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miceelf 07-29-2011 11:14 AM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 219101)
I think we agree more than not.

No doubt. Much of my work IRL is telling people stuff they already know.

sugarkang 07-29-2011 11:26 AM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 219102)
No doubt. Much of my work IRL is telling people stuff they already know.

Most of my work on here is fighting people on my ideological side.

whburgess 07-29-2011 04:06 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 219086)
It's been quite some years since I've had university lectures on Kierkegaard. I only remember that he despised church members for much of the same reason that atheists despise them, i.e., the self-congratulatory masturbation and rank hypocrisy. But Kierkegaard recognized this and still managed to get to his leap of faith and, thus, overcame my prime objection to religion.

Just a note; Kierkegaard really didn't have a problem with the rank and file church members. He thought they were perfectly lovely Christians going about being Christians. His polemic was against the intellectual elite in the society and official Christendom of his day who claimed they were Christians while espousing a philosophy (and resulting theology) that was exactly opposite of the real, actual, Christianity of the lay members.

He showed that this scenario was an example of how so called 'intellectuals' can actually be buffoons and clowns completely divorced from the realities of their own existence as human beings. (A phenomena that never seems to go away.)

Your quote from Nietzsche, while I'm not familiar with the context, seems rather Kierkegaardian, in that the philosopher seems content to not insist on any truth since nothing can be intellectually certain, while the person he's addressing has made a commitment to what can only, intellectually, be nothing more then a possibility, because his existence as a human being requires truth.

sugarkang 07-29-2011 04:19 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 219134)
Your quote from Nietzsche, while I'm not familiar with the context, seems rather Kierkegaardian, in that the philosopher seems content to not insist on any truth since nothing can be intellectually certain, while the person he's addressing has made a commitment to what can only, intellectually, be nothing more then a possibility, because his existence as a human being requires truth.

So, which text do you recommend by Kierkegaard? I think Nietzsche was familiar with and respected K, but I can't recall him referencing K with much specificity in either of the two books I've read. Then again, I wouldn't be one to judge since I've only had a cursory introduction to K. Did K affect your religiosity at all? And which book is the best for beginners? My university class had either a class reader or snippets, I can't remember.

whburgess 07-29-2011 04:52 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 219136)
So, which text do you recommend by Kierkegaard? I think Nietzsche was familiar with and respected K, but I can't recall him referencing K with much specificity in either of the two books I've read. Then again, I wouldn't be one to judge since I've only had a cursory introduction to K. Did K affect your religiosity at all? And which book is the best for beginners? My university class had either a class reader or snippets, I can't remember.

The ones which deal more specifically with what we are talking about at the moment is probably "Philosophical Fragments", "Concluding Unscientific Postscript" or "The Present Age"


While all his works are very philosophical, some of them are also very devotional at the same time, and these are my favorite. Specifically, "Works of Love" and "Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing".

Kierkegaard affected my religiosity probably more then any other writer except those in the Bible. I was raised very much a devoted fundamentalist sectarian. Reading him did several things for me.

--It destroyed any basis for the sectarianism that I was taught.

--Gave me a greater understanding of what real religion is as opposed to how it is used.

--gave me a greater respect for truly religious people everywhere

--made any intellectual affirmation of God's existence, which would include any number of known definitions of "God", irrelevant for me. This is why I would be considered agnostic or atheist by both some Christians and some atheists. And yet am a Christian in ways that some Christians would affirm is Christian. I personally feel both Christian and agnostic (or even atheist). I know it sounds strange, but it doesn't feel strange to me. I do feel that Kierkegaard contributed to this position of mine more then any other writer---although there are many more factors then books involved in this.

Oh--as an edit: That last effect, listed above, that Kierkegaard had on me may be an unfortunate one to him from a Christian perspective, but an understandable one from his philosophical perspective. And Kierkegaard was a master of different perspectives, writing many different books under different pseudonyms from different perspectives. I have even read treatises by atheists who believe his whole body of work, even those most treasured by Christians, was a magnificent ruse from an atheist perspective. And I think Kierkegaard himself would have acknowledged that this, also, is a reasonable perspective on his work. But I do think that underneath all of this, there was a level in which Kierkegaard dispensed with ambiguity and made a commitment to Christianity, it's just that, as I think he would confirm, communication is necessarily ambiguous, and that which is disambiguate only applies inwardly, to the individual.
--

sugarkang 07-29-2011 05:18 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 219147)
While all his works are very philosophical, some of them are also very devotional at the same time, and these are my favorite. Specifically, "Works of Love" and "Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing".

