American Heresies

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American Heresies

Postby Sandy » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:52 am

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Re: American Heresies

Postby Dave Roberts » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:09 am

Douthat is pretty much on target. Too bad most Southern Baptists won't read it.
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Re: American Heresies

Postby Haruo » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:14 am

Interesting little article; I might want to read the book. I don't think I have any particular inclination to the first two heresies there, but I am probably 95% into the third one. After all, I came (back) to God and Christ not through Christian preaching or the Bible, but through my personal experience of divine intervention within me, and was nurtured in the context of AA, and specifically of Fremont Hall, where I was shown a wide variety of spiritualities that seemed to be working.
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Re: American Heresies

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:36 am

Haruo wrote:Interesting little article; I might want to read the book. I don't think I have any particular inclination to the first two heresies there, but I am probably 95% into the third one. After all, I came (back) to God and Christ not through Christian preaching or the Bible, but through my personal experience of divine intervention within me, and was nurtured in the context of AA, and specifically of Fremont Hall, where I was shown a wide variety of spiritualities that seemed to be working.


Like you I don't think I'm inclined to either of the first two. But I do have a strong personal experience with Christ that guides my connection to the wider Christian tradition. I've heard Baptists preach for years about the importance of having a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ" and John Wesley preached often about the need for assurance of salvation. So for me faith is both internal and external at the same time. Personal faith and social faith not just one or the other.
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Re: Haruo's Heresies

Postby Haruo » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:27 pm

Well, I too have a strong experience of God's activity in my life that took root at a time when I still didn't believe in God, let alone in Jesus. I certainly don't think that I did it. But I don't assume on that basis the divine inspiration of a particular canon of Scripture, and I value scripture mainly for its supportive role, not its regulatory one. And I certainly don't believe, some people's way of reading certain sentences by Paul notwithstanding, that only Christians are or can be or will be saved. I don't see that as wishy-washiness in soteriology, or treason, or anything, but as a very deep faith in the determination of God to save all that is worth saving. (And I believe all life contains that which is worth saving, so I have faith in God's willingness and ability (omnipotence and all) to effect that salvation.) Now what the general adoption of my viewpoint might mean in terms of support for SBC (or ABC for that matter) International Missions is another question. I don't expect large numbers of Baptists to adopt my viewpoint, and I don't spend a lot of time trying to get them to, but I do think it's worthwhile, occasionally, to recount my "experience, strength and hope" as we say in AA so that those who might find solace or hope in it may do so. This was why I recounted my April Fool's Day "sermon" in another thread here, I was surprised it drew no comment, pro or con, as the exact same post on FB received tons of feedback, mostly very positive.
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Re: Haruo's Heresies

Postby Haruo » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:38 pm

If you haven't previously done so, and are interested in understanding "where I am coming from" on matters of God and scripture, you would do well to read "My Burning Bush", a "sermon" I delivered in an evening service at Fremont Baptist in the late 1990s, i.e. prior to my last cigarette. unfortunately in the collapse of Geocities, not all of the MIDI files survived.
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Re: American Heresies

Postby Sandy » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:43 pm

One of the more distinctive doctrinal points of Quakers is the concept of "that of God within." It's drawn from the belief that being created in the image of God makes it possible for God to dwell within the human soul, not in the way that the heresy describes it, but as the creator relates to his creation. Whether acknowledged or not, there is "that of God within" every human being.
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Re: Haruo's Heresies

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:23 pm

Haruo wrote:If you haven't previously done so, and are interested in understanding "where I am coming from" on matters of God and scripture, you would do well to read "My Burning Bush", a "sermon" I delivered in an evening service at Fremont Baptist in the late 1990s, i.e. prior to my last cigarette. unfortunately in the collapse of Geocities, not all of the MIDI files survived.


I’ll check it out Haruo. I support an inclusionist soteriology. I’m not a universalist. But I do believe that God can redeem people who aren’t Christians. Some of the reformers supported the understanding as well. What keeps me from universalism is my strong belief in free will.

The author’s argument that you have to have an exclusionist theology to send missionaries is a false argument. A lot of denominations send missionaries who hold more inclusionist theologies. We are there to share the love of God, not just make sure you bought into our franchise.
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Re: American Heresies

Postby James » Sat May 26, 2018 11:35 am

In the 1950s, some Billy Graham fans were circulating the idea that Americans had replaced the Hebrews (Jews) as God's chosen people. This sparked the conclusion that the USA is now the only legitimate super-power. We would be top dog. All other nations would survive on our left-overs. I'm not sure this "gospel" was ever formalized, but as I read the article here, I got the sense that these current heresies could be traced back to the 50s if not earlier.
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Re: American Heresies

Postby Dave Roberts » Sat May 26, 2018 11:53 am

James wrote:In the 1950s, some Billy Graham fans were circulating the idea that Americans had replaced the Hebrews (Jews) as God's chosen people. This sparked the conclusion that the USA is now the only legitimate super-power. We would be top dog. All other nations would survive on our left-overs. I'm not sure this "gospel" was ever formalized, but as I read the article here, I got the sense that these current heresies could be traced back to the 50s if not earlier.


In the 1950's, Robert McAfee Brown did a book called, as best I remember, "The Writings of St. Hereticus." One of the heresies to which he gave a lot of attention was what he called, "Americianity." Guess we still have a lot of that. Sorry I can't lay my hands on the book.
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Re: Haruo's Heresies

Postby KeithE » Sat May 26, 2018 12:51 pm

Haruo wrote:If you haven't previously done so, and are interested in understanding "where I am coming from" on matters of God and scripture, you would do well to read "My Burning Bush", a "sermon" I delivered in an evening service at Fremont Baptist in the late 1990s, i.e. prior to my last cigarette. unfortunately in the collapse of Geocities, not all of the MIDI files survived.

Thanks for your story. It does show that God can work without any religious institution involved in influencing you. Just the circumstances, God’s leading, and you.

The story is enhanced for me because I know Seattle. So I can picture throwing a Chablis bottle across 45th St onto the UW campus - I lived at 47th St and 16 Ave. Fremont to Capitol Hill hike would take a while. Also the Aurora Bridge was very high as I remember.

I’m not at all sure I can say carte blanche that Douthat’s third heresy (the God-Within theology) is always or even usually a heresy. God speaks to all! He is with-in us whether or not we are listening. Heresy #1 (prosperity gospel) and #2 (nationalism) are truly heresies.
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Re: American Heresies

Postby KeithE » Sat May 26, 2018 1:54 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:
James wrote:In the 1950s, some Billy Graham fans were circulating the idea that Americans had replaced the Hebrews (Jews) as God's chosen people. This sparked the conclusion that the USA is now the only legitimate super-power. We would be top dog. All other nations would survive on our left-overs. I'm not sure this "gospel" was ever formalized, but as I read the article here, I got the sense that these current heresies could be traced back to the 50s if not earlier.


In the 1950's, Robert McAfee Brown did a book called, as best I remember, "The Writings of St. Hereticus." One of the heresies to which he gave a lot of attention was what he called, "Americianity." Guess we still have a lot of that. Sorry I can't lay my hands on the book.


This is no doubt what you had in mind Dave.
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