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The current installment of the COEC began meeting in 2007.

We are currently on a "break," for no particular reason, and many little reasons - mostly pertaining to life circumstances. If anyone is interested in calling a meeting, feel free to post on the blog, join the google group (see link below) and send an email, or contact either Nancy (nancykj10@yahoo.com) or Jesse (schroeder.jesse@gmail.com) for more information.

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3.03.2014

Reason(ing)?

Scot said...
Hey everyone,

So, lots of comments on the WTH! post... and honestly most of them bring more questioins to my mind.

I don't know where to begin.

Here is a section from the introduction of the Tim Keller book. Perhaps there is some Providential timeliness afoot...

"Three generations ago, most people inherited rather than chose their religious faith. The great majority of people belonged to one of the historic, mainline Protestant churches or the Roman Catholic Church. Today, however, the now-dubbed “old-line” Protestant churches of cultural, inherited faith are aging and losing members rapidly. People are opting instead for a nonreligious life, for a non-institutional, personally constructed spirituality, or for orthodox, high-commitment religious groups that expect members to have a conversion experience. Therefore the population is paradoxically growing both more religious and less religious at once. Because doubt and belief are each on the rise, our political and public discourse on matters of faith and morality has become deadlocked and deeply divided. The culture wars are taking a toll. Emotions and rhetoric are intense, even hysterical. Those who believe in God and Christianity are out to “impose their beliefs on the rest of us” and “turn back the clock” to a less enlightened time . Those who don’t believe are “enemies of truth” and “purveyors of relativism and permissiveness.” We don’t reason with the other side; we only denounce. We have an impasse between the strengthening forces of doubt and belief, and this won’t be solved simply by calling for more civility and dialogue. Arguments depend on having commonly held reference points that both sides can hold each other to. When fundamental understandings of reality conflict, it is hard to find anything to which to appeal. The title of Alasdair MacIntyre’s book, Whose Justice? Which Rationality? says it all. Our problems are not going away soon.

How can we find a way forward? First, each side should accept that both religious belief and skepticism are on the rise. Atheist author Sam Harris and Religious Right leader Pat Robertson should each admit the fact that his particular tribe is strong and increasing in influence. This would eliminate the self-talk that is rampant in each camp, namely that it will soon be extinct, overrun by the opposition. Nothing like that is imminently possible. If we stopped saying such things to ourselves it might make everyone more civil and generous toward opposing views. Such an admission is not only reassuring, but also humbling. There are still many of a secular turn of mind who confidently say orthodox faith is vainly trying to “resist the tide of history,” though there is no historical evidence that religion is dying out at all. Religious believers should also be much less dismissive of secular skepticism. Christians should reflect on the fact that such large sectors of our formerly largely Christian societies have turned their backs on faith. Surely that should lead to self-examination. The time for making elegant dismissive gestures toward the other side is past. Something more is now required. But what?"

Keller, Timothy (2008-02-14). The Reason for God . Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

I'll post more details about this coming Sunday in a day or two.

Is 4pm start optimum for everyone?

5 comments:

Br. Curt Beardsley said...

Sorry about not responding to the post. I did e-mail you to sort of address another issue and to let you know that I got the book.

Well, I want to tell you that the book is excellent! I enjoyed it so much that I finished it in three days! There were a couple of things I didn't agree with 100%, but I did, all-in-all agree with him. I liked his form of apologetics. I think I have a better idea on what you meant by having the discussion with in a context. I was having a hard time understanding what that meant. We can have a really good conversation by using Mr. Hellers book as the context.

As almost everyone in the Cohort knows, I have had a long and difficult struggle with "orthodoxy" and the "creeds". I am still struggling with the concept of religion and spirituality. I can also see a good conversation around relativism. His discussion re: sin, is also excellent. In my opinion he took relativism to an extreme to make his point. Extreme relativism and extreme legalism are both the enemy of a life in Christ. I think the creeds bring us to a foundation for discussion. Unfortunately, since the "Enlightenment", metaphysics has been placed in the category of "fairytale" and empirical science has made one to appear superstitious if one believes in the metaphysical relationship with God. Then again, if one studies particle physics to any degree, empirical science is bound to decline because of the relatively new concept of Chaos Physics, which has proven (at least to me) that miracles, Son of God, Resurrection and different realms of existence are entire likely.
I don't need for God to be proven but I also don't believe I can define God and it is a mistake to try to do so. We will be mistaken. It is possible to say what God isn't, but not what/who God is.

I am really looking forward to Sunday. I need a ride if anyone in town has an offer.

Peace,
Br. Curt

Br. Curt Beardsley said...

Oops, I guess it isn't this weekend but the next. So, I'll see a week from Sunday.

Scot said...

Wow Curt, I've been thinking we were doing it this week too! Just to clarify, we will meet on the 16th not the 9th. Sorry for the confusion.

I'm glad you like the book! I think we should confine our discussion to the first chapter on the 16th. I think I can bounce off of some of it and tie in what I struggled with about "context" from the Hellbound gathering. Another reason to stay focused on the first chapter is because I'm slow :) I'd like to suggest tackling subsequent chapters in future gatherings.

Scot

Br. Curt Beardsley said...

I would like to see discussion around, at least, smaller segments of the book. There really is way too much to discuss if we try to encompass the whole tome. Or we could combine the chapters that relate to each other from both parts of the book. That way both the critique and the apologetic would be covered.

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