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8 years ago  ::  Feb 15, 2010 - 10:28AM #41
bigbear6161
Posts: 4,487

Postmodernism is not nihilism, although many do respect Nietzsche.  He was an important early voice, and a great Classicist.  There are Orthodox Progressives, I just haven't found them yet.  In saying that Orhodox progressive is an oxymoron you are sounding like the Traditionalist Catholics who try to say we are not "True" Catholics.  I'm glad you appreciate your Orthodox faith.  As for me i will follow the way that makes most sense to me, because to do otherwise would be nuts.  I still hold out hope for you Seraphim, as I am thinking of how young Thomas Merton immersed himself so totally in a traditional approach to Christianity, and it was the springboard to him becoming later one of the greatest progressive Catholic voices in the Church. Prayer has that effect.


Dave

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2010 - 9:30AM #42
SeraphimR
Posts: 12,687

Feb 15, 2010 -- 10:28AM, bigbear6161 wrote:


Postmodernism is not nihilism, although many do respect Nietzsche.  He was an important early voice, and a great Classicist.  There are Orthodox Progressives, I just haven't found them yet.  In saying that Orhodox progressive is an oxymoron you are sounding like the Traditionalist Catholics who try to say we are not "True" Catholics.  I'm glad you appreciate your Orthodox faith.  As for me i will follow the way that makes most sense to me, because to do otherwise would be nuts.  I still hold out hope for you Seraphim, as I am thinking of how young Thomas Merton immersed himself so totally in a traditional approach to Christianity, and it was the springboard to him becoming later one of the greatest progressive Catholic voices in the Church. Prayer has that effect.


Dave




The nihilism of postmodernism is widely noted.


Keep looking for Orthodox Progressives if you like.  But I sincerely doubt you'll find any.  Why is it so hard to believe that a religion can be staunchly pre-modern?


Perhaps it is because I stopped following a way that made most sense to me and instead followed my heart.  You will of course do what you will do.  I am just trying to get you to acknowledge that there are other ways, and better ways, of knowing, and this way is a dwindling, precious resource in this secular post-modern world.


By chosing the way you have, you have cut yourself off from this way.  All well and good.  By chosing one path you necessarily cut yourself off from a different one.  But you can't claim to be following that discarded path.


I don't know all that much about Merton beyond his basic biography and having read New Seeds of Contemplation.  I find it a bit strange that Merton could in NSC describe a state of contemplation which to my understanding is the state that Buddhist, et. al., meditators reach, and claim that there is a more exalted state beyond it; and then later go looking for guidance from these same Buddhists.


I can't help but feel that Merton was a failure.  But this is not surprising.  Catholics seem to have forgotten how to live the monastic life.  Merton, if I remember correctly, had no teacher.


I fear there is no hope for me.  I am getting too old to effect a radical shift in my worldview.  If nothing else I lack the energy.


But I am intrigued.  How does a non-theist pray?


 


 

“So long as there is squalor in the world, those obsessed with social justice feel obliged not only to live in it themselves but also to spread it evenly.”

http://takimag.com/article/the_ugly_truth_theodore_dalrymple
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8 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2010 - 7:41AM #43
bigbear6161
Posts: 4,487

Non-theists pray the same way theists do.   One way is the Jesus Prayer of which I know you are familiar.  Also, as Kung has said it is very human to get up and talk to God.  Insight Meditation is a theravadin Buddhist practice which is basically non-theistic.  And let's not forget the great Meister Eckhart who saw the Godhead underlying our feeble conceptions of God.  By the way, Merton was fantastick, not a failure.  Catholics are as monastic as are Orthodox (in this we share a common pre-Schism history).  I do acknowledge pre-modern views and often seek guidance therein.  However for me to remain there does not work.  You seem to have difficulty understanding that one can draw on multiple narratives and traditions. Dave

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2010 - 11:27AM #44
SeraphimR
Posts: 12,687

Feb 17, 2010 -- 7:41AM, bigbear6161 wrote:


Non-theists pray the same way theists do.   One way is the Jesus Prayer of which I know you are familiar.  Also, as Kung has said it is very human to get up and talk to God.  Insight Meditation is a theravadin Buddhist practice which is basically non-theistic.  And let's not forget the great Meister Eckhart who saw the Godhead underlying our feeble conceptions of God.  By the way, Merton was fantastick, not a failure.  Catholics are as monastic as are Orthodox (in this we share a common pre-Schism history).  I do acknowledge pre-modern views and often seek guidance therein.  However for me to remain there does not work.  You seem to have difficulty understanding that one can draw on multiple narratives and traditions. Dave




Well, I still don't get how a non-theist can talk to God when he doesn't think anybody is listening.  Insight meditation is thoroughly non-theistic, and its practitioners never refer to it as prayer.  There is a reason for that, and it is not helpful to confound the two.