Okay, I'm going to look into it. Thanks.

Quote:

But I do think that underneath all of this, there was a level in which Kierkegaard dispensed with ambiguity and made a commitment to Christianity...
--
Yes, this comports with my rough understanding of how he lived his own devoutly religious life. The main lesson I got from my class was that Kierkegaard thinks logically. K is smarter than I am. Ergo, I have no right to think that Christians are idiots until I can prove that K was an idiot.

Cool, cool.

geoffrobinson 07-29-2011 05:19 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 219079)
This is really not in any way related to the diavlog, or for that matter, to theological liberalism.

Yes it is. http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/377...5:27&out=29:42

miceelf 07-29-2011 05:27 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Yes, it's related to the diavlog in that they quote acts 10 and cite an interpretation of that passage that is not at all out of the Christian mainstream. In other ways, it misses the point, at least from what I can tell, as I noted.

eeeeeeeli 07-30-2011 12:03 AM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 218964)
Atheists are assholes. I know this because I am one.

This is funny.

eeeeeeeli 07-30-2011 12:06 AM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 219025)
Okay, why is atheism superior to religion? Any intolerant religious person that you point out, I can point out a tolerant religious person. I can easily point out atheists that are just as intolerant. And even if I grant you that God doesn't exist, what difference does it make if it results in people getting together once a week to think about why they're grateful for their lives?

Tony Blair vs. Christopher Hitchens

I'm an atheist, and I think Blair wins it.

I always forget who said it, but it was something along the lines of comparing best with best, worst with worst, when assessing things like religion vs. atheism, etc. (not that it's much of a useful endeavor to begin with, but..)

It seems an important reminder as we all tend to get biased towards cherry picking to prove points.

badhatharry 07-30-2011 09:55 AM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 218939)
????

That's bizarre. It's got nothing to do with me, and I didn't claim it did. I simply am giving an account of what I have witnessed, which goes against what someone else suggested.

Are you okay?

and you have no sense of humor.

miceelf 07-30-2011 10:18 AM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 219273)
and you have no sense of humor.

Anchorman is funny. Saved by the Bell isn't.

stephanie 07-30-2011 04:08 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by geoffrobinson (Post 219072)
Isn't it always strange that when theological liberals talk about God being bigger than we can imagine and "can't fit in a box", this god of theirs always agrees with them?

When people talk about God's will, they are using the same tools -- including conscience and reason -- that they use to consider other things, and people who care about God's will generally try to comply with their understanding of it, so it's not surprising that people -- of all theological views -- typically do not determine that God's will is completely unlike what they consider moral.

I do think there's a broader conversation that could be had in one of these Values Added things about how to approach such questions, sources, how one addresses conscientious disagreements with religious teachings one is inclined to accept. Anna touched on that, actually, in talking about how she came to her current view, but didn't really address it.

But you've already included that you aren't really interested in this kind of discussion, but merely are attacking the good faith of those with whom you differ. Whatever.

Quote:

This god never judges sin.
Not what was said. Nor do "theological liberals" (again, I think we are misusing the term) fail to talk about morality or moral failings. Personally, I'm not sure if I'm a "theological liberal" in your view or not (I think any claim that I am one is laughable, personally), but I have no disagreements about the definition of sin as I learned it.

Quote:

But this god really dislikes anything Marxists dislike.
Too convoluted. What do Marxists dislike in your view? But in any case, if you are trying to say that people who are liberal on issues relating to homosexuality but consider themselves Christian and religious must be Marxists, that's just silly.

Quote:

This god never brings down wrath, strikes people dead, inflicts punishment, etc.
Hmm. You mean there's an assumption that God doesn't interact in the world in the way that one might believe based on a fundamentalist understanding of the Old Testament? Probably true, although that's not really about "theological liberalism." One can certainly accept all the Creeds and take the Bible seriously without thinking that God intervenes to strike people dead or wage war or so on. Maybe we need to define terms a little better.

Quote:

No, this mysterious god is the god of unicorns and puppy dogs and love, love, lovey love.
Pathetic.

