No. I believe he always stands by us, no matter what. And recall that he too felt alone and abandoned by God. Why would I think that I'm somehow entitled to an easier time of it on earth than Jesus Christ?

I'm really getting a little troubled, not so much by people's doubts about Christ's immediate presence in their lives, but by what sounds like outright hostility to the idea. Ever read the Book of Job? -- is it your job to dictate God's rules of engagement to God?

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Evo - go back and read what Josephine posted. It sums it up very well. Especially her last two paragraphs.

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Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Evo1
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# 10249

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
eta. - Evo, if you're going to play silly buggers with semantics to prove that my own words imply I do have a PRWG, then forget it. I don't see the point in you persuading me that what I don't call a PRWG is one. The fact is that whatever relationship I exist in towards God, which you might call a PRWG, and I don't, does not seem like one to me, nor is it the satisfying thing other people on this thread describe it as.

It doesn't look like a duck, doesn't quack like a duck, so I'm not inclined to say it is a duck.

Methinks the gentleman doth...

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Just think how horrid I would be if I didn't have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Posts: 1058 | From: Hull, England | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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LC - Christ may well be present in my day to day life. The point here is that PRWG implies to me that I'd be conscious of it, not just accepting that it is true by faith. I'm not, hence I do not identify with the concept of PRWG.

Again, read Josephine. She knows. We aspies don't work emotionally like other people do. Relationships are quite concrete things for us. We really need graspable conversations, touch, words.

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Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
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# 9826

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The really delicious irony of this dialogue, for me, is the fact that because I'm a Lutheran who takes my Lutheran theology seriously I have been lectured, more times than I can count, by some of my more evangelical brethren and sistren online, that I can't possibly have a Personal Relationship With Christ. How odd that I've now been called, apparently, to defend that concept. [Biased]

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Posts: 6462 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Evo1:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
eta. - Evo, if you're going to play silly buggers with semantics to prove that my own words imply I do have a PRWG, then forget it. I don't see the point in you persuading me that what I don't call a PRWG is one. The fact is that whatever relationship I exist in towards God, which you might call a PRWG, and I don't, does not seem like one to me, nor is it the satisfying thing other people on this thread describe it as.

It doesn't look like a duck, doesn't quack like a duck, so I'm not inclined to say it is a duck.

Methinks the gentleman doth...
...tell it like it is. Speak honestly. Be himself.

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Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Evo1
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# 10249

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quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
Karl is right -- "personal relationship" means far more than "a relationship with a person." I have a relationship with the janitor at work, but it's not a personal relationship. Personal relationship implies intimacy, closeness, warmth -- things that I don't have in my relationship with the janitor, and that some people aren't ever going to feel in their relationship with God.

I think this is narrowing the phrase somewhat. I can have a personal relationship without having any of these things. You seem to be talking about a close personal relationship.

I'd say you do know the janitor personally and hence that you have a personal relationship with him of sorts. Pinning the meaning onto what you believe is "implied" by the words does not mean everyone else has to abide by them.

The youngest son of ten who gets to talk to his dad, say about as much as you talk to the janitor has a personal relationship with his dad - just not a very close one.

Love,

Evo1

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Just think how horrid I would be if I didn't have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Posts: 1058 | From: Hull, England | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Evo1:
quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
Karl is right -- "personal relationship" means far more than "a relationship with a person." I have a relationship with the janitor at work, but it's not a personal relationship. Personal relationship implies intimacy, closeness, warmth -- things that I don't have in my relationship with the janitor, and that some people aren't ever going to feel in their relationship with God.

I think this is narrowing the phrase somewhat. I can have a personal relationship without having any of these things. You seem to be talking about a close personal relationship.

I'd say you do know the janitor personally and hence that you have a personal relationship with him of sorts. Pinning the meaning onto what you believe is "implied" by the words does not mean everyone else has to abide by them.

The youngest son of ten who gets to talk to his dad, say about as much as you talk to the janitor has a personal relationship with his dad - just not a very close one.

Love,

Evo1

Evo, you're this close to a call to Hell here, not because of what you're posting in and of itself, but because of your refusal to listen.

To us aspies, what you call a "close personal relationship" is what a personal relationship is. If it's not close - if we can't see, physically touch and talk to the other person, then the relationship is purely academic. Without the physical aspect, it's not a personal relationship. Please, before I call you to Hell and test some new swear words on you, just accept that this how we are wired.

