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SFG's Coffeehouse....a curmudgeonly caffeinated library & cantankerous free for all

Discussion in 'Member Book Reviews/Journals/Blogs' started by SFG75, Apr 25, 2014.

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Who won the debate?

Poll closed Feb 20, 2016.
  1. New atheism

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. New religion

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Conscious Bob

    Conscious Bob Well-Known Member

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    Then what with regard to the Jesus's teachings do you consider to be typical?
     
  2. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bob,
    Up my way, in northern liberal land, evangelical is a code word in political discussions -- along with "right wing" far right wing" and others and a rather disprespectful one among people I know who use it. Most mean Republican Christian. If your issue is with preachers (or people in general, for that matter) who you think would have trouble passing through the eye of a needle, then "rich preachers" or "rich people" (of all religions) would have been sufficient for your point, rather than the phrase I have bolded above "rich evangelical preachers".

    As to your comment that the Catholic church takes its lead from Christ's teaching with respect to the poor, I hope you realize that Protestants also preach and believe the same teaching (to perhaps the same effect).

    In your post quoted above, your anti-Protestantism is showing, and not all of us respect that attitude (since, say, the Reformation).

    Regarding your question about a typical teaching, I was questioning "typical" with respect to the Catholic church. I would say that most of Jesus' teachings (and the entire example of his life) were atypical with respect to the times in which he lived. That's rather the point, isn't it? If you are interested in my idea of basic Christian teachings, then I would offer Jesus' words on the two great commandments on which all others depend, and the direct statement that "I am the way and the truth and the life." Good enough?

    Moreover, I would call Christian anyone who says they are Christian (Roman Catholic included), without applying further epithets to the Christians we disagree with.

    I hope that clarifies my reaction to your post.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
  3. Conscious Bob

    Conscious Bob Well-Known Member

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    I kept my point specific to rich evangelical preachers because Joel Osteen is a rich evangelical preacher and therefore the example to use.

    Liberation Theology is not the Catholic Church, it's a political movement within the Catholic Church that often rubs up against the Vatican. I see no argument to distinguish teaching and good works from either sect. Joel Osteen just happens to be a Protestant, he was the example provided and I can't help that.

    Well that would be a neat trick given I'm Protestant by birth, my post was an answer to SFG75 using the examples SFG75 provided, see below:

    Any perceived anti-Protestantism, take it up with SFG75.

    Salvation is not an argument for pocketing fifty million bucks from the faithful.

    You evidently thought I was sectarian, that is not the case.
     
  4. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    Well you sure could have fooled me! With your use of words like
    Hate,
    Catholic
    Evangelical
    preacher
    and a catholic church (or was it the movement?) "built on" Jesus' teachings with respect to the poor. (I thought it was Peter, the Rock.)

    The level of hostility that you introduced in your invective has not been seen for many years around here in discussions related to religion.

    If you say I misunderstood what you meant, I can only suggest saying what you mean specifically instead of with broad generalities.

    I apologize if you sounded to my ears like someone you didn't want to sound like.

    Sectarian or not, your attitudes rest with you.

    Have a good day.
     
  5. Conscious Bob

    Conscious Bob Well-Known Member

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    Hate? care to quote me.

    I'm not hostile, I concern myself only with the facts.

    Did I introduce these examples of Liberation Theology and Joel Osteen?

    Again did I introduce these examples?

    My attitude neatly fits the chip on your shoulder.
     
  6. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    Our society, and religion subsequently, do venerate the rich as you maintain. On that point, we agree. While a Catholic political movement and a protestant pastor are indeed different, both purport a Christian viewpoint. The growth of the latter and decimation of the former shows that Lazarus is now looking in to the rich man's house, or at least, the house of religion as far as our contemporary times are concerned.