Quote:

Their god is an idol. One of their own making.
If you are going to make such a claim, you need some evidence. Care to try and make an argument, or is this just an obnoxious rant?

If your claim is that an interpretation of Christianity that doesn't hold that gay sex is inherently sinful makes God into an idol, I think there are many, many steps missing from your argument. But then it seems to me that you are the one equating God with your political views and prejudices.

Quote:

A trained theologian, even of the liberal variety, should know something about why Christians don't keep Levitical laws but still uphold a moral law of God.
They didn't deny morality. And I'm sure they understand the distinction you are making and simply disagree with your interpretation of it, specifically, how to interpret the comments about men laying with men as women in Leviticus.

stephanie 07-30-2011 04:27 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 219079)
This is really not in any way related to the diavlog, or for that matter, to theological liberalism.

Yep -- I suppose I didn't need to respond, since you already did.

Quote:

There is plenty of sin in liberal theology.
I'm actually not sure how he's using "liberal theology," except that it's clearly not particularly carefully.

I think there are a various of ways people use the term. One (clearly incorrectly) is to describe people of liberal views who are religious. This is dumb, because such people may be quite theologically conservative. Another is to discuss people who are claimed to reject traditional ideas about Christianity, those based on tradition, in favor of a "purer" understanding focusing on the Bible, sometimes even to the point of raising issues with the Creeds. (I think this is an acceptable use of the term but any use needs more elaboration.) Another is within traditions and is tradition (or denomination) specific, having to do with internal arguments. I can tell a litugically-liberal Catholic apart from a liturgically-conservative Catholic, for example, although even there it gets more complicated, and similarly I can differentiate between liberal-conservative strains within Episcopalianism, Lutheranism, etc. But it's worth noting that people who are quite conservative on some things might be less so on others, liturgy being a good place to start.

Yet another is the dispute between fundamentalists and non-fundamentalists, a debate that split many denominations in the first part of the 20th century and which continues to this day. But that debate doesn't exist in other denominations, so it's wrong to apply it to some more general liberal-conservative split. I'd certainly argue that the fundamentalist assumptions are themselves a product of liberalism/modernism or reaction thereto and have no connection to actual traditional Christianity and thus cannot properly claim the name theological conservativism.

Another relates to the debate about how Christianity should address certain liberal ideas that have become common in our society and what to do if our views seem inconsistent with how the Bible is traditionally interpreted. This may or may not relate to some of these other debates, but how it does depends on the traditional understanding of the issues and the Christian views of them, and again cannot just be taken out of context by applying notions of liberalism or conservatism taken from politics.

Finally, another has to do with the debates about what Christianity really requires, the ideas of various "liberal" scholars and challenges to many aspects of Christian orthodoxy, including the Creeds and, I suppose, the notion of sin. I do think the term liberalism could apply here, but I think the people ranting about it tend to confuse this with all sorts of other issues. I'm certainly no "liberal" when it comes to this particular distinction, and the 'heads said nothing to suggest that they were. One certainly need not be a liberal in this sense to be concerned about economic justice (gosh, I wouldn't think you'd need to take the Bible less seriously for that, quite the opposite) or question certain aspects of the traditional teachings on sex.

miceelf 07-30-2011 04:35 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 219312)
I'm actually not sure how he's using "liberal theology," except that it's clearly not particularly carefully.

Yeah, I probably responded in too simplistic a way. The distinctions you point out are important. I was focused a great deal on my own congregation (a very liberal-in-most-senses-tilted episcopal church) where we say the confession from the book of common prayer that I quoted and where I hear far more from the pulpit about sins that actually apply to me than I did from the fundamentalist church of my youth. That church talked a lot about sin, but it didn't much apply to me given that: 1) I am not gay, 2) I am not Catholic, and 3) I had not gotten anyone pregnant.

miceelf 07-30-2011 04:38 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
I have to admit the accusation of idolatry made me think of the 9th commandment (8th if you're Catholic).

stephanie 07-30-2011 04:56 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 219313)
Yeah, I probably responded in too simplistic a way. The distinctions you point out are important. I was focused a great deal on my own congregation (a very liberal-in-most-senses-tilted episcopal church) where we say the confession from the book of common prayer that I quoted and where I hear far more from the pulpit about sins that actually apply to me than I did from the fundamentalist church of my youth. That church talked a lot about sin, but it didn't much apply to me given that: 1) I am not gay, 2) I am not Catholic, and 3) I had not gotten anyone pregnant.

