For ColorStorm’s amusement 

From a portion of just one of my shelves 

This is not to brag, but only to say that there is always more to another person’s past and present than one can reasonably, or unreasonably as the case may be with ol’ CS sometimes, assume and ‘know’ by a simple conversation on a blog post. Rather than treating people who you only ‘know’ on WP like the caricature of them that you hold in your own head, why not actually… Stop and Listen, so you can Think and Consider their thoughts and ideas?

This is what honest, rational and intelligent human being do every day. Why not join in the real conversation today? 

kia

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38 thoughts on “For ColorStorm’s amusement 

    • I have three. He was a Christian existentialist thinker. He can be a bit wordy and confusing, but he thought and provoked thought. That’s my main draw to him I guess

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      • I guess I’ve gotten out of the habit of reading anything. One book that was given to me by a friend was about a mountain climber who quoted Nietzsche often; it made my realize that there are people out there who don’t give God the glory or use a quote from the Bible for everything. I’ve seen Kierkegaard’s name all over the place, but don’t know all that much about him.

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              • I think, for me, it helps to re-program how I think sometimes. There was this one blogger who was talking about something innocuous, but he or she used the words “submit” “head” “gospel” and it was automatically associated with complementarianism in my mind. When I read the free sample of a Rick Riordan book on my phone the other day, it freed me from that world and I could enjoy the story of “What might the world be like were Norse mythology a reality?”

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              • We don’t have one either – it’s mostly just using Netflix because the local cable company is the only game in town and they’re not afraid to do whatever they want because if you don’t go through them, then you don’t really have a lot of options other than Dish and it won’t save any money either way.

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  1. It always seemed to me that the fact that conservative theology requires so much apologetics was a pretty good indication that it’s seriously wrong. The best case against inerrancy, for example, is that giant book that claims to solve several hundred “apparent contradictions” in the Bible… that’s a lot of “apparent” contradictions…

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    • THis is obvious when one is out of the bubble and able to look at the topic objectively. Unfortunately most of us only really appreciate this in retrospect when we have gone through the pain of losing faith. But it is a good point you raise.

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        • I know what you mean, it was not until I was prepared to accept the possibility that the Bible may not be inerrant that I was able to probably consider the evidence.

          In so many cases people of faith are not prepared to allow the possibility that their Holy Book may be inerrant into the range of outcomes they are prepared to consider. This can lead to much cognitive dissonance. But I found we humans are quite adept at making rationalisations when evidence conflicts with our presuppositions.

          Well I suppose I should really say that I was adept at rationalising away conflicting evidence. But in the end when the straw that broke the camels back came along I knew in an instant that I no longer believed. The sudden change I put down to the fact that I had a huge file of contrary evidence already in my mind and suddenly I was prepared to consider it on its merits. Once this was the case the answer was really obvious.

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            • KIA: I agree and disagree here. One cannot be a simple Bible believing Christian if mainstream NT scholarship is accepted. But why should that be the only way of being a Christian? Certainly the first Christians, without polished Gospels or later christological doctrines were no less Christians than later “orthodox” believers. To “believe” in Jesus, in the early jewish/Christian meaning of the word, is not to give rational assent to propositions but to give yourself over to a way of living centered around a set of stories. I do not believe that much of the Gospels are mostly historically accurate, but I think they wonderfully describe a way of meeting God through Jesus. Historical accuracy is largely irrelevant. The writers of the Gospels knew this, which is why they wrote the way they did.

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              • If it’s not rooted in actual, verifiable history that can be trusted to be accurate, what difference is holding such a Faith from believing in pink fluffy unicorns with bad or no evidence?
                Sounds like religion that doesn’t really care for actual Truth, or at least redefines the word into obscurity

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              • Religion, at least in my mind, is not about believing truth claims, and so it does not need to be rooted in anything verifiable. We do not ask newly engaged couples to justify their relationship rationally because relationships are not the sort of thing that is based on evidence. Faith is the same sort of thing, despite what fundamentalists like to say.
                I do not make historical claims about Jesus in my statement of Christian faith, so I cannot transgress history either way. My faith commits me to values, not questionable truth claims.

