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Source: (consider it) Thread: Is theological liberalism unwelcome in the "liberal" Church
Martin60
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It doesn't take some massive, monolithic, mystical magisterium. It didn't. It took common sense.

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Nick Tamen

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Whether you're right or wrong on that, I'm still not seeing how it's relevant to the question of who produced the NT. Sorry.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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OOM ten people out of a thousand times that at the time. Whoever came after in no matter how byzantine and magisterial an organization had the common sense to keep it to that.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
OOM ten people out of a thousand times that at the time. Whoever came after in no matter how byzantine and magisterial an organization had the common sense to keep it to that.

OOM? Sorry, still not getting what you're trying to say. Are you suggesting that the authors of the NT books were also the ones who decided those books would be accepted as canonical?

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
OOM? Sorry, still not getting what you're trying to say. Are you suggesting that the authors of the NT books were also the ones who decided those books would be accepted as canonical?

I'm guessing "order of magnitude".

I think Martin's saying that of the first ten thousand or so Christians, roughly ten of them were involved in producing the NT books, and (perhaps) of the first million or so Christians, roughly a thousand of them had a part in establishing the NT canon.

I think he's denying that there was some unanimous expressing of accord by the whole of the Church (each individual believer) that invests the decisions to write and recognise the NT texts as "Scripture" and which carries some uniquely special authority binding on everyone who came after. He's not (I think) denying that the decision to define the canon of scripture as we have it was a reasonably sensible one and could be defended as such, whereas it cannot be defended by appeal to an authority which he thinks is fictional.

I could be wrong. There is an element of interpretation to Martin's posts.

[ 21. September 2017, 13:40: Message edited by: Eliab ]

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Nick Tamen

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Thanks Eliab. That helps a great deal.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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Aye Eliab. Regardless of everything else that went on in the first couple or three centuries, common sense prevailed in the thousand as to what was of any use, by then, no matter how placist and political the Church got, the 'canon' couldn't be interfered with.

[ 21. September 2017, 14:20: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Existence is fine for us, but God is not an object in the world, nor is God outside the world (but occasionally intervening). For something to exist means, usually, that there is at least one instance, somewhere, of that something. But that ain't the case with God.

But also, requiring belief in the existence of God as a sort of minimum requirement, turns a person into a bit of a thing, Christian if you do this, not if you don't. What is going on with the liberal unsure of their status at the top of this thread? Is there not some sort of faith being expressed in the troubled dynamic of their uncertain relationship with the Church and its belief?

I'm not sure I find this terribly meaningful, but I accept that there are others who do.

The interesting question is whether organised Christianity can be successful if it takes this approach on as its general modus operandi, rather than as a kind of subculture within a more theologically traditional framework. I don't think so, really.

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hatless

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You want to judge things according to whether they make for success?

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Enoch
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Tangent alert
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The NT is the product of about nine, all but one or two at most Jewish and another one possibly female, authors - about half of whom knew Jesus for a thousand days or so - over a few decades, edited over a century or two from 1970 odd years ago, all living at some point in the Jewish capital of a Roman province in the Hellenized ancient near east. ...

Martin, I'm a bit curious about this one.

As far as I know, the only books normally supposed to have been written by a gentile are Luke and Acts, both universally accepted since the earliest times as written by the same person. So that is one gentile.

Even allowing for debate about whether there are epistles attributed to St Paul that he didn't write, I don't think those that say he didn't write some of them have gone the next step and identified somebody else who did.

As far as I know the attribution of Hebrews to St Paul in some Bibles has long been universally accepted to be late and erroneous. But I don't think anyone has seriously argued it was written by anyone other than a Jew who was familiar with what happened in the Temple.

So which other book might have been written by a gentile, why and by whom?

And nice though it might be to think that there might be a book in the NT written by a woman, which one would it be and why? Apart from somebody thinking 'well there ought to be one' is there any basis at all for arguing there was?

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
You want to judge things according to whether they make for success?

Well, it's not the only criterion, but it's obviously a significant one.

A religious movement might do lots of wonderful things, but if it can't reproduce itself effectively, or maintain its structures and culture then it might reasonably be described as having a problem.

OTOH, a certain amount of liberalism is attractive to most denominations as they age. It's indicative of a highly educated clergy, and of a rational, mature membership. Those are positive things to present to the outside world.

