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A. General reflections. 5 min., 57 sec. Real Audio.

B. Deeper reflections. 7 min., 36 sec. Real audio.

- - - - -

What are your questions, comments, reflections? What resources do you recommend?
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is a tough subject on one side you have the pessimistic Janseniest and Calvinist on the other side you have Pelagius and those who defend the tied in issue of free will.
I grew up Southern Baptist which is considered for the most part soft shoe calvinism but accepted the Calvinist view that Man is totally depraved. Because of the way I am wired this view messed me totally up. I was always bad in my head and did not like myself. Even after I rejected the Calvinist view for what I would call more balanced views I struggled with the ideas that formed as a child.
I think today I do accept that what happened at the fall was that man became disconnected from God the creator and source of the universe and ever since he has tried to connect to that missing element in his life.
 
Posts: 205 | Location: McHenry Illinois | Registered: 01 July 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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http://www.johnankerberg.org/A...tionary/TD1100W3.htm

To be truthful, I have been on such a long vacation from Calvinism, I am not really sure what I belive anymore. The TULIP formula seems a bit too rigid for me, and although I used to be a hard determinist, I am probably a soft determinist now.

Maybe I'll watch the Matrix again. Wink

These are good topics fro discussion Smiler

caritas,

mm <*))))><
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Michael, your link doesn't work. Maybe try again?

Br. Jaan, the view I've presented is different from Calvin's, as you picked up. It does affirm the teaching of the Fall as a radical disconnect from God while continuing to maintain that what God is creating is good. Kind of a tricky balance, to be sure.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/

http://newadvent.org/cathen/03198a.htm

I'm still probably a four pointed Calvinist (bless my pointy little head) Wink

The "L" of the "TULIP" could almost be done away with my view, the "P" is softening as well as the others. I'm moving gradually to an inclusivist and soft-determinist view. Then there is Vatican II, which I am accepting more as I go along. This is sort of like an RCIA class for me. Wondering how much stubborn clinging and rigidity I am willing to let go of Smiler

I love all Christians, especially around here Smiler

mm <*))))><
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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L: Christ died to atone for specific sins of specific sinners. Christ died to make holy the church. He did not atone for all men, because obviously all men are not saved. Evangelism is actually lifted up in this doctrine, for the evangelist may tell his congregation that Christ died for sinners, and that he will not lose any of those for whom he died!

That's one way of looking at it, but I much prefer the view that Christ's death made available to all the new human nature established in his person -- i.e., that he is the New Adam, and that all who open to Him in faith (explicit and implicit) partake of that nature and are transformed.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I believe that although his sacrifice was enough for all mankind, should they choose to accept it, there are many who will not, and knowledge of who will or won't is in the mind of God. He "foreknew" his own. From human limitations, it all gets cloudy trying to figure out God, but it seems very important to try. Smiler


Mom was Catholic and dad was Christian Scientist. The Lutheran church was a compromise which they worked out. When I was six years old, they brought me to church. My mom said that I sang "Jesus Loves
Me" with such enthusiasm, (and volume) that it was
embarrasing to her Wink It feels to me that I "knew" him and recognized him always. I cannot imagine what it's like to not be a Christian and it seems as though it was always meant to be.

caritas,


michael


<*))))><
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Michael, I can't accept pre-destination in the sense that God created some people to have a destiny to be saved, and others to be damned. That just doesn't square with an image of God as loving and merciful.

I think many confuse the concepts of foreknowledge and pre-destination. God may have foreknowledge of who is saved and damned, but that's not the same as consigning people to a destiny. As always, God respects the freedom of the creature, so much so as to allow us to choose NO if we wish.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wasn't it Augustine who spoke of one of the joys of the saved in paradise being to watch the souls of the damned frying like bacon?

Seems a tad bit of egoism creeping in. I've spent too much of my life worrying about freinds winding up in a hot place. I still evangelize and have had the pleasure and priviledge of participating in some conversions, including my dad,
and I still believe some will suffer, but realize that I personally have very little power over or understanding of such things and hope I never do Smiler

caritas,

michael

<*))))><
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks Phil yes I did pick that up. I was just reminiscing of a time and a place when I held those views of calvinistic predestination. Even if you are part of thier chosen God does not cleanse you only covers you because as Luther also put it we are nothing but a pile of cow dung. I utterly reject these views now but still live with the psychological damage they caused in my life.
When I think of God knowing everything I believe that he knows all possibilities and thier outcomes and desires the best possibility and outcome for each one of his children in each situation.
 