     
  7. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    Actually, you are right; I can't find the sentence I had in mind. So, I can only say my memory must have played a trick on me. But that is no excuse. So I apologize sincerely for reading the word "hate" where it did not appear, I am sincerely sorry for that. Perhaps it was while reading your phrase "I'm no fan of," but that again is no excuse either. I am sorry for my error and I apologize.

    I take your concluding remark as a good signal for ending an exchange of viewpoints that has accomplished exactly nothing so far..

    Very sorry for my factual error,
    Please have a good evening
    Peder
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  8. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    In the late '90s, I went to a bookstore and purchased Of Sense and Soul by Ken Wilber. While there are many books on Buddhism out there and I've read most, Wilber was different. His main point was to create a coherent "integral" theory that united science and religion and all branches of knowledge into one system. What Ken Wilber is to Buddhism, Brian D. McLaren is to contemporary Christianity. This book is his attempt to integrate different strands of Christianity into a personal faith system. He takes the best from each "branch" if you will that he has experienced in Christianity and feels that the other branches off-set the negativity of the other branches. The vignettes about his dabbling with pentecostalism is interesting, as well as his history of retelling the history of Methodism. The "post-protestant," and "post-christian" language is loaded with vague meaning, but it is abundantly clear that he is attempting to steer a middle road between stifling literalist-fundamentalism on the one hand, and certain Christian services that resemble a sociology class more than a church service. I'm painting with a wide brush here, but if you have experienced these examples in person, you will get what I mean. A "generous" orthodoxy is solid on certain fundamentals, but accepts and encourages differing viewpoints as individuals experience them and adopt them. I'm not certain if McLaren's viewpoint is coherent enough to create a new branch of Christianity or movement in and of itself. I can't help but wonder if McLaren's thesis is wounded by being more generous than orthodox.
     
  9. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    It might correspond quite closely with the way some people try to harmonize their own understanding of their beliefs with their own experience of the real world, i.e. with some bedrock principles and then adjustments as necessary?

    That wouldn't strike me as so unreasonable.
     
  10. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    To me, defending Aaron Burr is akin to mounting a defense of Hitler, Satan, or the moral principles of wall street traders. It would truly be an almost insurmountable task in light of overwhelming evidence. Nancy Isenberg is more than up to the task in her book and she quickly admits to Burr's weaknesses. The "treason" of Burr and his multiple trials is covered in-depth and methodically. Isenberg paints a vindictive Jefferson during this episode of history. In reading the book, you'd think Burr was just a wandering traveler who became the victim of anti-Burr sentiment and a president who wanted to destroy him. She does a spectacular job of highlighting his personal philosophy, his family life, as well as political life. Burr's adventure with Gen. Wilkinson is portrayed as an effort by loyalists to take Mexican territory as oposed to doing so and marching on to American territory. Burr's 'filibustering' interest into creating his own fiefdom is passed over as not a terrible anti-union prospect. His traveling through Europe to drum up similar interest from other governments is mentioned, but not in a way that indicts Burr's interest in forging his own nation-state. Isenberg states that Hamilton was not as much a victim as he was aggressor in his actions at Weehawken. In this respect, the book is a perfect Burr apologetic tome. As there are so few out there, this will give the reader an interesting viewpoint from which to view the events of the early 1800s.

    :star3:
     
  11. 753C

    753C Active Member

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    I wish him luck. Denominational divisions and squabbling are one of the most puzzling aspects of modern Christianity. From your synopsis, it doesn't sound like he is shooting for a new branch of Christianity. It sounds like maybe a movement within all denominations to foster some acceptance of differing viewpoints? Example : You don't have to necessarily believe it is right to baptize a baby, but you also don't have to condemn people to hell because they do.
    Sounds like an interesting read.
     
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  12. Conscious Bob

    Conscious Bob Well-Known Member

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    Only if you're Christian, it's not puzzling from a broader viewpoint.
     