Consequently, when people talk about a PWRG, I'm looking for tangible things - very strong feelings, not just vague hopes. Uncontravertable results of prayer. That sort of thing. Not coincidences that can be interpreted however you want it to be. For me, and from what Josephine says, other aspies, that is not, and cannot be, "personal relationship".

Read this, again:

The feelings of personal connection, of bonding, of belonging, just don't come easily to people on the autism spectrum at all, even with human beings that they see and touch and talk with regularly. And for those feelings to happen with someone that they can't see and touch and talk with -- it may not ever happen. And even if it happens, they're not likely to trust those feelings.

And keep reading it until you actually gain some insight.

[ 10. November 2005, 14:06: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
tclune
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# 7959

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quote:
Originally posted by Evo1:
I think this is narrowing the phrase somewhat. I can have a personal relationship without having any of these things. You seem to be talking about a close personal relationship.

I'd say you do know the janitor personally and hence that you have a personal relationship with him of sorts. Pinning the meaning onto what you believe is "implied" by the words does not mean everyone else has to abide by them.

The youngest son of ten who gets to talk to his dad, say about as much as you talk to the janitor has a personal relationship with his dad - just not a very close one.

This strikes me as too cute by half. Does anyone honestly believe that all those people exhorting us to have a personal relationship with Christ mean that we should have a distant personal relationship? That we should know Jesus in the same casual way that we know the doorman of a high-rise? Much of the misgivings that those who are squeemish about this phrase have is based on a true perception that there is a strong emotional element in this kind of religous experience.

John Wesley and the early Methodists were accuesed of "enthusiasm" (a word that delights me) because the feeling was that their faith was based too much on emotion. This is not a new dichotomy among faithful people. Having a personal relationship with Christ isn't necessarily the way that all Christians would choose to mainfest their faith. There is nothing wrong with that. Allowing other people other ways to experience and express their faith seems to me to be a sign of Christian maturity. Similarly, acknowledging that the thing that makes them uncomfortable is, indeed, a significant part of one's own faith expression is equally appropriate.

--Tom Clune

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Adeodatus
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# 4992

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Seriously starting to wonder if I have Asperger's myself now ... [Paranoid] Not only do I not have a clue what people are on about when they talk about their personal relationship with Christ, I also don't have a clue what they might possibly mean.

For myself, if it isn't (in Mousethief's terms) a pizza* and an arm round the shoulder, it's not what I'd call a personal relationship.


* OK, the pizza's negotiable.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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Evo1
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# 10249

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Evo, you're this close to a call to Hell here, not because of what you're posting in and of itself, but because of your refusal to listen.

To us aspies, what you call a "close personal relationship" is what a personal relationship is. If it's not close - if we can't see, physically touch and talk to the other person, then the relationship is purely academic. Without the physical aspect, it's not a personal relationship. Please, before I call you to Hell and test some new swear words on you, just accept that this how we are wired.

Not sure where this has come from Karl, I'm talking about the definition of personal relationship and not even contemplating the wider issue of what that means in our Christian walk - maybe you should read what I have written with this in mind.

So I would say, in the case of the janitor, you can see, touch and hear him. It is personal - like it or not. I'd even say that we are having a personal relationship (in some sense) and hence your getting wound up!

To follow your logic, you seem to be saying that the youngest son of ten does not have a relationship at all with his dad.

It so happens that I do know something about AS. (I heard that the guy in both our Avatars may also have been a sufferer)

Love,

Evo1

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Just think how horrid I would be if I didn't have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

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Evo1
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# 10249

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quote:
Originally posted by tclune:
This strikes me as too cute by half. Does anyone honestly believe that all those people exhorting us to have a personal relationship with Christ mean that we should have a distant personal relationship? That we should know Jesus in the same casual way that we know the doorman of a high-rise? Much of the misgivings that those who are squeemish about this phrase have is based on a true perception that there is a strong emotional element in this kind of religous experience.


No Tom, at this point I am discussing what is meant by "Personal Relationship" in general. The difference seeming to be that I say Josephine has a personal relationship with her janitor (however distant) and she flatly denies that she does.

Why is this relevant to this thread? Well, if we are not all clear what we all mean by "personal relationship" how can we discuss meaningfully about a personal relationship with God.