For better or worse, Christians hold that God is a Person (or, rather, three Persons) and that we can relate to God as a Person, with love or with fear. 


I don't have difficulty understanding that a man can draw on multiple narratives and traditions, but I don't think this is a good thing to do.  How can one come to know a Personal God through a tradition or narrative that doesn't acknowledge a Personal God in the first place?  A Buddhist commentator here on B'Net once observed that oil-based paint is paint, and water-based paint is paint, but if you mix them you don't get paint, you get a mess.


Here is an article explaining how non-Christian spiritualities are useless for the Christian.


In what sense do pre-Modern views not "work"?  Christianity reveals that there is a God Who is the Creator and Who loves you and Whom you can know.  If you don't believe in a Creator, and you are not out to have a personal relationship with Him, of course it doesn't "work".  It would be like trying to make coffee with a vacuum cleaner.


There is some reason why you can't just let Christianity go and dedicate yourself whole-heartedly to a non-theistic world.  Why do you suppose that is?


 


 


 

“So long as there is squalor in the world, those obsessed with social justice feel obliged not only to live in it themselves but also to spread it evenly.”

http://takimag.com/article/the_ugly_truth_theodore_dalrymple
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8 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2010 - 9:26PM #45
bigbear6161
Posts: 4,487

That is like asking me why I can't exclusively accept Free Verse and completely give up reading Shakespeare.  I shall read both free verse and bound verse thank you.


Dave

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2010 - 12:15AM #46
Stardove
Posts: 17,597

For better or worse, Christians hold that God is a Person (or, rather, three Persons) and that we can relate to God as a Person, with love or with fear.



Nope.  IMHO.  One cannot put all Christians in the same box with the same beliefs.  If that were the case then there would be only one Christian church, not all the different denominations.


God to me is not a person or three persons in one.  There is no where that God is not present.


A person can only be in one place at one time, except for dream time where the body is in bed, but the mind is free to explore the universe.

Beliefnet Community Wide Moderator ~ Peace Love Stardove


People change for two main reasons: either their minds have been opened or their hearts have been broken.
---Anonymous

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2010 - 3:25AM #47
SeraphimR
Posts: 12,687

Feb 18, 2010 -- 12:15AM, Stardove wrote:


For better or worse, Christians hold that God is a Person (or, rather, three Persons) and that we can relate to God as a Person, with love or with fear.



Nope.  IMHO.  One cannot put all Christians in the same box with the same beliefs.  If that were the case then there would be only one Christian church, not all the different denominations.


God to me is not a person or three persons in one.  There is no where that God is not present.


A person can only be in one place at one time, except for dream time where the body is in bed, but the mind is free to explore the universe.




If you are not a Trinitarian, you are not a Christian.  Simple as that.  We Christians went through a lot of bother with Ecumenical Councils and all to establish the Christian Dogma. 


Who are you to throw it all out?  Really, what gives you the right to say what Christianity is?


---------------------------


About dream time and exploring the Universe: you don't have problems with the wires?


---------------------------


Bugbear:


So sometimes you are theistic and sometimes you're non-theistic?  It must be confusing.


Have you found and Progressive Orthodox, yet?

“So long as there is squalor in the world, those obsessed with social justice feel obliged not only to live in it themselves but also to spread it evenly.”

http://takimag.com/article/the_ugly_truth_theodore_dalrymple
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8 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2010 - 5:53AM #48
Ralph.m
Posts: 159

Feb 18, 2010 -- 3:25AM, SeraphimR wrote:


If you are not a Trinitarian, you are not a Christian.  Simple as that.  We Christians went through a lot of bother with Ecumenical Councils and all to establish the Christian Dogma. 


Who are you to throw it all out?  Really, what gives you the right to say what Christianity is?




Ecumenical councils! Really! You think that's how Christian orthodoxy was established?  Read the history of the early Church and you find that orthodoxy was imposed at the point of the sword once Rome became a Christian empire, and the Church of Rome became the adjudicator of proper doctrine.


