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Showing posts from July, 2008

Personal Goals for the Next 75 Years:

Memorize the Scripture contained in 7 books of the Bible.I want to climb a mountain.I want to preach in a stadium to a crowd.If the earth is still around, see my great-grandchildren.Be in a movie.Witness to over 100,000 people.See the world: Visit every continent.Continue to grow in my faith.Visit Israel.Visit Egypt, Italy, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Russia, Costa Rica, Vietnam...Live in a Victorian house.Receive a Nobel Peace Prize.Receive an honorary doctorate degree.Get married and have children.Teach.See my god-daughter graduate from high school and college, get married, and have children of her own. Watch her and her family grow up in the faith.Know my friends' children as adults.LIVE - really live life.Be at peace with the movement of life from birth to death and all of the movement in between.Raise my children in the church.Run for President of the United States in at least one state primary/caucus, etc.Be a stay-at-home mom for a while.Love my husband and glow when I t…

Religious Symbols Quote

"Religious symbols point symbolically to that which transcends all of them. But since, as symbols, they participate in that to which they pint, they always have the tendency (in the human mind, of course) to replace that to which they are supposed to point, and to become ultimate in themselves. And in the moment in which they do this, they become idols."

- Paul Tillich in "Religious Language as Symbolic" on page 438 of Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings (Third Edition).

Note: I am not a big fan of Tillich, but this is a good quote to consider.

Salvation

How do I define salvation?

Salvation is the gift of a relationship with God. This relationship is found in Jesus Christ. We are saved in the moment we accept God's gift of grace through faith in Jesus Christ, we are being saved through our relationship with God, and we are saved when we enter our final resting place in the presence of God. In all of this, there is a lot of mystery.

Difference between Fact and Opinion

When it comes to life there are some things that are a matter of opinion and others that are a matter of fact. In order for something to be fact, it does not necessarily require that it is testable, but rather that it is something that could potentially be qualified as true or untrue. For example, I could say "I like the color orange." Now if I like something or don't like something is a matter of my opinion, but the statement "I like the color orange" could be either a true or an untrue statement. In this case, it is not a true statement, I do not like the color orange, thus it is a false fact. My opinion is if I like something, the fact is whether my statement is true or not.

When we begin to discuss matters of faith, we have the potential of confusing fact and opinion. This potential is heightened when we are trying to show respect or understanding in regard to the beliefs of others. Take for example the question of God's existence. Now, some would like t…

What legitimacy is there to "me" focused ministerial training?

I struggle with a ministerial education that is "me" centered. I trust and believe that if we focus our attention on God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the transformative training that is expected through self-reflection will occur, but in a much more profound and meaningful way. If we remain even other-focused, we will be able to more strongly identify our own theological positions and identify what makes "me" me, because we will see our thoughts and beliefs held in comparison to others. But, when we are trained to delve into our own personal spiritual biographies and experiences, we miss out on having a standard by which to compare ourselves and our experiences. Yes, it is by sharing our own stories that we are able to hear other stories, but from where do our own stories gain legitimacy or are tested for erroneous thinking? Perhaps it is by hearing others stories and learning more about God's story (believing that God does have a story apart from my in…