1. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    14 Mar '12 20:25
    Does apophasis have any relevance today?
  2. Illinois
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    14 Mar '12 22:04
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Does apophasis have any relevance today?
    In the Christian tradition, in the West, its relevancy is growing I think. A. W. Tozer once said that the greatest failing of the modern American church is its inaccurate "low" conception of God, which, he says, lies at the root of the church's ills. I know the philosopher Dallas Willard has preached revival of the apophatic tradition as a means of revitalizing individual and collective contact with what Tozer would call a "right" conception of God, i.e., a God not fashioned in our own image and kept inside a comfortable box that we imagine we can control, but God as He truly is - beyond all understanding. More and more people are dissatisfied with exoteric Christianity and are seeking a deeper connection to the divine. The emerging church movement is a good example of this. Personally, I see some combination of the apophatic tradition, Pentecostalism and liberation theology as the future of Christianity.
  3. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    14 Mar '12 22:06
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    In the Christian tradition, in the West, its relevancy is growing I think. A. W. Tozer once said that the greatest failing of the modern American church is its inaccurate "low" conception of God, which, he says, lies at the root of the church's ills. I know the philosopher Dallas Willard has preached revival of the apophatic tradition as a means of rev ...[text shortened]... apophatic tradition, Pentecostalism and liberation theology as the future of Christianity.
    That sounds positive. But Pentecostalism?
  4. Standard memberRajk999
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    14 Mar '12 22:383 edits
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    ..greatest failing of the modern American church is its inaccurate "low" conception of God, ...
    The foundation of any relationship is mutual love and respect.

    A man comes home drunk with lipstick all over his clothes and his wife says .."honey, forget it .. just say Im sorry 50 times and all will be well". Not long after the same thing, the man gambles away all his salary and the wife says " .. honey no problem just repeat your marriage vows 20 times and its all forgiven". Month after month the same thing . No self respecting wife does that.

    If a man tells his wife .. "Honey I will love you no matter what you do it does not matter whether you have dozens of other men, spend all my money ..nothing could end this marriage .."

    What are the chances of the above marriages succeeding, and having mutual love and respect ? NONE.

    Christianity has corrupted itself with stupid, un-Biblical practices and teachings ..

    - claiming to forgive sins which only Christ can do.
    - convincing believers that all that is required of them is to accept Christ with their mouth and they will be saved
    - convincing believers that their sins, no matter how serious, will not stop them from attaining eternal life.
    - discouraging believers from doing good works by saying that works are of no real value.

    How can a man have the right conception of God when the preachers are preaching such garbage?
  5. Illinois
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    14 Mar '12 22:43
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    That sounds positive. But Pentecostalism?
    Pentecostalism is the fastest growing movement in Christendom, like it or not. Mostly due to its focus on the Spirit. It is a shift away from the staid, abstract, doctrinal faith of the past, toward a more interactive experience. The spirit of Pentecostalism is probably summed up best by John Wimber, who, after hearing about Christ and the apostles in a sermon, asked, "So, when do we get to do the stuff? When do we get to do the stuff that Jesus did?" Similar to the apophatic tradition, the charismatic movement offers a more imminent relationship with the divine. Harvey Cox has even suggested that it is a misunderstanding to equate Pentecostalism with the rise of fundamentalism, and that the focus on the Spirit involved actually facilitates Christian interaction with other faiths.
  6. Illinois
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    14 Mar '12 23:05
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    The foundation of any relationship is mutual love and respect.

    A man comes home drunk with lipstick all over his clothes and his wife says .."honey, forget it .. just say Im sorry 50 times and all will be well". Not long after the same thing, the man gambles away all his salary and the wife says " .. honey no problem just repeat your marriage vows 20 tim ...[text shortened]... can a man have the right conception of God when the preachers are preaching such garbage?
    I don't know of anyone who doesn't question the authenticity of a known sinner's faith. Undoubtedly, reprobates profligate in congregations everywhere. You could preach hell-fire, damnation and works seven days a week and they still won't change or go away. You paint this picture of a church replete with hypocrites, but my own personal experience doesn't agree. Christians generally understand that holiness is the accepted standard and most strive for it in opposition to the lusts of the flesh. Nevertheless, there will always be examples of the flagrant abuse of grace. Personally, I try not to concern myself with the lives of others and tend to keep focus on my own weaknesses and shortcomings. Otherwise, it's easy to fall into spiritual pride.
  7. Houston, Texas
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    14 Mar '12 23:06
    Isn't Islam by far the fastest growing religion in the world?
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    14 Mar '12 23:10
    Originally posted by moon1969
    Isn't Islam by far the fastest growing religion in the world?
    By what metric?

    % growth.
    Absolute growth.
    % of total world population...