Posts: 205 | Location: McHenry Illinois | Registered: 01 July 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yesterday I gave my dad a book about Vincent van Gogh and another containing Ronald Reagans' memoirs for his birthday.(Dad's not the Gipper's )

I've been thinking about level's of consciousness in various individuals, and why one sees one thing and another something completly different.

Van Gogh had a God-given gift for seeing both great beauty and profound ugliness. Perhaps he never discovered or acknowledged the Source of his gift. He might have known he was a "worm," and that may account for cutting off his ear, failing in a suicide attempt and crawling in to a mental hospital afterward. Perhaps he was a proud man because he could see that he was created in the image of God.

Ronald Reagan had a vision of America which was ridiculed and despised by highly "educated" people who thought he was a dunce, a flighty man and not a very substantial intellect.
His "Shining City on a Hill" vision of America was informed by his Christian belief, and I prefer his vision to that of his critics. Still.
I suppose he had his blind spots as we all do. Smiler

Luther and Calvin were theological geniuses, which does not mean that they were not flawed and sick people from a less than perfect cultural perspective. They might roll over in their graves if they could see how thier ideas have been carried out. Wink

The egomanic with an inferiority complex can alternate between the wonderful feeling of being extraordinary and the dejection of being a worm. Smiler Frowner

My read on it is that I am in fact an "extraordinary worm" Wink Saved and forgiven by Amazing Grace.


caritas,

mm <*)))))><
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Van Gogh had a God-given gift for seeing both great beauty and profound ugliness.

Yes he did...and often I think he found the reverse. He found one in the other, or sometimes both in one. When I look at Starry Night I can see that he found great anguish in what otherwise would be, should be, serene beauty. It�s an extraordinary mix. And with The Potato Eaters he found a kind of peaceful beauty in the ordinary ugliness that is sometimes life.

failing in a suicide attempt and crawling in to a mental hospital afterward. Perhaps he was a proud man because he could see that he was created in the image of God.

Sometimes I think, particularly for artists, they feel toomuch.

Ronald Reagan had a vision of America which was ridiculed and despised by highly "educated" people who thought he was a dunce, a flighty man and not a very substantial intellect.
His "Shining City on a Hill" vision of America was informed by his Christian belief, and I prefer his vision to that of his critics.


MM, this is a rather long quote from this article titled �Reagan Sense� but I thought it got to the heart of the matter. I think there is book smarts and there is *real* smarts.

quote:
Cannon offered once as a case in point an interview in which the president was asked how, as an officer under the law, he could support the Contras in Nicaragua when they were seeking to overthrow the purportedly legitimate government of that country. The president responded that it was indeed true that the Contras were seeking to take power at the point of a gun, in resisting the oppressive regime of the Sandanistas. But the Sandanistas, he observed, held power at the point of a gun. And so, as he mulled aloud to the reporter, he did not quite see the moral difference between the Contras and what the reporter was pleased to call "the legitimate government of Nicaragua."

Now the Gipper could not fill in the bibliography. He probably could not have explained that his reflections here had led him back to the difference between an international law that was "positivist" in character and an understanding of international law influenced more fully by the axioms of natural law. When the positivist asked the question, "Who formed the legitimate government of Nicaragua?," the answer came back without any moral ingredients: The legitimate government was the government that had effective control of the territory. That was not necessarily a government that enjoyed the consent of the governed. It could be a Hitlerite regime, but if it were in firm control of the territory, it counted, in the positivist reckoning, as the legitimate government.

But to insist on a moral test � that a government had to meet certain moral qualifications before it could be recognized or approved as a decent and legitimate government � was to back into the principles of an older version of international law. It was the brand of international law that was understood more readily before the middle of the 19th century, when the doctrines of legal positivism came to secure a firmer hold on the legal profession and the teaching of law.