But when you refer to liberals and 'the troubled dynamic of their uncertain relationship with the Church and its belief' I think that's inevitable, really. To be part of a mainstream church family yet insist that God doesn't really exist is to bite the more traditional hand that feeds you; it can't be the most settling experience for either side.

But that's life. We do what we can.

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ThunderBunk

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Meanwhile, the rest of get on with following God.

The church's task is to go where God leads, not to run itself like a golfclub. If you want to go to a golfclub go to one, but don't fool yourself you're going to church.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

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SvitlanaV2
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What do you think turns a church into a golf club?
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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
You want to judge things according to whether they make for success?

Well, it's not the only criterion, but it's obviously a significant one.

A religious movement might do lots of wonderful things, but if it can't reproduce itself effectively, or maintain its structures and culture then it might reasonably be described as having a problem.

OTOH, a certain amount of liberalism is attractive to most denominations as they age. It's indicative of a highly educated clergy, and of a rational, mature membership. Those are positive things to present to the outside world.

Fair comment.

In my denomination, Baptist, there are many people who love the latest movement that promises big numbers of converts. There have been so many of them. Blessings, outpourings, revivals. As soon as one ends another takes its place, with extravagant claims of wonders, packed services, lives changed. I went to a presentation about a new one just this week.

I think it's pathological. I agree that the church in the West has real problems, but to repeatedly believe that yet another version of the last failed solution is about to change everything is stupid. I know you weren't saying this, Svitlana.

I'd like to see a renewal in theology. All the renewal movements have the same early Twentieth Century decisionist, biblicist theology.

I'd like to see more thought about the relationship between church and home life and work. Much modern worship creates a separate world that doesn't speak to the realities of life and politics.

But I think we have to let go of 'success' for this to happen.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I'd like to see more thought about the relationship between church and home life and work. Much modern worship creates a separate world that doesn't speak to the realities of life and politics.

Some of us (Baptists) do try to do this, at lest some of the time - but I definitely take your point and agree!
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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:


But I think we have to let go of 'success' for this to happen.

Of course, one way of letting go of 'success' would be to leave the Baptists and join a smaller, more marginal movement that's committed to the liberal path. There are a few of them around....

[Biased]

[ 24. September 2017, 15:13: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Martin60
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Enoch
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Tangent alert
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The NT is the product of about nine, all but one or two at most Jewish and another one possibly female, authors - about half of whom knew Jesus for a thousand days or so - over a few decades, edited over a century or two from 1970 odd years ago, all living at some point in the Jewish capital of a Roman province in the Hellenized ancient near east. ...

Martin, I'm a bit curious about this one.

As far as I know, the only books normally supposed to have been written by a gentile are Luke and Acts, both universally accepted since the earliest times as written by the same person. So that is one gentile.

Even allowing for debate about whether there are epistles attributed to St Paul that he didn't write, I don't think those that say he didn't write some of them have gone the next step and identified somebody else who did.

As far as I know the attribution of Hebrews to St Paul in some Bibles has long been universally accepted to be late and erroneous. But I don't think anyone has seriously argued it was written by anyone other than a Jew who was familiar with what happened in the Temple.

So which other book might have been written by a gentile, why and by whom?

And nice though it might be to think that there might be a book in the NT written by a woman, which one would it be and why? Apart from somebody thinking 'well there ought to be one' is there any basis at all for arguing there was?

Wiki: Authors

The books of the New Testament were all or nearly all written by Jewish Christians—that is, Jewish disciples of Christ, who lived in the Roman Empire, and under Roman occupation. Luke, who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, is frequently thought of as an exception; scholars are divided as to whether Luke was a Gentile or a Hellenist Jew. A few scholars identify the author of the Gospel of Mark as probably a Gentile, and similarly for the Gospel of Matthew, though most assert Jewish-Christian authorship.

So it ranges from all Jewish to three non-Jewish out of ten-ish, >=9-ish.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
Meanwhile, the rest of [sic] get on with following God.

The church's task is to go where God leads, not to run itself like a golfclub. If you want to go to a golfclub go to one, but don't fool yourself you're going to church.

Following Him where? How? Where, how, who is He leading? Can you show me?

