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I haven't gotten the "full dose" from the CDs but I heard Dave talk about this concept 5+ years ago and it has stuck with me. That is a compliment to any concept. I think I have found it helpful on the macro scale (answering the question why does my life look like this, why does his life look like that) but not something I cling to day by day, like the last poster said -- although she used different words I think that is what she may be meaning when she says it's not practical information. I must cling to God instead ... but that's the whole point of life I think, so I guess that doesn't come as a surprise. I'm curious to see what others have to say in this discussion, especially those who have listened to the whole CD set.
Toggle Commented Sep 30, 2009 on Let's Talk Richard Rohr! at Not The Religious Type
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Dave-at-Harvard-MIT, I appreciate your speaking up. I am not a scientist, but I find it reassuring to hear someone who understands better than me say something about this. I understand the Bible isn't a science book, I understand the historical record has gaps, I know that a thousand years are to the Lord like a day and vice versa, but I would like to think that God wouldn't totally deceive us about the way our world was created -- wasn't that the point of the creation story? On a different note, I think it's a shame that we can't disengage from this topic (which I'm sure we can't since it's such a hot one) to ask ourselves... what do we do when the dominant position is the crazy one? Maybe it can't be considered in a context-free zone, but I have some nominations for other areas where I think the dominant position is the crazy one. (Perhaps the position that environmentalism is for the birds and the whales, or the position that government has set out good rules for environmental protection or nutrition, or the position that marriage is subject to certain rules and is fixed by adherence thereto.) To me, an abstraction I could apply in these areas would be intriguing. One principle I see is that the areas where people are most sure, are the areas where they have heard the most uniform inputs. From the culture around as well as from the faith figures. Sometimes the final opinions may be inconsistent (faith figures may be in reaction to the cultural winds), but the way the questions are drawn up are the same. For example, a city-dwelling Christian is very sure that environmentalism is the way to go, and the redneck pastor is very sure that environmentalism is all wrong, but they are both reacting to environmentalism as it is expressed in the dominant culture (save the whales). What if there is a little travelled path in which we find a healthy environmental plan for human beings?
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One other remark is that Americans in our current age are very much smitten with self expression as a cultural ideal. Is that because we are that way, made that way by God, or is that because we are American and part of a people that is individualistic, idealistic, and inventive? Not sure. Then again, I guess God made Americans inventive in the first place... maybe I lean that way???
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Very much onto something! But I don't know whether the clergy and churches are the problem -- I think it may be an inherent problem for people. The reason I say he's onto something is that I think people pick up the church/clergypeople's attitudes in the air. In Myers-Briggs terms the NT rationals would be the least susceptible to ANY influence (of parents or anyone else), but I'm not an NT Rational. (I say this partly because I think most posters on this forum sound to me like NT Rationals.) I'm an NF Intuitive type, and I was always driven NUTS by the vibes that I picked up and the ways I could see other people around me responding to them. It is a question of the qualities that are praised. In a past church that I attended, women were praised only for being (a) mothers (b) preferrably of more than five children who (c) helped in the church dinners and possibly sang during services. Let me tell you it certainly made my calling more difficult to embrace. My husband found that men were praised for being (a) selfless (b) fathers who (c) were going to the mission field, and he too was challenged by this. I think it is possible to be somewhat aware of these issues in a church. I think the things that help are: (1) multiple voices in the pulpit (holding different core values) (2) intentionally praising people simply for stepping out IN their calling, whatever that might be (3) telling stories about people realizing their calling was different from what they thought. People are helped tremendously by having a story they can relate to and see themselves in. I think that is why so much of the Bible is devoted to stories. Finally, the reason I said that people themselves may be the problem, is that I think many people want to see their clergypeople as unflawed, powerful, and right ... too much so. When people put clergy on a pedestal it creates an obvious lose/lose... better to fall off the pedestal or try to live up to it???? It's bad for the clergy, bad for the laypeople too. But it is so nearly inevitable because people are prone to worshiping what they can see.
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