Heh.

I don't think it was too simplistic given the post to which you were responding. It's just a pet peeve, so I used the excuse to go on a bit.

geoffrobinson 07-31-2011 02:00 AM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
We can get really complicated, but theological liberalism is a euphemism for unbelief. There's a spectrum of course. In terms of Protestants, you get people who don't believe in the inspiration of Scripture, of certain miracles, apostolic authority, etc., etc.

geoffrobinson 07-31-2011 02:11 AM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 219309)
They didn't deny morality. And I'm sure they understand the distinction you are making and simply disagree with your interpretation of it, specifically, how to interpret the comments about men laying with men as women in Leviticus.

There too many things to respond to so I'll primarily focus on this. I didn't say they deny a morality.

Traditional Christians have pulled out of the Mosaic law all sorts of moral imperatives without taking every law as being binding for today. Anyone with an ounce of Christian theological training should know this. So when I hear someone say something like "hey Christians eat shrimp, why do they think the Leviticus comments on homosexuality are binding?" and I hear that coming from someone who has a background of studying theology... the only options are this person didn't pay attention in school or this person is purposely being deceptive.

The relationship of the Mosaic law to the modern Christian is a complex topic with a lot of disagreement within the broader Christian community. But there is no excuse for their comments. Comments which garden variety people on the Internet make.

geoffrobinson 07-31-2011 02:23 AM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 219309)
When people talk about God's will, they are using the same tools -- including conscience and reason -- that they use to consider other things, and people who care about God's will generally try to comply with their understanding of it, so it's not surprising that people -- of all theological views -- typically do not determine that God's will is completely unlike what they consider moral.

But there is a big difference. While we all use our reason, one group is trying to understand (at least what they think is) God's self-revelation. The other group relies primarily on their own intuition and understand.

The real nub of the matter is what happens when your own gut feeling and Scripture collide. Which source wins? Theological liberalism is the movement of Scripture losing these battles. The current intellectual millieu makes miracles seem too unbelievable? Scripture is a bunch of fables. Or the miracle of the loaves and fishes is a miracle of sharing. That type of stuff.

Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 219309)
Not what was said. Nor do "theological liberals" (again, I think we are misusing the term) fail to talk about morality or moral failings. Personally, I'm not sure if I'm a "theological liberal" in your view or not (I think any claim that I am one is laughable, personally), but I have no disagreements about the definition of sin as I learned it.

It's a fairly standard term. Feel free to read Machen's Christianity & Liberalism. You may be familiar with the following quote as well: A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.



Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 219309)
If you are going to make such a claim, you need some evidence. Care to try and make an argument, or is this just an obnoxious rant?

If your claim is that an interpretation of Christianity that doesn't hold that gay sex is inherently sinful makes God into an idol, I think there are many, many steps missing from your argument. But then it seems to me that you are the one equating God with your political views and prejudices.


This is related to a previous point. And, yes, there is a bunch of argumentation that goes into this. Any view of God that is not based on God's self-revelation is idolatry, because the "God" that's produced proceeds from the human heart.

miceelf 07-31-2011 08:45 AM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by geoffrobinson (Post 219391)
We can get really complicated, but theological liberalism is a euphemism for unbelief.

More wide-spanning claims with nothing in the way of substantiation.

stephanie 07-31-2011 02:36 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by geoffrobinson (Post 219391)
We can get really complicated, but theological liberalism is a euphemism for unbelief.

Ah, so you are using it in a personal way unlike how others use it. And with no obvious connection to the diavloggers or their discussion. How odd.

Quote:

There's a spectrum of course. In terms of Protestants, you get people who don't believe in the inspiration of Scripture, of certain miracles, apostolic authority, etc., etc.
Equating a rejection of a literal interpretation of Scripture in all respects (such fundamentalism not being conservative) with disbelief in God or even in the inspiration of Scripture is not a good faith position.

