Can Christianity be progressive?

It can be really hard to know what you are talking about sometimes.

According to all available data, you have this backwards. God was the answer to the yearning for significance, a point around which to rally. I went to Ireland, where you can still see, as if they were built yesterday, the structures and art that brought people together, to the tell story of their significance. And you can see all the people standing around looking at it, dressed from cultures all over the world, wearing religious symbols that hadn’t been conceived of when those structures were built.

You can see that those societies ended. Someone started questioning the leadership, or some climate change caused a crisis, who knows, and the worshippers stopped worshipping. But the need to find significance does not end.

Zoran Josipovic answered this really well in the link I provided with Brian Greene recently. To religion, he says, “God is simultaneously transcendent and imminent in all things.” So, he has looked in to why we believe that and found we have a sense of self, our consciousness AND we have awareness that operates independently, without needing a conscious thought to make it be aware, it doesn’t interpret, it’s like a mirror. Awareness doesn’t recognize itself directly. He concludes, “So it experiences itself as a subject who is having experience and so from that perspective spirituality and spiritual beliefs are our consciousness trying to find itself.”

1 Like

My apologies for opacity. I’m used to my best mate and best man Dominic reading my mind. Three and a half years ago, as I’ve probably said elsewhere on this site, on my wife’s 60th birthday garden party, I met an old friend of hers, a teacher of headteachers. Brilliant guy. Working class genius, the best sort. He knew we were ‘religious’ as he instantly got down to ‘I hear you’re religious’. What really bugged him was that I agreed with everything he said apart from the fallacy of meaning I read in to the order of the universe. Until his next sentence: ‘Order does not imply meaning’. The truth of that was immediate. I need to get out more obviously. Despite it taking a year or so for its impact on other fallacies to sink in. And it didn’t matter as I still had the sublime imprimatur of divine intelligence in the Pericope Adulterae, which is so profound for 30 AD that I could not see how a priestly class made it up - as he did. Until I read that one needs to add another 400 years to the date. Always read the small print eh? Even he hadn’t. It’s always been known of course. Now all I have as sublime is Christ standing mute before Pilate and Herod.

Furthering the Socratic dialogue, we’re both right. God is the answer we make up in the yearning for significance. Up to and rationally including God in Christ.

I like it. But it’s actually deeper, more phenomenological than the transcendence the religious have in mind. The raw desire not to cease to exist, to snuff out in oblivion, not to die oxymoronically as if we’d never been.

You bet it does! It is called “empathy”, and “love of life”, and “being one with nature”

Did Pagans attain transcendence? You bet they did!

You have just touched on the hubris of religion. The subjective belief of knowing “Truth” in transcendence.

1 Like

transcendence = “Transcendence is the quality of being able to go beyond normal limits or boundaries.”

I think you’re missing the point.
Seems to me, it’s not about attaining some spiritual connection with nature, a la new age, or such.

It’s about realizing, that Earth’s Evolution is an actual factual reality, it’s about realizing that these folds within folds of harmonic complexity actually means something. Deeply appreciating that within myself there are direct roots to achievements hundreds of millions even billions of years ago. Learning about and understanding and outline of those various folds within folds, that’s emotionally satisfying, so it’s worth it just for that, … but there is more.

It’s about truly, deeply, viscerally, grasping that your brain and sense of self, evolved out of the mammalian animal brain and their sense of self, which in turn evolved out of an earlier brain and sense of self, with it’s roots in even more primitive ways of sensing/processing/acting.

The transcendence is not the object, it’s the learning and accumulating an understanding of the flowing complexity. Then as that journey matures the transcendence happens, as a result of all the accumulating mass of facts and understanding coming together into a cohesive harmonic whole that makes sense.

I think that’s when the visceral sense of connection emerges. Is that transcendence? I don’t know but it feels good.

The fun thing is, this emergent holistic understanding affords an inner sense of solidity and belonging that goes way beyond what manmade promises can ever offer, even beyond the confines of my life. Isn’t that what people keep searching for?

(7.01) An Alternative Philosophical Perspective - “ Earth Centrism

(7.02) Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

(7.03) Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution

(7.04) It’s not a “ Body-Mind problem ” it’s an “ Ego-God problem .”

Being able to not just say, but feel that: “I am an element in the pageant of evolution”

1 Like

Are you saying that is


I’d have to go back and review that parable to comment any more, other than saying, generally, I’m not that amazed by 1st century philosophy. I have yet to find anything that wasn’t “discovered” in more than one place. If it had been written in 30AD and nowhere else, and we could trace the actual author and there was some story about a bright light, and then everyone who heard it was transformed, and it was passed on, and the next generation who heard it was also this amazing compassionate group of people who went on to change the world, well, that’d be a good start, but that’s not what happened. It’s never what happens, with any writing, anywhere.

"I am the incarnation of 4 billion years of evolution"


An incarnation of someone is the act or process by which that person comes to be in his present form.


The transcendent act or process by which two persons come together and become expressed in a new form.

Fall is always good for me, when I simply enjoy the colors, then let my mind regress into all the cause and effect that created that.


What are solstices and equinoxes?

To put it simply, solstices and equinoxes are points of transition between seasons.

They mark key stages in the astronomical cycle of the earth (all about the earth’s axis and orbit around the sun).

The Met Office describes these as follows: "The dates of the equinox and solstice aren’t fixed due to the earth’s elliptical orbit of the sun.

"The earth’s orbit around the sun means that in early January, the sun is closest (known as perihelion) and in early July it is most distant (aphelion).

“On the autumn equinox, day and night are of roughly equal length and the nights will become increasingly longer than the days, until the spring equinox when the pattern is reversed.”

It also marks the time of year when the northern hemisphere begins to tilt away from the sun, resulting in less direct sunlight and consequently the cooling temperatures.

And the miracle of ageing and renewal begins.


Of course. What else? Afterlife. Eternal life. And I’m missing nowt.

But we do have an eternal afterlife !!!

Just not in the same pattern. And that is where the fallacy originates, the unattainable hope to somehow keep existing as we are today . But NOTHING does!

When the end comes for this body and mind , there is nothing. But there will always be a metamorphosis into a whole new existence. Nothing ends, there is only change!

It would be an oxymoron to die as if you never existed since death is the end of existing. I think you mean some “ultimate” sense of existing, which I don’t care about. I’ve exchanged molecules with all sorts of stuff, and death will be my final act of that.

1 Like

But only in that form. You may come back as part of a beautiful flower living in symbiosis with honeybees or become part of a bouquet that lover presents to his dearest.
That is the potential (implicate order) and promise contained in the laws of probability

We can kid ourselves, but death, including living death, is the end.

Only for our minds. “You” cease to exist, your parts are recycled… :microbe:

Australia has a Sea of Faith too (started by Don Cupitt), but this one is the U.K. one. The U.S. has a group started by John Shelby Spong, but I have to look up that link and I think it is called Progressive Christianity. Anyway, I think these groups apply to the topic at hand because they are progressive. I found out about these group as I was “losing faith in faith”, as Dan Barker would say, so I didn’t get too deep into it.

Such a comfort! I’ll be useful at last. My son says he’s going to have me turned in to cat litter.