Love,

Evo1

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Just think how horrid I would be if I didn't have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Posts: 1058 | From: Hull, England | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Nicodemia
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# 4756

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Oh dear! I often feel like Karl does, well, about God and/or Jesus, but I am not autistic!

I have had "personal relationships" with people in the past. But they've either died, gone away or let me down. So I tend not to trust people now. And God isn't there when I need to feel him. And he doesn't send me letters, or phone me or whatever.

I have to believe he is there - or there is no point in anything. And slowly I am beginning to see him in others. But feel him? No. Hear him? not any more.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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And I'm saying that I cannot for the life of me see why I would describe the relationship between me and an untouchable, invisible, undetectable God as a "personal relationship", without, as you appear to have proposed, completely severing the phrase from all the connotations it has in my lexicon. What's the point of redefining a term to mean something totally different to what I normally take it to mean so that I can say I have one? It doesn't change the actual relationship I do have, does it?

The reason I'm wound up about this is that for feckin' years I believed my Christianity was desperately lacking, sub-standard, and possibly completely spurious because I didn't have this PRWG that everyone else raved about. Now I finally understand that the easiest thing to do is simply reject the concept for myself, because what it is possible to have with a non-tangible deity can never have anything to do with "personal relationship", with all the connotations that "personal relationship" has.

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Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
chukovsky

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# 116

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Karl, although I wouldn't tell you to label what you have differently to how you wish to label it, I'm not sure that a personal relationship necessarily means that you have a personal experience of that relationship. I think you can know that a relationship is there, by faith, for example by knowing intellectually that God cares for you, without necessarily having an emotional experience of that relationship.

I have had a few, brief, fleeting moments of emotional experience of God but, by and large, my relationship to him is experienced through faith, and existed before any such spiritual experience, which came much later. But, as I say, it is primarily characterised by a knowledge that he cares for me as His child, rather than any friendship-type equality thing with Jesus.

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Posts: 6842 | From: somewhere else | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
I'm not sure that a personal relationship necessarily means that you have a personal experience of that relationship.
That's exactly what it means to me. Possibly because I have AS, possibly because I'm simply working with a different linguistic lexicon. Whatever. More to the point, most of the people I've known who banged on about their PRWG certainly gave the impression it was experiential.

quote:
I think you can know that a relationship is there, by faith, for example by knowing intellectually that God cares for you, without necessarily having an emotional experience of that relationship.
That's simply not what I call a personal relationship. It's a faith position, an axiom, even. Not a personal relationship. It's intellectual, as you say. Relationship is emotional.

[ 10. November 2005, 14:27: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mudfrog
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# 8116

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
And I'm saying that I cannot for the life of me see why I would describe the relationship between me and an untouchable, invisible, undetectable God as a "personal relationship", without, as you appear to have proposed, completely severing the phrase from all the connotations it has in my lexicon. What's the point of redefining a term to mean something totally different to what I normally take it to mean so that I can say I have one? It doesn't change the actual relationship I do have, does it?

The reason I'm wound up about this is that for feckin' years I believed my Christianity was desperately lacking, sub-standard, and possibly completely spurious because I didn't have this PRWG that everyone else raved about. Now I finally understand that the easiest thing to do is simply reject the concept for myself, because what it is possible to have with a non-tangible deity can never have anything to do with "personal relationship", with all the connotations that "personal relationship" has.

Please don't feel that I am implying in any way that your faith is lacking - we all work out our own salvation - but I sort of feel you are shouting about not having something when actually you do!

This 'personal relationship' stuff is not really the fuzzy, warm, hand in hand thing you assume some evos to be talking about.

Of course it's true that diety is intangible, etc.
Of course it's true that normal personal relationships involve eyes and ears and hands and all the other sensory stuff that makes for interpersonal relationships.

But I'm not sure that realy that's what we are saying.

When we talk about 'personal' we are talking about you, not Jesus. Personal means your 'experience'; I guess it's a phrase that was invented as an answer to the nominal church goer who had no inward faith, rather a mere outward, cultural conformity. Personal faith, relationship, religion simply means a faith that has been internalised.

As far as the relationship bit is concerned, well, that has more to do with 'standing' than anything else. Our relationship with God has little to do with feelings and a lot to do with redemption and acceptance.