  13. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    And that sounds like a good example to me! :D
    Live and let live, is how I tend to view it.
    Although many people claim to follow the Golden Rule, even that doesn't seem to hack it in the modern world. :(
     
  14. 753C

    753C Active Member

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    It seems like it would be more puzzling from a broader viewpoint. The broader viewpoint might say : "Don't all of you believe basically the same thing? What's the problem?" Sort of the way people who don't understand Sunni vs Shiite differences, can't figure out why one muslim might kill another.
    From a leadership/organizational standpoint I guess I can understand trying to establish sharp distinctions between denominations (not saying it is right), because they have something to gain. However I know plenty of regular church folks that won't set foot in a different, or even a non denominational church, even for the sake of simple fellowship. That puzzles me, because they are supposed to know better.
     
  15. Conscious Bob

    Conscious Bob Well-Known Member

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    Well I would say the broader viewpoint is based upon the acknowledged fact that religious people don't all believe in the same thing.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  16. 753C

    753C Active Member

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    knowing that something happens is different than understanding why it happens.
     
  17. Conscious Bob

    Conscious Bob Well-Known Member

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    Denominational division and squabbling happens within all religions for all too human reasons.
     
  18. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    Why?

    "Same" and "different" are very relative terms, it seems to me.

    The human organism, beginning with each of its five senses, is capable of sensing very small differences and making very fine distinctions, and it might easily be argued that in the distant past such abilities were required for survival -- one of our most basic instincts, and an instinct that is very much still with us. And I think its observed persistence argues for an evolutionary basis.

    Reverting back to the religious context, from the scientific -- even though one can (or, I can) see the same ability for seeing distinctions in other areas of secular life, e.g. law, politics -- I think that the doctrine of Original Sin was an early attempt to grapple with the same issues of man's darker side. Though out of fashion now in many quarters, I think it is evidence that the Church Fathers saw the same issues really quite clearly. as for example in the original Ten Commandments, which are older still.

    And just for added fact: there has been an Ecumenical movement for as long as I have been alive. Yet we have the situation(s) we see.

    So why? Because, in some very intrinsic way, that is who we are and how we are made.

    And I leave it to my children to explain that in some deeper molecular biological way.

    When and if. :)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
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  19. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Destiny of the Republic; Candice Millard

    Like Simon Winchester's The Professor and the Madman, Millard's Destiny of the Republic is written in the form of historical narrative and has several interesting tracks from the viewpoint of several prominent characters. A reader comes away with a greater impression of James A. Garfield as a person. A B&R reader would love to chat with Garfield, who had books in every room of the house and who served in higher education for a time. The description of the presidential convention describes a humble man who supported a different man for the nomination, suddenly ends up the nominee after rounds and rounds of voting and a rousing speech. The ambition and ego of Roscoe Conkling comes out quickly and Millard does an excellent job of capturing his conniving nature and corresponding wit. Conkling represents in the book, everything wrong with American politics at the time, especially when it comes to back room deals, bribes, and the spoils system. Politics isn't the only major form of controversy portrayed in the book, though Garfield's death does spur President Arthur(former ally and minion to Conkling) to sign civil service reform legislation but there was also a medical controversy. Garfield's doctor was not an advocate of antisepsis, whose advocate was jeered, debated, and widely mocked in the medical field at the time. Garfield's Dr. Bliss believed the bullet to be on the wrong side of Garfield's body and bore tunnels into his body through the use of his fingers and various probe devices. Had Garfield been treated with antisepsis and stitched back up, he most likely would've have survived with a bullet inside. The madness of Charles Guiteau is also quite interesting. A man who expected to be appointed to a position and who at a time when anyone could enter certain areas of the White House, did so every day. Guiteau's letters and printed interviews are stunning in their lack of "not getting it" showing his lack of insight and insanity which was undoubtedly his main ailment. Even as he is led to the gallows, his statements and behavior clearly indicate he was not all there so to speak. This was an excellent book, one of the better ones that I've read this year.
     
  20. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    Anyone here still read books?
     

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