Advent Book Group 2012

If you have an overwhelming urge to explore the weightier theological ideas, this is the place to seek fellow-travellers.
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Jae
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Advent Book Group 2012

Post by Jae » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:08 pm

Josie thank you very much for your posting ... I am so glad that you and others have enjoyed and gotten so much out of the book.

Your responses to the chapters found me smiling and saying to myself, 'yes I thought that!' ... always a comfort lol

I really liked the way you described at the end how you are being 'transformed' and empathised with how hard it is to convey this to others around you .... but they will see ... and wonder ... and then maybe ask :thumbs:
In the triumph of prayer
Twofold is the spell.
With the folding of hands
There's a spreading of wings
And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands
And ineffable peace .....

Evelyn Underhill <><

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Jae
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Advent Book Group 2012

Post by Jae » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:10 pm

We have our last meeting tonight which looks at the final part 'Epilogue'

I'll leave posting the excerpt to give everyone a chance to read all the new posts from the last few days and post it in the next day or two.

Please do continue to add your thoughts and responses.

Hopefully see you tonight at 8pm ... as always do come along even if you haven't read all of the book or don't want to contribute but just listen :)
In the triumph of prayer
Twofold is the spell.
With the folding of hands
There's a spreading of wings
And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands
And ineffable peace .....

Evelyn Underhill <><

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Joyce
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Advent Book Group 2012

Post by Joyce » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:17 pm

Josie, thank you very much for going to so much trouble to review the book and to align some of its information with your own experiences. I very much enjoyed reading your thoughts and comments.
I became a science fiction fan as a child,partly through being able to appreciate some of it from my ideas of Heaven and Bible reading. The reverse of what you found. :)
I wouldn't have used the words 'another dimension' or 'parallel universe' when I was six or so but to me Heaven was like another, invisible world just in the next room. I also accepted that it was above the sky,which I thought was solid, like a ceiling, but penetrable. I thought the soul was held within the middle part of the body,which could escape by death or some other means. I can well see how a love of SF helps the Bible make sense to you as a new reader.
BBC Wales' productions,although Russell T. Davies claims to be an atheist,( sorry, RTD if I'm mixing you up with another of the writers ) often draw on Biblical ideas. The scripts show a lot of reading, even if it's been rejected. One of the reasons I like their batch of SF programmes so much is that they use real, British English in a way so many of our other drama writers have stopped doing,by the way.They have the characters discussing moral issues too, from time to time.
One of my favourite lines,not relevant here I suppose, is when Captain Jack says in response to a query about whether the quality of stolen communion wine will be acceptable to the 1920s bootleggers,' It's the blood of Christ, Emilio. It's good enough.'

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Emle
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Advent Book Group 2012

Post by Emle » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:12 pm

That is a super account Josie :flowerface:

I only came on to check the time for our meeting tonight and now I am surrounded by my own notes and books LOL ..thank you so much for taking the time to write :)
See you later :thumbs:

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Josie
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Post by Josie » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:38 pm

Thank you for the lovely comments everyone. I have to admit I'm mentally drained now and stunned I wrote all that. I doubt I'll make it to the meeting tonight. I'm really fighting the run away and hide impulse.

<3 xxx lots of love and more thanks xxx
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

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Jennifer
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Post by Jennifer » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Please, please, please don't run away and hide Josie, your account was superb, I also very much enjoyed reading your thoughts and comments., it has helped me immensly(it was not too long either). :hug:

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Jae
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Post by Jae » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:26 pm

don't forget you can just come and 'feel the love' ... you absolutely don't need to say anything, but it's fine if you don't :hug:
In the triumph of prayer
Twofold is the spell.
With the folding of hands
There's a spreading of wings
And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands
And ineffable peace .....

Evelyn Underhill <><

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truthseeker
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Advent Book Group 2012

Post by truthseeker » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:57 pm

josie, how sad if you don't come; come, because you felt the inspiration from the book and you can bless the live-chat more with that; your writing is amazing, girl.

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Ros
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Post by Ros » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:46 pm

Josie, thank you so much for posting. Having been unable to take part in the discussions, I have been longing for someone to post their responses to the book. And now you have. Thank you :)

Thanks, too, to Jennifer for posting the link to the video. I watched it two nights ago. With Josie's help, it has finally inspired me to get the book. I've just ordered it :reading:

Lots of things stood out to me in what you wrote, Josie, but here are just two of them:
So it surprised me to read that it's quite general that angels are not often talked about.
I think it's true that angels aren't often talked about in church. However, I've heard them talked about by all sorts of folk here in Glastonbury. Also, I'm thinking one doesn't have to hunt very hard in cyberspace to find them. Perhaps it's just a case of knowing where to look.
Something else I have a hard time with is the "earthly things are bad, spiritual things are good" idea. God made us, gave us these bodies.
According to John, God did even more than that:

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

For me, the idea that God saw fit to come and dwell in a human body blows away any notion that bodies are unholy, ungodly, unspiritual creations. On the contrary, they look like being very special indeed :)

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Joyce
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Post by Joyce » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:51 am

Ros wrote:
Something else I have a hard time with is the "earthly things are bad, spiritual things are good" idea. God made us, gave us these bodies.
According to John, God did even more than that:

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

For me, the idea that God saw fit to come and dwell in a human body blows away any notion that bodies are unholy, ungodly, unspiritual creations. On the contrary, they look like being very special indeed :)
Hear hear ! Well said,Ros and Truthseeker.

