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Christianity: Part 2. Truth. A trans-rational truth is a truth that is so profound that it can’t be fully expressed in words, so it resorts to paradoxes & such things to point to the truth. Trinity.

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  • A trans-rational truth is a truth that is so profound that it can’t be fully expressed in words, so it resorts to paradoxes & such things to point to the truth.
  • We can see in our very own experience a three-in-one experience that is a hint about the Trinity.
not divided
Not Divided
  • This is a third force “which comes from above” and allows us to not be so divided between opposites.
  • Another important change in social structure was the beginning of monasticism, which had its roots in the biblical tradition of time spent in the desert as time spent alone with God.
thomas merton 1915 1968
Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
  • Probably the most famous monk of modern times was the writer and poet Thomas Merton, who was a Trappist monk.
many denominations
Many Denominations
  • The division of Christianity into many different denominations had much more to do with politics, power, and language than it did with theology.
the split
The Split
  • The Eastern Church (known as the Orthodox Church) and the Western Church (known as the Roman Catholic Church) split officially in the year 1054.
thomas aquinas 1225 1274
Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
  • To build bridges and understanding between modern faith and modern reason, a marriage of science and spirituality…..
st francis of assisi 1181 1226
St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
  • Many Christians look to Francis as the most Christ-like human to have lived since the time of Jesus.
the reformation
The Reformation
  • The Reformation was a decisive and “forever-changing” time in Christianity, it was one of many changes leading toward the “modern” mind.
martin luther 1483 1546
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
  • Luther insisted on the principle of sola scriptura, the Bible alone as guide to Christian faith & practice. He felt that salvation by grace through faith was the clear, central message of the scriptures.
church vs secular affairs
Church vs. Secular Affairs
  • Philosophically, he unleashed ideas about individualism & equality that would strongly nurture democracy.
john calvin 1509 1564
John Calvin (1509-1564)
  • Churches known as Reformed, Presbyterian, or Congregational stem from the reform efforts of John Calvin, as did the Puritan movement.
goodbye church of england
Goodbye, Church of England
  • These groups further separated themselves from the Church of England & became known as Puritan, Baptist, Quaker, & Methodist.
building bridges
Building Bridges
  • Over the last 100 years, especially the last 40, there has been a growing Ecumenical movement that has sought to build bridges between the different denominations.
an enriching experience
An Enriching Experience
  • Christians are seeing the advantages of dialogue with other Christians of different groups.
major minor
  • San Francisco is the first major city in the United States to have Christians in the minority.
the first amendment
The First Amendment
  • We seemed to have demonstrated that the “absence of state interference or support need not weaken religion, but can liberate it to flourish.”
growing fast
Growing Fast
  • The Assemblies of God churches are the fastest growing Christian churches in the world.
what is important
What is Important?
  • If you give the people the right and encouragement to read the scriptures in their own languages, they will start to have their own opinions about what’s important & what should be stressed.
growth of christianity in africa
Growth of Christianity in Africa
  • Christianity is a worldwide religion now, and is the fastest growing religion in Africa.
european christianity
European Christianity?
  • In other words, European culture was often seen as not simply the package that Christianity came in, but Christianity itself.
a manifesto
A Manifesto
  • In an era where we take the separation of Church and State as a manifesto of the way things should be, we tend to forget what a novel idea this was and still is.
matteo ricci 1552 1610
Matteo Ricci (1552-1610)
  • Matteo Ricci met the Chinese on an equal level of intellectual respect.
spreading christianity
Spreading Christianity
  • The globalization, which is talked about so often these days, began with this effort to spread Christianity to every area of the world.
encountering jesus
Encountering Jesus
  • We find that Christian history is full of people who have had these encounters with Jesus and then proclaim some message.
the dark side
The Dark Side
  • There is a very dark side to Christianity, not because its teachings are false, but because it has had the opportunity to rule the world.
too radical
Too Radical?
  • Perhaps the message of Jesus was just too radical to be believed and lived.
might makes right
Might Makes Right?
  • When we combine the need to be right with the power to enforce it, no matter what, then we have a very dangerous problem on our hands.
a dangerous combination
A Dangerous Combination
  • Once the problems of the false self were combined with unlimited power, the dark side emerged and has never gone away.
lives transformed
Lives Transformed
  • Imagine the state of the world if 2 billion Christians were living lives transformed by prayer and love into lives of service and compassion.
praying for our enemies
Praying for Our Enemies
  • Jesus taught Christians to love their enemies and pray for those who persecuted them.
easy to criticize
Easy to Criticize
  • It’s easy to criticize institutions & organizations, but they are made up of people like us who have ideals & don’t always live up to them.
no trace
No Trace
  • As with so many of the negativities of Christianity, it is interesting to note that we cannot trace this problem back to Jesus.
galatians 3 28
Galatians 3:28
  • It is made clear: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”
first printed biblical exegesis
First Printed Biblical Exegesis
  • As with so much of Christianity, it seems that how we interpret biblical passages has as much to do with our psychological attitudes as it does with biblical interpretation.
second century christianity
Second Century Christianity
  • By the second century, the most influential sects of the early Jesus movement became extremely misogynistic.
don t worry
Don’t Worry…
  • There are some Christians who feel that ecological concern is unnecessary because “Jesus will be coming back soon”, and then it won’t matter.
  • Witch hunts were almost wholly based on superstition and fear of women, who were considered more open to diabolical influence than men.
  • The liberation movement for women would not bear much fruit until the 20th century.
the christian right
The “Christian Right”
  • Is it a temporary reaction to liberal movements regarding women, or is it here to stay? How will the ideas about women shape American history?
what exactly does it mean
What Exactly Does It Mean?
  • The modern Christian who accepts on faith that “Jesus is God” isn’t always aware that the church spent many centuries trying to figure what that means.