Thursday, January 7, 2010

BCUCC Adult Spirituality Group notes (Sunday, 1/3/10, 6th week of Advent)

BCUCC Adult Spirituality Group notes: (Sunday, 1/3/10, 6th week of Advent)

(9 people attended)

Reading : "Close to God's Heart" Focus Scripture: John 1:(1-9), 10-18

Two spiritual concepts were brought up:
1. The rich bounty of our Adult Spirituality Group’s discussion reminded Pastor Dan of his collegiate discussions with his mentors about the eternal nature of Grace upon Grace embodied in Jesus. In recent times, whirlwinds of thought have surrounded theological debates about the Scandal of Particularity. How could it be that a single individual man (Jesus) could be the savior for all men?
2. A related word, “Panentheism” was also brought up for discussion. Panentheism is a constructed word composed of the English equivalents of the Greek terms “pan”, meaning all, “en”, meaning in, and “theism”, meaning God. Panentheism understands God and the world to be inter-related with the world being in God and God being in the world. It offers an increasingly popular alternative to traditional theism and pantheism. Panentheism seeks to avoid both isolating God from the world as traditional theism often does and identifying God with the world as pantheism does. Traditional theistic systems emphasize the difference between God and the world while panentheism stresses God's active presence in the world. Pantheism emphasizes God's presence in the world but panentheism maintains the identity and significance of the non-divine. Anticipations of panentheistic understandings of God have occurred in both philosophical and theological writings throughout history (Hartshorne and Reese 1953; Cooper, 2006). However, a rich diversity of panentheistic understandings has developed in the past two centuries primarily in Christian traditions responding to scientific thought (Clayton and Peacocke 2004).

** Pastor Dan has not resolved this discussion in his entire lifetime. Instead, he has chosen to focus on Jesus as his beam to find God.

Dan noted that Catholics focus a lot on the Holy Spirit as that is what lives. Tuning into Grace is turning down our personal “volume”. It is making God’s reality conscious, not just living on habit and non-purposeful delusions. Grace isn’t what most people think. Grace is a higher wisdom to face and cope what one is facing. True wisdom to face and cope with what we are facing. Supplicating to God in prayer is to center and “let go and let God.”

I was enthralled by the group’s discussion! :)

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