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hatless

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Enoch said
quote:
As far as I know the attribution of Hebrews to St Paul in some Bibles has long been universally accepted to be late and erroneous. But I don't think anyone has seriously argued it was written by anyone other than a Jew who was familiar with what happened in the Temple
Adolfo Von Harnack, venerable biblical scholar, suggested Hebrews might have been written by Priscilla, because it's unattributed and Priscilla was a big deal and should have done something. (F F Bruce had a neat theory that if you put the NT scrolls into jars you would probably put Hebrews in with the Pauline epistles because you'd have enough room in that one. But he had a sense of humour so may have been joking.)

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:


But I think we have to let go of 'success' for this to happen.

Of course, one way of letting go of 'success' would be to leave the Baptists and join a smaller, more marginal movement that's committed to the liberal path. There are a few of them around....
One of my puzzles is why so many apparently intelligent Christians seem to want to be in churches which offer simplistic pietistic answers. Is it because they find the "real world" such an overload that they want to "opt out" when it comes to worship? Is is that they have enclosed religion in a box marked "spiritual" which doesn't impinge on day-to-lay life? Is it because there are few, if any, liberal churches which seem to have left the 1970s and can offer a contemporary "buzz"? Or what?

[ 24. September 2017, 17:20: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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hatless

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Actually it was Adolf Von Harnack, not his Spanish cousin.

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ThunderBunk

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Golf club mentality = interest in membership, self-perpetuation and offering privileges exclusively on the basis of membership.

AKA "success". Fascinating, but deadly. Addictive, but fatal.

What is God? The ultimate deictic: the word used to define the instruction "that whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must be silent"; to obey Eliot's observation "it is pure fear and terror that leads us to address the void as "thou"". The wonderful thing is that the void, when addressed, replies with loving relationship, the type of which is Christ.

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Martin60
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How do I experience that?

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Love wins

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
One of my puzzles is why so many apparently intelligent Christians seem to want to be in churches which offer simplistic pietistic answers. Is it because they find the "real world" such an overload that they want to "opt out" when it comes to worship? Is is that they have enclosed religion in a box marked "spiritual" which doesn't impinge on day-to-lay life? Is it because there are few, if any, liberal churches which seem to have left the 1970s and can offer a contemporary "buzz"? Or what?

The idea that 'simplistic' religion is of no help with everyday life doesn't seem right to me. If simplistic religion = strict religion then that frequently has quite a lot to say about how everyday life should be lived. It invades personal life to a considerable extent.

Liberal religion, by contrast, seems very anxious not to impinge too much on what people want to do in their own time. It doesn't seem to offer much guidance - or nothing that you couldn't get from modern, secular, humanism. It doesn't seem to make much difference. Yes, there's the social justice stuff, but are liberal Christians really more effective with regards to that these days?

In our culture tolerance is admired as a general principle, but there's clearly little pulling power in a religion that makes few demands on the individual. Meanwhile, a religion of high expectations appeals to some people because it gives them something to work for, to grapple with. It holds out the possibility that they can change their lives if they want to, and that how they live actually matters. There's often a greater sense of the priesthood of all believers, while liberalism's emphasis on the intellect and on professionalism seems to put the spotlight on the religious professionals - i.e., the clergy, but not really on intelligent churchgoers in general.

And the assumption that educated people all want to focus on the intellect and on rational ideas above all else is also problematic. That's a very modernist (i.e. a somewhat dated) view. Educated people today do all sorts of things and seek all kinds of experiences that don't seem entirely rational. Churches with an entirely 'rational' persona are going to find it especially hard to reach them.

For example, John Drane's very interesting book 'The McDonaldization of the Church' refers to the various personality types that many mainstream churches and their clergy have difficulty speaking to. One group, the 'spiritual seekers', are often well-educated, but they want a holistic spirituality, not just an weekly intellectual exercise with a dollop of social justice posturing.

Now, from the Ship and elsewhere I get the impression that 'simplistic' churches often attract educated people who want a religion where they can feel something, where they can involve their whole being in worship. They'd rather not be in such a conservative setting, but if rational, cerebral, mainstream settings offer very little spiritual release what alternative do such people have? Very few of them become reasonable Methodists (or even more reasonable Unitarians), that's for sure!

To be fair, almost all forms of British Christianity will be facing challenging times in upcoming decades pass. Those churches that deliberately eschew 'success' will easily achieve their goal. But why do that and then complain about the folks who go to 'simplistic' churches? Rather, be grateful that people with inappropriate expectations aren't turning up and trying to change the way you do church....