The PRWG is therefore a phrase that basically speaks of appropriating the work of redemption for oneself rather than mere mental assent to the doctrine.

The only thing I can think of Christian doctrine is the Methodist doctrine of assurance where the redeemed can 'know' within himself that he is indeed forgiven and accepted by God. Wesley spoke about how he felt his heart 'strangely warmed' when he realised that he was indeed a redeemed man.

Please be encouraged by this.
I am sure there are times when you do feel 'blessed' and full of faith. Many people do; but other times their faith is just a quiet assurance that God is present.

That to me is a PRWG.
Blessings... [Angel]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Evo1
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# 10249

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
And I'm saying that I cannot for the life of me see why I would describe the relationship between me and an untouchable, invisible, undetectable God as a "personal relationship", without, as you appear to have proposed, completely severing the phrase from all the connotations it has in my lexicon. What's the point of redefining a term to mean something totally different to what I normally take it to mean so that I can say I have one? It doesn't change the actual relationship I do have, does it?

No it doesn't, not at all.

We have been trading at cross purposes - I hadn't got around to this yet - though this seems to have been heavily at the forefront of your mind.

quote:
The reason I'm wound up about this is that for feckin' years I believed my Christianity was desperately lacking, sub-standard, and possibly completely spurious because I didn't have this PRWG that everyone else raved about. Now I finally understand that the easiest thing to do is simply reject the concept for myself, because what it is possible to have with a non-tangible deity can never have anything to do with "personal relationship", with all the connotations that "personal relationship" has.
(Can I remind you that a little further up I said "[almost forgot, if people tell you that you must feel you have a personal relationship to be saved, ask them how on earth they think they are helping you by saying that. FWIW I don't believe it.)"

Love,

Evo1

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Just think how horrid I would be if I didn't have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Posts: 1058 | From: Hull, England | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Nah, MF, I'm shouting about Evo insisting that I take what you described and describe it as a PRWG, when I can't for the life of me think why I'd want to use what is for me, with my linguistic lexicon, and for others, going by their posts here, a completely misleading phrase.

You describe an appreciation of a status - which is a mental state. PR means, to me, an emotional state. It seems almost a category error to use the phrase PRWG to describe it.

YMMV.

You say, I should add, that "I am sure there are times when you do feel 'blessed' and full of faith"

Don't be so sure.

[ 10. November 2005, 14:44: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Evo1
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
"Nah, MF, I'm shouting about Evo insisting that I take what you described and describe it as a PRWG, when I can't for the life of me think why I'd want to use what is for me, with my linguistic lexicon, and for others, going by their posts here, a completely misleading phrase."


You're being a bit naughty there Karl, can you lead me to where I did that?

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Just think how horrid I would be if I didn't have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Posts: 1058 | From: Hull, England | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mudfrog
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Just read the post about the experience of faith not beinmg emotional. Karl, is that what you are looking for? An emotional experience with God?

Actually I guess it isn't because you seem to believe there isn't one available.

All I would say is that we all have different personality types and any 'emotional' relationship someone might have with God is merely their emotional response to the quiet assurance the Holy Spirit gives.

If we are talking about feeling assured that God is present, some people respond emotionally, some don't. That is not to say that only the emotional people have a PRWG. Some very stoical and practical people have a vital and strong faith - it just doesn't affect them emotionally.

If we look for emotion as the benchmark for Christian experience I guess we will be disappointed. Feelings might come as a response, but they don't make or prove the relationship with God.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 8237 | From: North Yorkshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Evo1:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
"Nah, MF, I'm shouting about Evo insisting that I take what you described and describe it as a PRWG, when I can't for the life of me think why I'd want to use what is for me, with my linguistic lexicon, and for others, going by their posts here, a completely misleading phrase."


You're being a bit naughty there Karl, can you lead me to where I did that?
So, insist is a bit strong. Sue me.

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
Karl is right -- "personal relationship" means far more than "a relationship with a person." I have a relationship with the janitor at work, but it's not a personal relationship. Personal relationship implies intimacy, closeness, warmth -- things that I don't have in my relationship with the janitor, and that some people aren't ever going to feel in their relationship with God.

