Saturday, October 21, 2006

Provocative Ideas

As you guys read A New Kind of Christian, what has been the most provocative idea that you've encountered so far (whether in a "Wow! I never thought of it like that before." sense or in a "That seems way out there. Are you sure this guy isn't a heretic?" kind of sense.)?

What has challenged your thinking? What has helped you begin to see things in a new way?


gerbmom said...

Um - the first time I read this book almost two years ago it was the different way of looking at hell that seemed the most provocative. It was very difficult for me to wrap my head around. And due to my evangelical upbringing seemed very heretical.
This time around I did notice different things. Syncretism is the one I am mulling over. But I think what hit me the most was how very much I identified with Dan and a lot of what he was going though. Curiosity, fear, denial, anger, being unsettled. My whole world turned upside down two years ago and it took me awhile to regain my equilibrium.
This quote put what I went through in perspective for me, and really helped explain the past year of my life - the part that came several months after the shift in my way of thinking: "depression often accompanies the collapse of a mental map or paradigm; it is a natural and necessary expression of grief, grief over the loss of something perhaps as dear to us as a brother or mother: our world view, our way of seeing life." Indeed. And when that depression hit, it hit hard. Yeah, it was hard to let the old way of seeing things go, and yet I didn't see how seriously it affected me at the time. Now I can look back and see that this played a huge part in the way I was feeling. So, I guess my wow moment was that I had a quite common reaction, and I am not alone in the way it affected me. If I had paid more attention when I read that part I might have expected and understood the feelings I was experiencing.

Brandy said...

I think the most provacative (sp?) idea in the text for me was the idea of combining practices of other faiths with the Christian tradition... I have just been socialized to think that anything of other faiths will send you straight to hell... now i am trying to find the line of what constitutes syncretism vs. what can be used by other faiths to connect spiritually and bring glory to God... i think thats what i found most provacative and what I am still trying to figure out.

A Simple Desultory Phillipic said...

Oooo crap lemme find it.

JROB1972 said...

For me one of the most provocative ideas I came accross in the book was the idea NEO put forth about heaven. He ponders the possibility that heaven and hell are not two sepparate places, but rather one place with radically different reactions to those who arrive depending on how they have led their lives. For instance, a person who lives their life following the next dollar, the next purchase, the next conquest, with no regard to how their actions may affect others, who look down their noses at the poor or the blue collar working man, may not have a postive reaction to a place of infinite love. To this person, being seated next to a homeless man at the Lord's table for eternity may indeed be his own personal hell. I've always struggled with trying to understand what hell is, who goes there, is there actually a place called hell? This version NEO describes has led me to do a lot of thinking on the subject and resonates with me in a way "the burning hell" never has.