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  1. #221
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by sade View Post
    I'm still wondering if I'm a Christian or not. The religious folks including priests say no, everyone else say yes.
    I don't find that so important. Atheist or Lutheran Christian, still an existentialist.
    Well there is such a thing as Christian Existentialism. In fact Existentialism has key roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions.

    Kierkegaard was a Lutheran after all, and so was Tillich I believe.

    May I ask what exact doubts you have concerning whether you're Christian or not? I'd be more than happy to help in that regards.

  2. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Well there is such a thing as Christian Existentialism. In fact Existentialism has key roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions.

    Kierkegaard was a Lutheran after all, and so was Tillich I believe.

    May I ask what exact doubts you have concerning whether you're Christian or not? I'd be more than happy to help in that regards.
    Thank you, it's rarity to get to calmly talk about believes with anyone.
    My main doubts are if my believes may be classified as Christian or more as atheistic, as I'm not certain if a higher power actually exists or not. From his writings, I'd call Kierkegaard more Christian than myself, so I've wondered on.
    We find out once we die, if we do. I don't believe in higher force that directs us through life or looks after us. Yet I do think there may be something, that doesn't get involved in our lives. That there may have been God or something like that involved in the creation of life (but I hold high believes in evolution and science in this regard), that humans aren't the picture of god, we just happened to evolve like this.. I don't find the meaning of life in faith nor God, but that it is meaningless unless we create a meaning for it ourselves, and also that we live good lives whatever it means to the person. And you decide whether to believe in the existence of God or not and that believe is individual. An issue between the person and his/her faith.
    I believe I could say more about this, but right now nothing comes to mind.

  3. #223
    Senior Member Lightyear's Avatar
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    Was brought up as an atheist and never prayed or believed in God once until at the age of 19 I had what I would call a born-again experience and I have been a Christian ever since (8 years now). Don't really belong to a specific denomination but feel my beliefs conincide the most with the Emerging Church movement and guys like Donald Miller.

  4. #224
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by sade View Post
    Thank you, it's rarity to get to calmly talk about believes with anyone.
    No problems. I'm always willing to help others find understanding in such matters - because yes it can be quite confusing.

    My main doubts are if my believes may be classified as Christian or more as atheistic, as I'm not certain if a higher power actually exists or not. From his writings, I'd call Kierkegaard more Christian than myself, so I've wondered on.
    We find out once we die, if we do. I don't believe in higher force that directs us through life or looks after us. Yet I do think there may be something, that doesn't get involved in our lives. That there may have been God or something like that involved in the creation of life (but I hold high believes in evolution and science in this regard), that humans aren't the picture of god, we just happened to evolve like this.. I don't find the meaning of life in faith nor God, but that it is meaningless unless we create a meaning for it ourselves, and also that we live good lives whatever it means to the person. And you decide whether to believe in the existence of God or not and that believe is individual. An issue between the person and his/her faith.
    I believe I could say more about this, but right now nothing comes to mind.
    You seem to sympathise with a more Deistic conept of God, as opposed to the personal God of Christian tradition. Although the notion that the decision to believe in God or not on the individual level seems to Christian influenced.

    As for evolution, I will make note that much of the Christian community adheres to the concept of "Theistic evolution" - which as the name states is a theistic interpretation of the evolutionary process.

    That certainly is a peculiar set of beliefs you have there, one which is not easily classified. In other words, you're a typical INFJ.

    As for doubts about being Christian, I'll leave you with the words of the French writer Francois Rene de Chateaubriand :

    "As it grew, my religious conviction has devoured my other convictions, (but) in this world there is no more believing Christian and no more doubting man than I."

  5. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightyear View Post
    Was brought up as an atheist and never prayed or believed in God once until at the age of 19 I had what I would call a born-again experience and I have been a Christian ever since (8 years now). Don't really belong to a specific denomination but feel my beliefs conincide the most with the Emerging Church movement and guys like Donald Miller.
    Congrats on your journey towards discovering God. I too went through an atheist phase before finding God.