Even Reagan, with his surprisingly wide reach of reading, probably could not readily bring out, in his support, the writings of Grotius or Pufendorf. But again, the striking thing about him was that, on his own, with his own pondering about the moral questions in politics and law, he often moved along paths of reflection that had been trod before him by writers more accomplished and celebrated in political philosophy. In that same vein, Harry Jaffa has shown how Lincoln, quite uncannily and quite movingly, moved on his own along paths that had been marked out by the reflections of Aristotle and Aquinas.

It is curious that people, even now, find it a fascinating problem to describe the kind of intelligence Ronald Reagan so evidently deployed. When that subject comes up, I've usually pointed out that it took no trifling minds to master the rather intricate board game devised by Hillary Clinton and Ira Magaziner when they attempted to redesign the health industry in this country � a project that proposed to take in about 14 percent of the gross national product. For such superior minds, it was a matter mainly of concentrating; and it required no small wit to understand the sliding scales of co-payments and deductibles that, in the genius of the design, would deliver the American people, not only to a higher plane of health, but to a new plateau of justice. Ronald Reagan would have listened to the scheme for about 45 seconds � or possibly as long as a minute and a half � and shaken his head in disbelief. He would have recognized, at once, that the scheme made no contact with the world the rest of us inhabited. That is another measure of intelligence. He possessed it handsomely, as he possessed everything else.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mr Reagan, like Eisenhower, was a mediator, a personality type which is somewhat rare, encompassing about 3% of the population. Nines, like
eights and ones, bosses and reformers, are preoccupied with power, and they hate outright confrontation, since they survived childhood by avoiding it. I remember seeing Reagan get flustered
when cornered by some radicals in his 1960's governor's office. He raised his hands in a gesture
of disgust and slipped out a side door Wink

It was the same way when Sam Donaldson went after him in press conferences. Nines don't like
dealing with the bulldogs. They like everyone to "be nice" and "get along." In attempting to achieve this, we stuff alot of anger.

Nines are great listeners, but often will not speak their mind. They say Reagan would listen well to everyone at cabinet meetings, but seemed preoccupied and some thought he was somewhere else. That's because the wheels are turning inside
that head and many diverse points are being synthesized and related to other things.

I guess the point to all of this is that God can redeem the strengths and weaknesses in each type, and collectively the diverse personalities in groups, and it's very exiting to see the course corrections in "fallen" human nature. Smiler

What drove the liberals crazy was the common sense which was uncommon in Reagan's style. His
"teflon" coating was quite simply the horse sense he took to the American people on television, going "over the heads" of those schemers in the congress. Some of them had ideas so silly that only an intellectual could believe them Wink

Thanks for the Starry Starry Night. I have often thought of my sister when hearing Don MacClean's song, since it seems to apply to her.

When I speak with artistic persons or those with varying degrees of mental wellness about the
"other side," they really understand. They've been there and they know the territory. If you can't find a mystic to talk to, try someone on lithium Wink

caritas,

mm <*))))><
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I cannot claim access to the vast array of authors that many on these forums draw from and so, in comparision, my words will appear unsupported, naked and open to question. I am but an ignorant pilgrim, one who grows in ignorance day by day as through realising the unfathomable weaknesses that the intellect of the lower body possesses when scratching to understand matters of Spirit. And yet the Message of Spirit is simple, and the Path home never so straight. It is we in possession of an Ego that responds so well to the recognition that comes with intellectualising that make the Path so difficult. And this Ego is a direct result of the Fall. An unholy creation that serves the Dark Side to keep up prisoner. In order to understand the meaning of life, one must first enquire how it came to be that we experience death. For death has no part to play in a divine universe and yet death is what all of humanity seeks to both avoid and to know about. Few writings exist that talk in detail about the Fall and so it comes to pass that what exits becomes tainted by the hand of man. But who stands behind the men that would corrupt the scriptues that contain the Truth. Cycle upon cycle has witnessed disease and suffering upon this earth and always God sends someone to show the way. Be it a Krishna, a Buddha or a Christ - all sons of God who come to show the way are hated by this world for they are not of this world. This world has been set aside from that which is Divine. Yet divine guidance is waiting within the unseen worlds to prompt and assist - but it is not the dominant force within this illusionary realm - at least, not yet.