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LutheranChik
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I think a lot of theologically liberal clergy are made uncomfortable by theologically liberal laypeople because they have a tendency to rile up the conservatives in Bible studies and the like, leading to much flouncing, calling the bishop and other unpleasantness. The pastor/ priest might be secretly dying to have an intelligent conversation about Paul Tillich or the Documentary Hypothesis or whatever, but pragmatism/fear keeps him/her throwing Bible study softballs like, " And how does that verse make you feel?"

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Demas
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I'm not sure what theological liberalism is, any more. Maybe it is a meta-theology valuing certain approaches to religion, but it has so many individual concrete expressions -- and a lowest common denominator/common ground approach can lead not to productive cooperation but to impotent silence.

Who still talks about Tillich? Who still preaches on him? (For that matter, who still talks about Barth?) Tillich died over half a century ago, and was born in the 1880s. Who is his equivalent now?

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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Baptist Trainfan
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Svitlana: excellent post,thank you!
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Arethosemyfeet
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I've never got the impression that "holistic spirituality" was available from conservative churches, at least not on the protestant end of the spectrum. Emotional manipulation (if you're lucky) and a dose of conservative social policy rants masquerading as a sermon is more what I've seen.
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Eutychus
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I hadn't heard of "The McDonaldization of the Church" but it sounds like something I'd agree is a plague. Business models applied to church with too much of an eye on the bottom line leading to branded, proprietary products with no room for nuance, and the ultimate goal the survival, and indeed expansion, of the brand. Ugh.

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Martin60
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BT, SvitlanaV2 – simplistic pietism rules as far as the eye can hear in my twelve years in Anglicanism, with one noble exception (and the cathedrals). A tame liberal allowed to speak in my most recent congo of four years sandwiched round a nice MOTR village (with the only gay!) one for three. Not that I've been for a year as the last consummate, polished, wry, warm speaker we heard damned all adulterers to hell a la 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Revelation 21:8 and that included half the congo of course, as they're divorced and remarried, including my wife and I, married by the vicar still there. And on top of simplistic pietism there is intense worship, adoration. The worst of both worlds : ) I think this city's is the worst I've known admittedly. And it's bad enough elsewhere. Damnationism, Islamophobia and vicarious martyrdom abound.

The only liberal Christianity I've encountered in the flesh (apart from the ONE speaker in twelve years of up to twice on Sunday and house groups and PCC meetings evangelical Anglicanism above) is Steve Chalke's true and most effective Oasis. That has pulling power. That pursues social justice. That makes demands. As much as it can. … nearly. Which is a tad more than I make of myself. I don't understand pietistic 'demand' in the absence of the demand for social justice in the congregation and immediately and further beyond. Real social justice. Holding all things in common. (Hence the 'nearly' above. Even Oasis doesn't go that far.) Not just liberal intellectual platitudes which would be a waste of breath and shamed by the actual little finger extension of real social justice done by pietists. If I want to assuage my social conscience I have to work, flex my pinkie, with pietists; 'charismatic' – desperately unchallengeably magical thinking - conservative evangelicals as there is nowhere else to go. Or other even more therefore deeply conservative, pious but socially outreaching arm waving worshipful non-conformists. At least I can do that without having to endure … pious sermons. Could try the Quakers I suppose, but the thought of nutters filling the vacuum of silence puts me off.

I'm planning to go to the cathedral at lunchtime every week starting this week. I NEED the numinous, the spiritual release, I NEED communion, I need to bow my head, I need to sing, but not SING PRAISE!!! And I don't need my intellect titillating. I come here for that. Not that my all but physicalism can be met even here.

Balance eh?! SOF, the sublimely cultured cathedral and Friday Night is Homeless Night.

I contrast this: 'We're now into a daily programme of visiting churches for Bible teaching, training and ministry during the day and evening. … What I loved was the passionate way they expressed their faith in Jesus in worship and their hunger for God. And the team had the privilege of praying for hundreds of people. I saw 3 people clearly healed physically- one guy had been to the doctors on numerous occasions about the base of his foot which had become so painful that he could not place weight on it and was now unable to work. The doctors had no idea how to treat the problem despite numerous visits and scans. But Jesus did and he was healed completely and his life freed from pain and restriction. Over one hundred healings took place and numerous people experienced God pouring his Holy Spirit into their lives. Praise God! I don't think I'm going to get bored of this.' of which I despair and from the same source this '… a team of over 20 young adults in their early 20s dedicated to serving the people of this poor [Brazilian] community'. You can't have the one without the other it seems.