I think this is narrowing the phrase somewhat. I can have a personal relationship without having any of these things.
I can't. That's the point, really.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Mudfrog
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If you don't like the phrase, don't use it. It's not in the creed is it? It's not in the Bible.

You decide what makes and proves your acceptance by God and your place in his family, decide on a phrase that describes that and stick by that definition.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Callan
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# 525

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Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:

quote:
That's simply not what I call a personal relationship. It's a faith position, an axiom, even. Not a personal relationship. It's intellectual, as you say. Relationship is emotional.
Actually, it seems to me that people who say that they have a personal relationship with God believe that they have a personal relationship with God, which is inseparable from faith. That, effectively, involves holding certain propositonal beliefs: to wit, that God exists and that He is, in some sense, a personal reality. This may, or may not, be attended by certain emotions.

Now it seems to me that the emotional content of faith is to a certain extent seprable from the intellectual content. There is such a thing as the dark night of the soul. Many of us have days where we think the whole thing is entirely hopeless. Even Jesus cried out on the cross that God had deserted him. Which is why the Catholic tradition puts so much emphasis on spiritual disciplines. The most important prayers are not the ones we pray when we are in a happy Jesus-is-my-boyfriend mood but the ones we mutter through gritted teeth when we really don't feel like it. Faith is not a warm Spirit-Of-We-Feeling but an acquired reflex.

Which is why the rhetoric of having a personal relationship with God is problematic. The language of personal relationships implies a close friendship or a happy marriage. Faith may, at times, acquire that emotional content but to expect it to have those characteristics all the time is like expecting to spend all your married life feeling like you did on honeymoon. It's not realistic and even if it were your nervous system couldn't cope. Faith is really about believing stuff because you think it's true and doing stuff because you think it's right. If that makes you miserable all the time you should seek spiritual direction urgently but if you don't feel that you're in a close friendship all the time then that's normal. If someone asks me whether I have a personal relationship with God, well, I think I know what you mean by that and I suppose I do but it is only a metaphor for something radically different from what we would normally consider a personal relationship and it is not always the most apt metaphor.

[ETA - 'you' in this context means generic 'you'.]

[ 10. November 2005, 14:52: Message edited by: Callan ]

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 9757 | From: Citizen of the World | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Evo1
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# 10249

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
So, insist is a bit strong. Sue me.

The point being that I don't remember cross referring you to MFs post at all. I think you are imputing some of your assumptions onto me. (And I could never sue a brother)

quote:
I can't. That's the point, really.
I can't let the delicious irony go here. We have never met, you have never heard me speak, you've never touched my hand. We have never shared intimacy, closeness or warmth. And yet you have been so moved by our exchanges that you were on the verge of calling me to Hell. From your side of the fence, I'd say this has to be a personal relationship we are enjoying here. QED.

Love,

Evo1

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Just think how horrid I would be if I didn't have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Posts: 1058 | From: Hull, England | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Just read the post about the experience of faith not beinmg emotional. Karl, is that what you are looking for? An emotional experience with God?

It's what I used to look for. Everyone else seemed to be having one. And I don't say that simply because they used the PRWG terminology.

quote:
Actually I guess it isn't because you seem to believe there isn't one available.
I am open to the possibility, but so far, in over twenty years of Christianity... I've had my emotions manipulated, but I don't think a true emotional experience of God would leave a nasty hangover.

quote:
All I would say is that we all have different personality types and any 'emotional' relationship someone might have with God is merely their emotional response to the quiet assurance the Holy Spirit gives.
Or doesn't give, as the case may be.

quote:
If we are talking about feeling assured that God is present, some people respond emotionally, some don't. That is not to say that only the emotional people have a PRWG. Some very stoical and practical people have a vital and strong faith - it just doesn't affect them emotionally.
Well, feeling assured that God is present is quite an alien experience to me. At best I manage about 70% belief that He exists, but this is a different thread.

quote:
If we look for emotion as the benchmark for Christian experience I guess we will be disappointed. Feelings might come as a response, but they don't make or prove the relationship with God.
Something I think we can agree on.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Evo1:
I can't let the delicious irony go here. We have never met, you have never heard me speak, you've never touched my hand. We have never shared intimacy, closeness or warmth. And yet you have been so moved by our exchanges that you were on the verge of calling me to Hell. From your side of the fence, I'd say this has to be a personal relationship we are enjoying here. QED.

