!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> Emerging Women .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Tuesday Book Discussion: The Faith Club
Welcome to EW's Tuesday Book Discussion. I wanted to pose a couple of questions for you from the discussions for us as well as a couple of quotes that resounded for me in my reading.

First, the questions:

1. Are all religions equal?

2. Do all religions address the same God?

3. Is it okay to participate in a religious holiday of a religion other than your own?

4. Is it possible to separate religion from politics?

Next, what does the following quotation mean to you?

"Knowledge is finding out something for oneself with pain, with joy, with exultancy, with labor, and with all the little ticking, breathing moments of our lives." Thomas Wolfe

Lastly, after reading the below quotation, reflect on a moment that served as a formation moment in your life.

"We have two or three great moving experiences in our lives - experiences so great and moving that it doesn't seem at the time that anyone else has been caught up and pounded and dazzled and astonished and beaten and broken and rescued and illuminated and rewarded and humbled in just that way ever before." F. Scott Fitzgerald
posted by One Voice of Many at 8:29 AM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 9/25/2007 10:03:00 AM, Blogger Rick

    Mind if I borrow the questions on my site? Always looking for great prompts and conversation starters. Great questions.

  • At 9/25/2007 10:35:00 AM, Blogger Julie

    Wow that first question is loaded.

    Are all religions equal?

    Does that mean all religions are equally worthy of respect? That all religions are a path to salvation? That all religions contain truth?... I think the answer really depends on what "equal" means.

  • At 9/25/2007 11:40:00 AM, Blogger One Voice of Many

    Rick - sure. The questions and quotations are public domain anyway.

    Julie - I'm not sure what "equal" is intended to be in the question. It came from the end of book discussion questions. I'll climb out on a limb and say that the question is asking, "Are all religions equal in the sense of being different paths to same God".

  • At 9/25/2007 12:03:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Kwon

    I like the what Pete Rollins says about his religion vs. other people's religions: 'I don't know about other people's religions, but I am certain mine is wrong.' This almost the converse of looking for truth in all "other" religions, in that it focuses on owning the limitations of knowledge and imperfect theology of one's own religion rather than dwelling on the perceived faults and shortcomings evident in someone else's faith.

  • At 9/25/2007 12:30:00 PM, Blogger Rick

    Thanks - I like the "I'm sure mine is wrong" stance. My answer's along the line, "why do you ask?" :)

  • At 9/25/2007 12:38:00 PM, Blogger One Voice of Many

    I'll try and form my thoughts on the questions and quotes.

    1. Julie pointed out that we're not even sure what is meant by "equal" in this question. Poor choice of questions in hindsight.
    The whole comparison of religions is such a sticky subject as it is the life-blood of the individual that is up for discussion. I can be sure that condemnation should not be directed toward different religions than our own. I think they're equal in the sense that people are trying to search for that missing piece. Methods are different and terminology may differ but we're all pretty much groping around in the dark.

    2. Abraham was credited for having faith before God was called God. If there is only ONE God, how could not all religions not ultimately lead to the same God? Again, terminology and characteristic opinions might differ, but that ultimate "something" would be the same result. Ok, maybe not for Satanists, but that should go without saying.

    3. I think that it would be ok to participate in a religious holiday other than my own. I have to admit that I would most likely have to deal with concerns of betraying some sort of loyalty to Christian traditions. That in itself makes me chuckle because, lately, I haven't been quite loyal to Christianity anyway. Something about doing something outside of what my life experience has been thus far feels risky and disloyal. Although, rationally, I don't think it's wrong.

    4. I don't know if this is possible or not. I think that it should be the goal, at least.

    The quote from Thomas Wolfe jumped out at me as I read last night and I thought immediately of this group and other groups of people that are searching for redefinition of life and doctrine and relationships.
    This 'finding out something for oneself' is what emergent is about. I ask myself often, "why am I even trying to sort of this stuff out?!" This quote reminded me of the reason - we're each searching and seeking because through our struggles of understanding, if we ever do "get it", will provide a solid foundation on which to stand and say "this is what I believe".

    The Fitzgerald quote - I'm still reflecting on that. It's hard to nail down specifics but I know that I've struggled through things and thought that surely no one else has had the same horribly glorious experience that I had experienced.

  • At 9/26/2007 04:39:00 AM, Blogger lisa

    these are all good thoughts. it's so easy for us to forget that god is found in the "other." god shows up in the least expected places, and therefore must be sought in the "other."

    instead of warning people that they are being "led astray" (as evangelicals are so quick to do), why can't we realize that the other may be experiencing god in a way that we have never known?

  • At 9/27/2007 06:14:00 AM, Blogger Jemila Kwon

    I like the quotes. As far as the Fitzgerald one goes, I feel like my life is an ongoing poignant process of formation. Different crucibles and searing, uplifting beauty for different times." As Helen Keller wrote, 'Life is either a great adventure or nothing at all.' I wonder who I will be?

  • At 9/29/2007 02:30:00 AM, Blogger Kimberly

    I have just returned from Morocco, where, while sitting at a nomad camp in the Sahara Desert, I listened to my husband have an interesting discussion with a Muslim businessman. It was long, but the crux of it went something like this:
    Abdul, "It is good to get out of the city. In the city a man feels big, like he is the center of the world. But in the desert, a man feels small. I think it is good for a man to remember that he is small".
    Mike, "Yes, and in the desert, or on the ocean, a man is small, but Allah is big. A mystery. We are humbled in the desert. We are humbled when we look at the ocean. This is a good thing".
    Abdul, "My friend, this is good...very good".
    Maybe we get confused with equating God with religion, when really religion is just man's attempt at understanding God, who is so much bigger than anything man can create. (So I'm pretty sure religion can be separated from politics, but not God). Like the conversation above, I find grains of truth, grains of the message of Jesus, in every religion, mixed in with their own misinterpretations, just like my own (I like that Peter Rollins quote). So why not just be a Buddhist? I looked into it. I haven't been to church in three years. I have been trying to find God/Jesus outside of structured Christianity. The thing of it is, that more than any time in my life, I have come to love and respect Jesus and his message. There's nothing else like it. Full of grace and wholeness. Everywhere I go, I find him already there, so I choose to still say that I am a follower of Christ--anywhere I find him. I really wondered if I'd find him in Muslim Morocco...but of course, the whole place is saturated with His presence. Don't know why it still surprises me.

  • At 9/29/2007 08:26:00 AM, Blogger One Voice of Many

    Kimberly - good story. Thank you for sharing it!

    Thanks to everyone for your participation in this week's discussion. I enjoyed the different view points of this book and it all came at a good time for me. It's amazing to step back and realize God is God regardless of which religion is pursuing Him.

  • At 10/10/2007 01:09:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Kwon

    Kimberly, I love the perspectives you bring!


Links to this post:

Create a Link