Missio Dei Community

God & Religion


The past month or so we’ve started going through some materials called Animate FAITH in our Village environment.
Each week there is a short 10 minute video introducing an idea and stirring up some questions.
Each week the thought is brought by a different leader in the Christian Faith.
We’ve had a solid group getting together for these and the video is followed by really good discussion.

I wanted to toss out a couple of resources for further study on the stuff we’ve talked about and I’ll try to do so more diligently in future weeks so it’s here for reflection following the topics.
So here’s a quick recap and some resources.

Week 1: God

Brian McClaren was the speaker for week 1.
He introduced the greater concept of God and invited us to see Faith as a quest.
We talked about the different images for God and the difference in understanding God from a kataphatic or apophatic perspective.

Interesting article about how children get their ideas of God: Young Children’s Descriptions of God: Influences of Parents and Teachers
In regard to thinking about faith as a quest, there are several writers who have illustrated the life of faith this way. 2 classic writings that are available for free online are  Paul Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Dante’s The Divine Comedy.

Week 2: Religion

Lillian Daniel shared some thoughts in week 2.
This one brought a wide variety of opinions.  She wasn’t as liked in our group as Brian was, but it definitely got us talking!
She suggests that we can’t pick and choose what we want to believe from her and there, but rather need to choose a tradition and root ourselves in it.  She suggests that being “spiritual but not religious” is kinda ridiculous.

For starters, here is an online devotional she wrote in 2011 that went viral and introduces this idea: Spiritual but not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me.
Believe it or not, there is actually a website – SBNR.org – and you can read more about the topic in this article: “Spiritual But Not Religious.”
In terms of being rooted in the Christian faith while still learning from other traditions, St. Augustine says in his writing, On Christian Doctrine (II.40.60):

if those who are called philosophers, and especially the Platonists, have said anything that is true and in harmony with our faith, we are not only not to shrink from it, but to claim it for our own use from those who have unlawful possession of it.”


A couple thoughts. Doesn’t capture much of the conversation, but a few things for those who came to check out further if you wanna.
Looking forward to meeting together again this week to talk about Jesus with Mark Scandrette.

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