Love,

Evo1 [/QB]

Like I said, we clearly have a very different understanding of "personal relationship". I'm also angered sometimes by what governments in countries I know little of do, but I don't have a personal relationship with Robert Mugabe. God forbid.

But even BBS exchanges are considerably more concrete than any interaction I have with God.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Evo1
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Like I said, we clearly have a very different understanding of "personal relationship". I'm also angered sometimes by what governments in countries I know little of do, but I don't have a personal relationship with Robert Mugabe. God forbid.

Let's go over the terminology again.

Robert Mugabe & Karl
Personal: No
Relationship: suppose might just get there.

Evo & Karl
Personal: apparently very
Relationship: shipmate:shipmate
Personal Relationship? I'd say has to be by definition but for personal reasons and associated connotations, you seem reluctant to admit this.

Love,

Evo1

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Just think how horrid I would be if I didn't have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Posts: 1058 | From: Hull, England | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
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Karl, I understand what you mean; I really do. I've had so many Baptists (sorry if any are reading this) and their theological allies pounding me over the head about my perceived lack of "personal relationship with God" that that phrase makes me brux my teeth; if I were talking about my own faith walk with someone outside this particular discussion, it would not be the phraseology I'd use, because it's too loaded for most people, myself included.

But let's deal with the semantics here. Can I get an agreement from the others here assembled that by PRWG we, here in this conversation about our own faith walks, do not mean My Boyfriend/My Buddy/My Pal Jesus, "under the blanket with a flashlight"? That our relationship with Jesus is something much more complex and not exclusively or even primarily referencing warm and fuzzy feelings about the Lord and Savior? Right? Can I get a witness?

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

Posts: 6462 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Evo1:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Like I said, we clearly have a very different understanding of "personal relationship". I'm also angered sometimes by what governments in countries I know little of do, but I don't have a personal relationship with Robert Mugabe. God forbid.

Let's go over the terminology again.

Robert Mugabe & Karl
Personal: No
Relationship: suppose might just get there.

Evo & Karl
Personal: apparently very
Relationship: shipmate:shipmate
Personal Relationship? I'd say has to be by definition but for personal reasons and associated connotations, you seem reluctant to admit this.

Love,

Evo1

Or simply because it doesn't feel like a personal relationship? It's this sort of implication of an ulterior motive that is pissing me off here. The reason I don't call this a personal relationship is because it isn't one. It'd be a personal relationship, possibly, if we knew each other well and were discussing this over a pint. As it is it isn't, not by a long chalk.

Why are you unable to accept that we have different understandings of "personal relationship" and instead start implying ulterior motives and start using emotive language like "admit", like I know you're right but won't admit to it?

Hell is looking close, again, boyo.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Evo1
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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
Can I get a witness?

LutheranChik, the word witness is pregnant with connotations [Biased] so I'll second you instead.

Love,

Evo1

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Just think how horrid I would be if I didn't have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Posts: 1058 | From: Hull, England | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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LC - I'm afraid that for me this stretches the meaning of "personal relationship" well beyond breaking point.

I should add, for Evo's benefit, that the relationship generated by our exchanges here, whilst a long, long way from being a "personal relationship", is a darned sight closer than what I have with God, who tends not to reply to my points.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Evo1
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:

Hell is looking close, again, boyo.

Well I am kind of bored now,

You just made yet another erroneous (imho of course) analogy (that's the Mugabe one), you can't blame me for pointing it out (but perhaps you do)

Love,

Evo1

[ 10. November 2005, 15:25: Message edited by: Evo1 ]

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Just think how horrid I would be if I didn't have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Posts: 1058 | From: Hull, England | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Evo1:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:

Hell is looking close, again, boyo.

Well I am kind of bored now,

You just made yet another erroneous (imho of course) analogy (that's the Mugabe one), you can't blame me for pointing it out (but perhaps you do)

Love,

Evo1

Read for comprehension. It's your implication that I'm refusing to "admit" that this exchange constitutes a personal relationship that's pissing me off.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Leprechaun

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# 5408

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Sorry, but since when did PWRG = feeling something all the time?

Occasionally I feel my relationship with God, but mostly not. That doesn't change the fact that he is a person (or three) and I have entrusted my life and future eternity to him. That is a personal relationship. It doesn't work or feel like many of my other relationships; he is God after all. But haveing entrusted myself to Him it seems pretty personal and like we have a relationship.