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              • Have you ever encountered people who love Harry Potter (or star wars) – and I mean *love* it? Everything in their life is centered around going to HP meetings, interpreting all aspects of life through the stories, making decisions based on the lessons they learned there? And of course, such people never for an instant think that magic is literally real – it is more than literally true, but it is not literally true. It’s a weak analogy, but it’s the best I can think of right now. If you have a conservative background, it can be extremely difficult to conceive of faith as anything other than a set of beliefs about literal truths. Marriage is another good example of what I’m trying to get at. Values can’t be true or false; you just have them or you don’t. Is a good poem or the decision to help a homeless guy on the side of the road “true”? I don’t know how to answer such questions, nor do I know how to answer whether my faith needs to be “true” or not.

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              • Well Tyler, I’m a bit speechless at this point. When you equate holding to you Faith in christianity to people building their lives around Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, knowing that it’s not really true in any historical or verifiable way, because it provides values and morals.
                Knowing it’s not true, but seemingly not caring if it is or not… not sure I have much more to say after that, but that it’s not christianity. And you may be more of a humanist/atheist than you would care to admit.

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              • Interestingly enough, that probably comes down to a difference in values between us. What do you care about more than anything? What could you give your life for?
                Maybe for you, the answer is empirical truth. For me, it is love and beauty and trust. To transpose Faith from the key of empirical truth to that of value and life-centering is, for me, to give it a promotion, not a demotion.
                As to whether this is real Christianity, 1. Before the Reformations and the enlightenment, it would’ve sounded silly to equate “being a christian” to belief about historical truths. Values have shifted. Christians thought like me for centuries, and many still do. Ironically, it’s the belief-centered fundamentalists who have succumbed to modernist values, not me. 2. If we agree that the Gospel writers knowingly constructed fictions, we have to either think that they were deliberately deceiving their audience (unlikely for many reasons) or they thought that something more important than literal truth was at stake, which would align neatly with my position.

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              • It sounds like UU, doesn’t it? No, I currently go to a progressive Methodist Church (though I admire Episcopalians most of all), and am typically the most liberal congregant. I love the stories and rituals and language of traditional Christianity too much to go to a UU church, but I can’t in good conscience go to a church that doesn’t support LGBTQ rights. The old liberal mainstream church is my new home.

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          • I probably went down a different route than you. I was raised in a conservative-moderate Evangelical church, but in college I encountered strong doubts for the first time (many centering around the Bible). Once I discovered a bunch of different, liberal ways of being a Christian that could survive my doubts and support the beauty of my earlier life of faith, dropping the conservative beliefs was a no brainer. I left a certain flavor of Christian faith, but not the faith itself. It sounds like you left it all?

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            • Yes I left it all. I still hold with the ethical values I held as a Christian.

              I considered progressive Christianity, but to me it is really just another form of humanism.

              I read some of Bishop Spong’s work. I was impressed by his knowledge of the Bible, but it seemed to me he just kept the bits he liked and discarded the bits he did not. So it ended up being based on his judgement.

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              • I haven’t read Spong firsthand, but I like many of the authors associated with him (Marcus Borg is one of my favorites). Yes, these sorts of folks certainly pick and choose when it comes to the Bible. The Bible is treated more like a library of different perspectives or a group of conversation partners than a divinely dictated single document. For me, it works well.

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  2. I noticed Keith Green’s book.

    Back in the day I idolised Keith Green. I still like to listen to his songs. I get such a positive nostalgic feeling when I listen to them that it makes me feel good even though I no longer accept the message. This feeling is not religious, rather it is psychological, as it is similar to that which I feel hearing secular songs I liked from my youth.

    My two personal favourites are, ‘Create in me a clean heart’ and ‘There is a Redeemer’.

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      • I have a copy of the complete works of Oswald Chambers. His wife put it together over many years it includes lecture notes and much else. I used to lap it up. And of course there is ‘My Utmost for His Highest’, which nowadays is seen as the gold standard for devotionals.

        Used to puzzle me why ‘God’ would let such a wonderful ambassador for the Kingdom die at the age of 43. But I would reason that he was such an excellent Christian that he was ‘called home’ for his reward. This year is the 100th anniversary of his death.

        Don’t know anything about Jim Elliot. I have heard of Amy Carmichael but have not read her work.

        My ‘mentors’ were Colin Urquhart and Watchman Nee when I was young and Andrew Murray, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Piper, Ray Stedman and John MacArthur when I got older.

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