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Love wins

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Demas:
I'm not sure what theological liberalism is, any more. Maybe it is a meta-theology valuing certain approaches to religion, but it has so many individual concrete expressions -- and a lowest common denominator/common ground approach can lead not to productive cooperation but to impotent silence.

Who still talks about Tillich? Who still preaches on him? (For that matter, who still talks about Barth?) Tillich died over half a century ago, and was born in the 1880s. Who is his equivalent now?

We get loads of Tillich and Barth at our church

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Demas
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
We get loads of Tillich and Barth at our church

I'm genuinely glad to hear that. Does your church refer to anyone living you'd consider their equivalent? (I won't insist that they have had a Time magazine cover [Smile]

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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Barnabas62
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leo can speak for himself. Personally, given the liberal/conservative gulfs, I think James Dunn deserves a hearing in churches up and down the candle. From the linked article, I liked this, and following.

quote:
Anyone who is saying something significant today is going to be misrepresented by detractors. What are the 3 main misrepresentations or objections to your work among evangelical Christians, and what are your responses to those misrepresentations or objections?

James D.G. Dunn: (1) That I deny or diminish the divinity/deity of Christ in questioning the usual concept of his pre-existence; (2) that in the ‘new perspective on Paul’ I deny Paul’s/the Reformation’s basic teaching on justification by faith’; (3) that I diminish or deny the authority of scripture.

There was a critique of Barth's neo-orthodoxy which, laughably, described his ideas as "the new liberalism". This is, sadly, a part of the territory. Barth disturbed comfortable thinking, Dunn does the same. As Hans Kung did within Catholicism.

Deep thinkers often get a bad press from folks up and down the conservative-liberal dimension. Personally, I treasure any deep thinker who makes me think about any of my own automatic thinking. I think they do me a favour, whether or not I end up modifying my views. But that's just me, certainly not everyone.

[ 26. September 2017, 09:12: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Martin60
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I find his answer to (1) immensely liberating. He is in the tradition of Barth (I grasped neo-orthodoxy like a drowning man when I came across it seven years ago, through my transformed former cult, a hundred years late) and Tillich for sure, without developing Spongiform theolopathy.

For a year I've been struggling with the power of physical reality and the impossibility if imagining transcendence although I talk to It immanent every day.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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Bugger, OF imagining.

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Love wins

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hatless

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The question Demas asks feels like a salutary challenge. There are living theologians that feed me and their ideas certainly influence my thinking and ministry, but I'm unlikely to name them. I don't expect congregations to be curious about the current theological scene. Which raises the question why? I feel the force of this accusation.

I think there is an issue that the most stimulating theologians tend to operate in an academic setting where their writings are shaped for fellow academics and are therefore difficult for non-academics to access. Their writings are often simply too difficult to understand, their books are expensive, not well advertised, and the dialogue around them is not available. Why was this book written? Who is it engaging with? This is hard to get a handle on from outside not just academia but that little specialism where they operate. To really grapple with live theology you probably need to read journals and attend conferences.

Also, theology is slow. It really does take a long time for the theological world to absorb and process important work. Barth is very well worked over, but Bonhoeffer seems to be very much a live thread. I can only think of one theologian I would hurry to buy the latest book from: Rowan Williams. But where would I get the heads up for most of them?

I will start a thread about this.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Demas:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
We get loads of Tillich and Barth at our church

I'm genuinely glad to hear that. Does your church refer to anyone living you'd consider their equivalent? (I won't insist that they have had a Time magazine cover [Smile]
Yes - Miroslav Wolf

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leo
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And if I'm preaching you might get Annie Dillard. Also Brian McClaren for the sake of our recovering evangelicals.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I hadn't heard of "The McDonaldization of the Church" but it sounds like something I'd agree is a plague. Business models applied to church with too much of an eye on the bottom line leading to branded, proprietary products with no room for nuance, and the ultimate goal the survival, and indeed expansion, of the brand. Ugh.

I imagine there are books about what you describe here, but Drane's book is actually about something rather different.