I don't like the phrase much for other reasons though as it can obscure the communal nature of God's covenants to his people plural.

[ 10. November 2005, 15:28: Message edited by: Leprechaun ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Lep - I agree a personal relationship doesn't have to be about feeling something all the time, but at the core a personal relationship is based on an emotional attachment to a person, mediated through tangible two-way communication, at least for me.

This just isn't a very good definition of my relationship to God.

[ 10. November 2005, 15:36: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Evo1
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Read for comprehension. It's your implication that I'm refusing to "admit" that this exchange constitutes a personal relationship that's pissing me off.

That would be fun, a Hell thread which says, "He says we are having a personal relationship and it is just making me so annoyed. I would really like to see that.

Oh, I just looked up Personal Relationship on WordReference.com and it apparently means: "a relation between persons". Seems to make sense to me.

I'll leave you alone. Hope I haven't annoyed you too much,

Love,

Evo1

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Just think how horrid I would be if I didn't have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Posts: 1058 | From: Hull, England | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Spiffy
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# 5267

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I don't have Aspergers, but I am a kinesthetic learner (which means I learn best by doing and get right mixed up if you give me too many verbal and/or written directions, figure out your learning style here). For someone who's kinesthetic, relationships are all about what you do: how many phone calls, how many emails, how many gifts, how long you talked at dinner, et cetera.

One of the reasons I'm in a liturgical church is because there are tangible, physical actions that connect me again and again to God. I don't do it for the daily warm fuzzies, though. I score very low on interpersonal on that learning style test, though.

I have had a few powerful experiences of the love of God, but those were during periods of my life that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy's dog. What was said way back at the beginning of the thread about personal vs. individual relationship really struck home for me.

Also, a tangent that was brought up earlier: if you read a lot of the more flowery, fruity, fluffy Rosary sites on the Internet, you get people discussing the BVM in similar terms that a lot of evangelicals discuss their 'personal relationship with Jesus'.

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Looking for a simple solution to all life's problems? We are proud to present obstinate denial. Accept no substitute. Accept nothing.
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Posts: 10281 | From: Beervana | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Interesting link; I scored highly on musical, but actually I'm not a great musician; I'm too physically unco-ordinated (interestingly there's a strong co-morbidity between AS and dyspraxia; it seems that when we're kids the universe wants to ensure that if we can't irritate the hell out of our schoolmates with the AS they can beat the shit out of us for being crap at sports instead)

I always find it difficult to distinguish between a statement I'd like to be true and one that is on these tests [Biased]

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Matt Black

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# 2210

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Linguistic: 8

Logical-Mathematical: 6

Spatial: 6

Bodily-Kinesthetic: 7

Musical: 11

Interpersonal: 5

Intrapersonal: 9

I was crap at sports and bullied at school too [Frown]

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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Dinghy Sailor

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Sorry, but where's the link?

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Preach Christ, because this old humanity has used up all hopes and expectations, but in Christ hope lives and remains.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Matt Black

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The "here" in the second line of Spiffy's post

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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Autenrieth Road

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# 10509

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In Spiffy da Wonder Sheep's post a few posts up, first paragraph, "here" of "figure out your learning style here)."

(Haven't replicated the link in this post 'cause I'm heading out and fear muddling up the UBB.)

[cross-posted with Matt Black!]

[ 10. November 2005, 16:23: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]

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Truth

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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quote:
Originally posted by dinghy sailor:
Sorry, but where's the link?

In Spiffy's first paragraph of her last post to this thread. [Biased]

Linguistic: 9

Logical-Mathematical: 2

Spatial: 4

Bodily-Kinesthetic: 3

Musical: 12

Interpersonal: 8

Intrapersonal: 5

Not sure how accurate that is....

(Crossposted with lots of people)

[ 10. November 2005, 16:26: Message edited by: Papio. ]

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Callan
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# 525

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Given that I've posted recently on this thread, I ought not to host. Posting as a shipmate, therefore, can I suggest that if people want to compare their results on Spiffy's survey they do so in the circus. Obviously a discussion about the relationship between learning styles and styles of faith is entirely within the remit of Purgatory.

Doubtless an uncompromised host will reiterate this advice formally, should the need arise!

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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