It's certainly debateable whether the Trinity was even the doctrine of the majority of church leaders in the Empire when the Council of Nicea was called. There were Adoptionists, Arians, Marcionites, Ebionites  and Docetists -- all had differing views on the nature of Jesus Christ, but none of them taught that he was part of trinitarian godhead. If the Roman Church had adopted the teachings of Marcion or Arius, the Trinity would have been the heretical teaching of a marginalized minority.

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2010 - 10:00AM #49
SeraphimR
Posts: 12,687

Feb 18, 2010 -- 5:53AM, Ralph.m wrote:


Feb 18, 2010 -- 3:25AM, SeraphimR wrote:


If you are not a Trinitarian, you are not a Christian.  Simple as that.  We Christians went through a lot of bother with Ecumenical Councils and all to establish the Christian Dogma. 


Who are you to throw it all out?  Really, what gives you the right to say what Christianity is?




Ecumenical councils! Really! You think that's how Christian orthodoxy was established?  Read the history of the early Church and you find that orthodoxy was imposed at the point of the sword once Rome became a Christian empire, and the Church of Rome became the adjudicator of proper doctrine.


It's certainly debateable whether the Trinity was even the doctrine of the majority of church leaders in the Empire when the Council of Nicea was called. There were Adoptionists, Arians, Marcionites, Ebionites  and Docetists -- all had differing views on the nature of Jesus Christ, but none of them taught that he was part of trinitarian godhead. If the Roman Church had adopted the teachings of Marcion or Arius, the Trinity would have been the heretical teaching of a marginalized minority.




I have read the history of the Early Church, thank you very much.  If the Roman Church (as you call it) had adopted Arianism, you are right, Trinitarianism would have been heretical.  But they didn't so adopt, did they?  They had Ecumenical Councils which decided otherwise.  And so Christianity is what it is, and not something else.


It is telling that you think the Church of Rome became the adjudicator.  The Bishop of Rome did not arrogate such power to himself until the Great Schism.

“So long as there is squalor in the world, those obsessed with social justice feel obliged not only to live in it themselves but also to spread it evenly.”

http://takimag.com/article/the_ugly_truth_theodore_dalrymple
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8 years ago  ::  Feb 19, 2010 - 7:14AM #50
Ralph.m
Posts: 159

Feb 18, 2010 -- 10:00AM, SeraphimR wrote:


I have read the history of the Early Church, thank you very much.  If the Roman Church (as you call it) had adopted Arianism, you are right, Trinitarianism would have been heretical.  But they didn't so adopt, did they?  They had Ecumenical Councils which decided otherwise.  And so Christianity is what it is, and not something else.



You're still going to insist that all of the decisions on doctrine and dogma were all carried out by nice little ecumenical councils, and not by purges, heresy trials and book-burnings.  If you think the early church was so democratic, you might want to explain why there are almost no written works of the heretics that survived those early purges. Most of what is known about them comes from the books written by church fathers who attacked their views.


Also, I find it interesting that books that are supposed to be divinely inspired, are cobbled together, edited, and arranged by a committee decision, rather than getting some voice from on high to tell them what to do!  Seems like a divine revelation could have stopped the arguments  about the nature of God in their tracks; so why were the leaders left to carry on their squabbles about doctrine?  The fact that even fundamentalists have to admit that doctrines and decisions regarding what books to consider scripture, were made by committee, further weakens fundamentalist arguments about Biblical inerrancy.


It is telling that you think the Church of Rome became the adjudicator.  The Bishop of Rome did not arrogate such power to himself until the Great Schism.




Based on what we do know about early Christianity, there was a wide divergence of doctrinal views, even on the subject of the nature of Jesus Christ. There were Docetists, who believed he was divine, and not a real flesh and blood human; and there were Ebionites, who believed that Jesus was a messiah of the Old Testament kind - a mere mortal, like King David, who was anointed by God to be king.  A later doctrine that Jesus was both 100% divine and 100% human, appears to be a syncretic mash up that was not part of any early Christian teaching. 


When archaeologists dig up scrolls from the early Christian communities, they find writings of Gnostics, Marcionites or Ebionites -- they don't find orthodox Christian teaching, which indicates that they didn't develop until later on when the Christian authorities started to enforce orthodoxy among the various churches in the Empire.

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