    I too have some sympathies towards the Emerging Church movement, although I must confess an ignorance of the works of Donald Miller.

  6. #226
    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I too have some sympathies towards the Emerging Church movement
    You do!? I wouldn't have called that at all. My understanding of the emerging (emergent?) church movement is that it tends to regard a lot of the tradition stuff as irrelevant, and you hardly seem the type to discard traditions.

    Of course--your sympathies might be like mine. I dig a lot of the progressive thought and can totally relate to the impulse that the emergent church movement has at its root (and all the great stuff that is coming out of it--missional living, the notion of building the Kingdom here), but I just don't see the traditions as something irrelevant (for me--my sympathies are such that I understand why someone WOULD find them irrelevant... I just don't).
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  7. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    You do!? I wouldn't have called that at all. My understanding of the emerging (emergent?) church movement is that it tends to regard a lot of the tradition stuff as irrelevant, and you hardly seem the type to discard traditions.
    Well of course no, Im not the type to discard traditions. But I do distinguish between tradition and nostalgia. Tradition is about continuity, dynamism, and creativity.

    This has always been my understanding of the Emerging Church movement, to creatively rediscover the traditions of the faith. This is especially true with those that advocate "Vintage Christianity".

    I perhaps should also note the strong affinities between the Emerging Church's concept of missional living and the teachings of Opus Dei.

  8. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    No problems. I'm always willing to help others find understanding in such matters - because yes it can be quite confusing.

    You seem to sympathise with a more Deistic concept of God, as opposed to the personal God of Christian tradition. Although the notion that the decision to believe in God or not on the individual level seems to Christian influenced.
    It has been awhile since I last took a better look to philosophy so, yes most has been forgotten, and gotten more confusing.
    I went to read about Deism and it sounds like my thoughts. The Christian believes are more scattered around in pieces, than a guideline like deism. The consept of loving and forgiving God from Lutherans is something that I identify with strongly though.. even if God isn't a person in my mind.

    As for evolution, I will make note that much of the Christian community adheres to the concept of "Theistic evolution" - which as the name states is a theistic interpretation of the evolutionary process.

    That certainly is a peculiar set of beliefs you have there, one which is not easily classified. In other words, you're a typical INFJ.
    I keep science and religion as two completely different things, I just didn't want to be associated with intelligent design by any chance.
    Peculiar, yes. Sometimes I even confuse myself. But that's probably typical for an INFJ too.

    As for doubts about being Christian, I'll leave you with the words of the French writer Francois Rene de Chateaubriand :

    "As it grew, my religious conviction has devoured my other convictions, (but) in this world there is no more believing Christian and no more doubting man than I."
    That reminds me of the tinman example that I've come across a few times. Good quote.
    I feel comfortable calling myself a peculiar Christian, as I do feel that I am one.

  9. #229
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    I went for a long time as an atheist as well. It was until about two or three years ago that my disbelief turned into belief. I spent most of my atheism as C.S. Lewis did: "[I was] very angry with God for not existing." I thought believing in God was too optimistic, that religion was an institute to control us and repress us into what they defined as moral.

    Beauty is one of the things that allows me to believe in God. Without God, or any higher being, meaning is absent in everything. I would be a clump of cells whose sense of sight is meaninglessly drawn to the visual perception of another clump of cells. My warm fuzzies would be meaningless internal feelings caused by my meaningless sentiments. I don't believe the world is beautiful without God, and I don't think that I truly found it beautiful until I believed.

    What I hate most is how people classify me as unintelligent, illogical, or intolerant because I am religious. I have been afraid to tell people that I am Catholic because so many people I have encountered assume that means I look down on them, or that I am "stuck in the dark ages." None of this is true, but it won't stop these accusations until I surrender my belief and absolute truths.
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  10. #230
    Senior Member penelope's Avatar
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    That's very interesting... there seem to be an amount of atheists on this forum. I wonder how that corresponds to MBTI type?

    I myself am a Jehovah's Witness. I might be one of the coolest ones ever.

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