Hoping more Christians can become tolerant other approaches to the sacred

  • Hoping more Christians can become tolerant other approaches to the sacred

    Posted by Mark Delepine on November 26, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    I do wish more Christians were less strident in thinking they alone know the something more we all feel is there beyond our own best deliberative attempts to understand what we are and our place in the world. Isn’t it a little over the top to believe that miracles have established the historical moment when the something more decided to make first contact so as to put people on a path toward transcendence? Wouldn’t it always be the case that what is more would seek to guide what is dependent by imparting what is needed at that point in time? Should we assume that we will always need to believe in historical miracles and tales of afterlife alternatives in which what is transitory in us is locked in forever in order to maintain meaningful relations with what will always be more? I don’t think so. I don’t think believing this way is necessarily harmful until such time as the great traditions overlap and so many Christians seem to lack any way to understand and appreciate these different neighbors except as flawed and mistaken. Of course not all do. Barbara Brown Taylor who wrote Holy Envy was keenly aware of this flaw in the way so many practice her faith.

    Mark Delepine replied 1 year, 5 months ago 2 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Mark Harragin

    December 29, 2022 at 8:32 am

    Hello Mark,

    Thanks for organising this. For me, the most important chapter in TMWT. My LH wants you to add a d to an in the title of this thread.

    “I wish more Christians were…” : I enter this discussion in sacred communion. I would want to forgive Christians any misguidedness in the light of their fundamental avowal to a faith. I wander if strident literalistic interpretations are to do with needing to hold God close in times of fear and insecurity…


  • Mark Delepine

    December 30, 2022 at 11:28 am

    Haha! I wish the same, Mark, but I lack the the technical savvy or incantation to change the title now. Alternately that can be my Navaho flaw, included so as not to ruffle any deity’s feathers. I find it much easier to rationalize imperfection than to actually do something about it.

    But it does seem to me too as though Christianity sets itself up for for frustration by being way too specific about that which we can only ever barely catch a peripheral glimpse of at best. But of course it is as it has evolved to be and there seems to be something to being all in on such details that is essential to their path. Without trodding it too I guess I can only speculate but I try to respect it on its own terms especially since I’ve found some online at keast for whom it seems to be working. This is on the BioLogos website whose mission seems to be making STEM classes okay for evangelicals.

    Recently I began a discussion thread for the fifth chapter of David Bentley Hart’s book The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss there in which I’m transcribing quotes a paragraph at a time for any discussion that may ensue. You’d be very welcome to check it out and join in if you like:


    You don’t have to be a Christian to join. I’m openly agnostic and get along well with almost everyone. For the few hard core apologists who simply will not desist from attempting to enlist me into their cabal there is a fully functional ignore option. But currently there are only two I ignore. Many I genuinely respect and like.

  • Mark Harragin

    December 30, 2022 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks Mark, and thanks for the invitation. I’ll see. Navajo flaw – nice! I understand Gnosis as knowledge (same root) of God – kennen not wissen as McG puts it. So, joining things up, I mentioned to Don in the other stream McG’s idea of “God” as an un—word, Don responded with unGod (which I fancy as a verb), and I come to Agnosis (you describe yourself as agnostic) as valid an approach to God as any other. McG mentions about the Queen telling Alice to get there by running in the opposite direction. Am I in Wonderland? How has reading TMWT affected you and or informed your agnostic stance?

  • Mark Delepine

    December 30, 2022 at 4:11 pm

    It is largely responsible for my losing for Correspondence theory losing its grip on my idea of truth. I studied philosophy at Cal as an undergraduate when Fred Dretske was visiting. So I must have been influenced. But the idea that belief was really and always should reflect what one has most reason to believe was a strong belief I held without realizing it was anything over which people reasonably disagree. To connect as you point out to desire and to what one is dispositionally inclined to look for in the world was a wake call.

    Sorry but this forum structure doesn’t help a faulty memory. Not at all sure I answered everything you asked but I thank you for the discussion and am now called to breakfast so I’ll check back later.

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