If you are concerned about a specific disagreement with the diavloggers, it would make sense to focus on that, rather than insisting that everyone who disagrees with you is just lying about their belief in God. (Another instance of what miceelf pointed to re the idol comment.)

stephanie 07-31-2011 02:40 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by geoffrobinson (Post 219393)
There too many things to respond to so I'll primarily focus on this. I didn't say they deny a morality.

You said they rejected morality, and specifically the notion of sin. That's untrue.

Quote:

Traditional Christians have pulled out of the Mosaic law all sorts of moral imperatives without taking every law as being binding for today.
That's an overly simplistic way of explaining it (and I am a traditional Christian). It also doesn't contradict anything said by the diavloggers. They are disagreeing with you about the type of injunction that "don't lie with a man as a woman" is.

If you understood the argument as well as you claim, you would know this. You probably do, in fact, but prefer to misread the argument for your own purposes.

stephanie 07-31-2011 02:51 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by geoffrobinson (Post 219395)
But there is a big difference. While we all use our reason, one group is trying to understand (at least what they think is) God's self-revelation. The other group relies primarily on their own intuition and understand.

You are assuming that those who come to a different conclusion than you are acting in bad faith. That's a bad assumption, and not a very charitable one.

Quote:

The real nub of the matter is what happens when your own gut feeling and Scripture collide. Which source wins?
Yes, that's an issue they could have talked about, although I don't think anyone is talking about rejecting Scripture or relying only on gut feelings. I have lots of thoughts on how to deal with conflicts between dogma and conscience, which admit the possibility that the fault is with my not well formed conscience, but in no case are we talking about gut feelings alone. That's an example of your insistence that those who disagree with you must be dismissed, they can't have good faith and sincere problems with the teachings you are trying to defend, based on prayful consideration and their understanding of Christian teachings as a whole.

Of course, focusing on Scripture here makes your argument weaker, as Scripture isn't as clear as you insist. Also, there are a variety of different ways to approach Scripture, taking it seriously, not merely yours and "throwing it away" or "disbelief." Again, you are misrepresenting the arguments.

Quote:

Theological liberalism is the movement of Scripture losing these battles.
Well, we've established that you have some bizarre personal definition of theological liberalism, so your pronouncements about such a movement have lost whatever interest they might have had. If you want to fight a war against pretend Christians and claim they are losing, well, whatever. It has no bearing on the discussion in the diavlog.

Quote:

The current intellectual millieu makes miracles seem too unbelievable? Scripture is a bunch of fables. Or the miracle of the loaves and fishes is a miracle of sharing. That type of stuff.
Eh, depending on the specifics I might agree with you on some of this stuff, although will likely think your focus is misplaced. But again you are conflating too much stuff to allow for a reasonable conversation.

As for the rest, you are continuing to make up claims about the views of the diavloggers and attacking the strawmen. Normally, I'd just object to the bad argument, but it's also uncharitable and defamatory, given the topic. I think that's pretty nasty.

aajax 08-04-2011 01:56 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
I really can't understand anyone objecting to a refusal to believe in something for which there is no credible evidence. That seems to me to be a really weird position to take on anything, let alone religion.

aajax 08-04-2011 02:02 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
[QUOTE=sugarkang;219025]Okay, why is atheism superior to religion? Any intolerant religious person that you point out, I can point out a tolerant religious person. I can easily point out atheists that are just as intolerant.

If you study the history of tolerance, you will find that it was not invented by monotheist priests, that I can assure you.

[QUOTE=sugarkang;219025] And even if I grant you that God doesn't exist, what difference does it make if it results in people getting together once a week to think about why they're grateful for their lives?

I think that is a lovely thing, but are they are also grateful for the atheists in their lives? Apparently not.

sugarkang 08-04-2011 02:25 PM

Re: Values Added: Christians for Marriage Equality (Anna Taylor Sweringen & Peter Laarman)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aajax (Post 220108)
If you study the history of tolerance, you will find that it was not invented by monotheist priests, that I can assure you.

Atheism is a product of the modern age. If you want to do apples to apples, compare religious people and atheists in the 20th century. Christian missionaries in South America, Africa and Asia might be repackaged as "imperialism," but it certainly isn't xenophobia is it?

Quote:

I think that is a lovely thing, but are they are also grateful for the atheists in their lives? Apparently not.
No, but they're praying for Christopher Hitchens even as he sneers at them. Is that close enough? Now, point out the opposite.


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