    Plus whose doing the counting and what methodology are they using?
    Are the numbers in any way reliable?
  9. Illinois
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    14 Mar '12 23:14
    Originally posted by moon1969
    Isn't Islam by far the fastest growing religion in the world?
    It is generally recognized as such, yes.
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    14 Mar '12 23:50
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    It is generally recognized as such, yes.
    recognized by who?
  11. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    14 Mar '12 23:52
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    Pentecostalism is the fastest growing movement in Christendom, like it or not. Mostly due to its focus on the Spirit. It is a shift away from the staid, abstract, doctrinal faith of the past, toward a more interactive experience. The spirit of Pentecostalism is probably summed up best by John Wimber, who, after hearing about Christ and the apostles in ...[text shortened]... the focus on the Spirit involved actually facilitates Christian interaction with other faiths.
    Ok. The risk of this intensified spirituality is fixating on subjective emotion. The apophatic way steers clear of the snake-juggling, boggle-eyed freak-out.

    And: 'when do we get to the stuff that Jesus did' - that approach is perilously idolatrous. Why? Because it involves having a concrete preconceived idea of who and what Jesus was and did, thus recreating him in one's image.

    That is the spirit of the Crusades, among other things.

    The apophatic way steers clear of these problems.

    I would suggest that Pentecostalists try some quiet time before 'trying to do what Jesus did'. I mean - go the whole hog, get yourself crucified.
  12. Standard memberRajk999
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    15 Mar '12 01:38
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    I don't know of anyone who doesn't question the authenticity of a known sinner's faith. Undoubtedly, reprobates profligate in congregations everywhere. You could preach hell-fire, damnation and works seven days a week and they still won't change or go away. You paint this picture of a church replete with hypocrites, but my own personal experien ...[text shortened]... on my own weaknesses and shortcomings. Otherwise, it's easy to fall into spiritual pride.
    First, nothing in my post should make you think that Im focusing on the lives of others. It should be obvious that my post was about the wrong teachings of modern Christianity. And thats a serious matter.

    Next, many here [Jaywill for eg] believes that even the most serious or sins are not punishable with damnation as long and the Christian is 'saved'. 'Saved' being that he proclaims with his mouth that he accepts Christ as his saviour.
  13. Standard memberRajk999
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    15 Mar '12 01:49
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Ok. The risk of this intensified spirituality is fixating on subjective emotion. The apophatic way steers clear of the snake-juggling, boggle-eyed freak-out.

    And: 'when do we get to the stuff that Jesus did' - that approach is perilously idolatrous. Why? Because it involves having a concrete preconceived idea of who and what Jesus was and did, thu ...[text shortened]... me before 'trying to do what Jesus did'. I mean - go the whole hog, get yourself crucified.
    From what I know of Pentecostals, the 'stuff' that Jesus did that they wanted to do would be miracles. And the reason would be to impress their friends or to make money. Pentecostals are a very money conscious and worldly group. I bet they certainly would not want to do the humble stuff that Jesus did like hang out with the poor, and sick and the deprived.
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    15 Mar '12 01:592 edits
    Originally posted by moon1969
    Isn't Islam by far the fastest growing religion in the world?
    Isn't Islam by far the fastest growing religion in the world?


    Islam is considered fast growing. But Islam is also a forced religion in some places. And to get OUT of Islam can be like trying to get out of the Mafia.

    Ie. In Indonesia one wishing to convert from Islam to another religion must appear before a panel of three judges.

    So you have to consider some of this "fast" growth to be attributed to the coercion of Islam upon populations in certain places of the world.

    And now some attentive skeptic will chime in "Christianity TOOOO !"
    Go ahead, get it out.
  15. Illinois
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    15 Mar '12 06:42
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Ok. The risk of this intensified spirituality is fixating on subjective emotion. The apophatic way steers clear of the snake-juggling, boggle-eyed freak-out.

    And: 'when do we get to the stuff that Jesus did' - that approach is perilously idolatrous. Why? Because it involves having a concrete preconceived idea of who and what Jesus was and did, thu ...[text shortened]... me before 'trying to do what Jesus did'. I mean - go the whole hog, get yourself crucified.
    The risk of this intensified spirituality is fixating on subjective emotion.

    No argument here.

    And: 'when do we get to the stuff that Jesus did' - that approach is perilously idolatrous. Why? Because it involves having a concrete preconceived idea of who and what Jesus was and did, thus recreating him in one's image.

    There is a cataphatic dimension to Christianity, of course, involving positive claims about God's attributes. The life of Christ and his disciples forming an important backbone of Christian orthodoxy and orthopraxy. I'm not sure what would remain of Christianity were we to divorce apophasis entirely from the cataphatic.

    The apophatic way steers clear of these problems.

    Thus its great value to the Christian tradition.

    I would suggest that Pentecostalists try some quiet time before 'trying to do what Jesus did'. I mean - go the whole hog, get yourself crucified.

    There are more promises than persecution in the NT.
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