He's referring to mainstream, historical churches whose inclinations are somewhat cerebral, and which have routinised (i.e. 'McDonaldized') worship in a way that excludes people who need a more holistic experience. IME churches such as these aren't into 'branding', and are rarely obsessed with growth. They're more comfortable with managing decline.


quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
I've never got the impression that "holistic spirituality" was available from conservative churches, at least not on the protestant end of the spectrum. Emotional manipulation (if you're lucky) and a dose of conservative social policy rants masquerading as a sermon is more what I've seen.

We seem to have a dualistic church culture, in which some churches are over-cerebral and others are over-emotional. It seems hard to be truly holistic. But perhaps it's easier for certain dynamic charismatic churches to feed the need for emotional release yet also provide the social setting for at least some sharing of ideas, if not high-brow intellectualism.

Charismatic churches rather than the liberal-leaning churches are likely to have the educated and youthful demographic, the small groups, and maybe even the most sustained social engagement with the wider community; all this together must give rise to some conversation about issues, although not to the extent that the average Shippie would like.

But the Ship seems to prove that many (though not all) people are more likely to stick with lively, engaged charismatic churches that fail them intellectually than they are to stick with intellectual, liberal-leaning churches that don't provide them with the other elements that they want from a church. And this seems to be true for both clergy and laity.

Of course, it depends on what's available where you live. I'm sure London (and the South East) has everything, even lively, emotionally fulfilling, intellectually satisfying, demographically broad, ultra liberal churches. The demographics of the region can support a few all-embracing churches of this type, which appears not to be true in most other parts of the UK.

[ 27. September 2017, 17:10: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
And if I'm preaching you might get Annie Dillard. Also Brian McClaren for the sake of our recovering evangelicals.

Does Jesus make an appearance?
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Does Jesus make an appearance?

[Roll Eyes]

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
And if I'm preaching you might get Annie Dillard. Also Brian McClaren for the sake of our recovering evangelicals.

Does Jesus make an appearance?
We're talking theologians (academic ones) so you are either being very flippant, very ignorant or very profound.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Yes; but it is very possible to delight in the academic prowess and stimulus of theology without meeting Jesus, or even intending to do so.

Which does not mean that I am against theology, quite the opposite in fact, as I definitely want Christians to use their brains in thinking about their faith.

[ 28. September 2017, 17:32: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
Liberal Christian Theology is essentially about how the teachings of Jesus Christ should determine our behaviour in today's society.

Erm... leaving aside the fact that Evangelicalism is very much on the platform of applying the teachings of Jesus - indeed Scripture in general - to life and society, I would want to ask 'which teachings?'

i would ask, as supplementary questions, 'Which teachings do you omit? Why? And how do you decide? Indeed, if some teachings of Jesus are not acceptable, then why would you accept any of them?'

In fact,if the liberal mind is wont only to accept the teachings it can personally accept, then I would suggest that it's rather dishonest to falsely attach the name of Jesus to them; instead why not simply talk about moral teachings from a humanistic perspective and be done with all this 'Christian-lite' affectation and pretence?


[Roll Eyes]

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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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SusanDoris

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I never really understood people who have defined themselves out the door wanting the building to move so that they're still inside. Why not find another building, one that fits one's definitions better? It's as if I were a member of a tulip bulb collector's society, and decided I'd rather collect chrysanthemum bulbs, and insist that the tulip society change itself to be a tulip plus chrysanthemum club, or switch over to chrysanthemums and leave tulips altogether. It's an absurd request.

[Smile] [Smile]

Anglican Brat
I like your OP, also your friend – may I suggest trying a local Humanist Group?!

[ 28. September 2017, 18:22: Message edited by: SusanDoris ]

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
And if I'm preaching you might get Annie Dillard. Also Brian McClaren for the sake of our recovering evangelicals.

Does Jesus make an appearance?
Given leo's church tradition I imagine that he does so at the consecration, every Sunday.

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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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Mudfrog
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Jesus doesn't arrive until the priest summons him with bells?

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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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Martin60
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Not in the minds of those participating on the ritual, no. Anything wrong with that?

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Love wins

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Mudfrog
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Yes.
Where does one begin?

The logical conclusion to this is that the Holy Spirit is entirely absent unless he tags along with Jesus, and that if there is no Eucharist celebrated, Jesus is also absent, and people are gathering for some kind of event that is devoid of any divine presence until the man at the front summons him to appear at his beck and call.

Totally ridiculous.

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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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Quite right, Muddy, that is a succinct explanation of exactly what Christians who believe in the Real Presence believe, and not remotely a man of straw. Well done. [Roll Eyes]

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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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