Evil is the dominant force upon this world, not because man is inheritantly evil but because he is inherently divine. Within all men (well most anyway) there exists a Divine Spark of God. This atom of divinity is the last part of man that remains connected to God. Asleep in the vast majority but capable of being stirred into flaming brillance - the energy of the Kundalini that is spoken of on other forums. It is this Spark that the Luciferic consciousness seeks to enslave. Following the Fall, this evil poison spread throughout this part of the universe eventually reaching Earth and slowly but surely transforming Eden from a truly beautiful paradise of 3 dimensional divinty where there was no need to eat of the flesh. All humanities needs were satisfied by the Father. But with the coming of the Luciferc consciousness, Eden and her inhabitants were cut off from the tree of life - the Divine Energy that sustains all. Lucifer and those that joined him were also cut of from this life line and this universe was set apart. However, the Luciferice consciousness was able to remain immortal throught the harvesting of energy from those who retained a Divine Spark. In true Matrix symbolism, we are all no better than a bunch of batteries. Through an emergency order, a short life span that culminated in death was established to prevent the Luciferic consciousness from destroying all divine beings. But it was still a cruel deal, for in the process, Lucifer was able to make many changes to humanities physiology (in that one was ruled by hunger, sex and survival). Such physiological programmes (out of which a separate Ego immerged) served to help humanity "forget" about God and focus on the physical and non-spiritual aspects of life. We began to believe we were separate from God. By the time that some members of humanity began to focus back on God, old age claimed them and they died.

Their soul was of course immortal. However, this soul was not permitted to go back to God because it did not choose to. The rules of free will prevailed, and Lucifer had built a very good chess game. Through ignorance, man becamed trapped in the astral worlds or reflection spheres in what looked like heaven (or hell as like attracts like)until it was time to return to earth and do it all again. Lucifer (not a single entity) also created the rules of Karma and so now we had a poor soul that attracted many things that further served to bind it to the wheel of birth and death.

And so in understanding how the Fall brought an increasing cycle of evil (perpetuated by ignorance) upon man which resulted in endless cycles of death and rebirth, we begin to understand the meaning of Life. It is of course - Go Home. Go Home to God, just like in the story of the Prodigal son which is of course a parable about humanity.

Fortunately, when this world becomes so dark and evil so rampant as it is now, the Christine Hierarchy responds. We are in the end times, when Lucifers Chess game shall be destroyed and those that are looking in the right direction with right focus shall be able to leave this dark prison world and enter the Kingdom of Heaven which is nearer than your hands or feet.

Christ shall come in force with Shiva at his right hand. The Divine Wave of Love is steadily building and has been now some time. Christ has heard the cries of 9 billion souls (3 within the astral realms)and has responded. As you no doubt know, this will not be an individual incarnation but a flood of Divine consciousness that will be expressed through those capable and ready to from the conduit between the Divine world and this one. All that is needed is a critical mass, the 144,000 elect spoken of in Revelations and the liberating energy of Christ will enter and put to an end the suffering of humanity. There is no personal salvation. Those that truly serve God surrender themselves entirely in service to Humanity so at least some members of humanity can go Home. These are the souls who have achieved holy transfiguration at some time previous to walking the earth now. These are the "men of rememberance" who are awakening to do that which they agreed to do so very long ago. These, like Christ and Buddha are the Boddhisatva's who have pledged to keep returning until every lost soul is guided home.

This pilgrim has quoted no authors, but what has now been written has been spoken about through the ages and can only be written during such times as these. Time is short and there is much to be done.

Blessings and Godspeed to us all,

sd
 
Posts: 3 | Location: Australia | Registered: 20 August 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Shoedust, welcome to the discussion.

There's much in your post that I can agree with, and lots that falls outside the Christian understanding of the fall, redemption, second coming, etc. E.g., Christ coming with Shiva by his side . . . nothing in Christianity about that, nor in Hinduism, to my knowledge. Seems you've pulled a little of this and that from a range of traditions and put it together in a most imaginative scheme. But we do agree that Christ and goodness wins out in the end, so that's good. Smiler
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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