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Josie
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Post by Josie » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:19 pm

Sorry I didn't make it. The bairn didn't settle until ten past eight and I couldn't come in late ;) xxx

To go back to what Joyce was saying, I was torn for a time about reviewing the books on my shelves after someone pointed out that some of them were really about witchcraft. I'd not considered that and just saw them as fantasy. But now I see them as a possible gateway to reading the bible, so long as we're aware of the difference between what's potential fact and pure fiction and keep an open mind.

(Also <3 Captain Jack, though Miracle Day really gave me nightmares ;) )

Ros, I hadn't considered thinking of it that way. Just that He came and went through it all to save us. A comforting thought I'll certainly think on.

:cross: :flowerface: xxx
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

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Joyce
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Post by Joyce » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:50 pm

Josie, I agree that so long as one knows the difference between fiction and a book of instructions, it's fine to enjoy books - or TV or radio - about more or less anything. Witchcraft, contacting the dead, black magic,murder and bank robbery are all sinful. So are adultery,fornication, drunken driving and covetousness. What a dull world of literature it would be without them though. Sane people can suspend disbelief while reading or playing a game and come to no harm. Harry Potter,for instance, if read properly is framed so as to discourage from dabbling any adolescent who emulated him.
I would love to walk into my attic,say, 'Mr Smith, I need you,' and get the answer to every problem in the universe. It would be fun to have a son who was manufactured at the age of 15 by aliens plus a genius artificial dog and an enormously wealthy deceased aunt. Of course, I'd need the assistance of a retired brigadier, an elusive time lord and four surprisingly co-operative teenagers to help me fight threats to the planet or rescue me from alternative realities, not to mention my own stupidity.
However, I know it's not going to happen and that it never could.No amount of wishing can change that. Nor is a billionaire played by Anthony Andrews going to mistake The Trickster for an angel and fall in love with me.
If fiction and fantasy is the sort of thing that prepares the mind for possibilities, it can lead someone into the realm of prayer and the Kingdom. For the life of the spirit, no suspension of disbelief is necessary. Belief in the wonders of the universe can be given full rein.

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Josie
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Post by Josie » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:50 pm

Joyce, you win the internet.

xxxx <3
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

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Jae
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Post by Jae » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Week 6:
Epilogue ….. so what?

One of the questions that I find many people want to ask about the questions theologians love to consider is ‘so what?’ In other words, what difference would it make to me if I listened to what you have said and put it into practice? Of course, the slightly annoying answer to this is that only you will know once you have done so.

The lived-out expression of theological ideas can only be understood and lived to its utmost in the lives of individuals, and only individuals can say what a difference it makes. Nevertheless I acknowledge that such an answer is not good enough, and so at the end of this book I want to take some time to reflect on what a difference I think a vibrant theology of heaven makes to everyday life.

We can begin with an obvious point, which is that if we accept the biblical view that heaven is not primarily about what happens to me when I die but is, instead, about God’s dwelling place in heaven, then the immediate impact of it is much stronger.

If heaven is only about what happens to me when I die, then it is pushed off into the future, to the point when I begin to think more deeply about death.

If heaven is as much a reality as earth, then it affects all parts of our lives, all the time.

Believing in heaven is the ultimate rebellion against the idea that this world is all there is. Believing in heaven allows us to catch a glimpse not just of the world as it is, but of the world as it might be.’



415833_beam_of_light.jpg


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the triumph of prayer
Twofold is the spell.
With the folding of hands
There's a spreading of wings
And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands
And ineffable peace .....

Evelyn Underhill <><

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Jae
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Advent Book Group 2012

Post by Jae » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:28 pm

Hi everyone

Above is the last excerpt for our Advent book group ... there are no reflective questions with this but please do post any final thoughts or questions :thumbs:

Thank you so much to everyone who came along to the group meetings and to everyone who posted and to everyone who just read, all of this makes a book group really interesting and worthwhile.

Apologies again for the weeks that I couldn't get online, but it was wonderful to see that the 'conversation' and exploration and thinking carried on ... I think this has been our liveliest and most searching book group yet and that is down to you ... thank you !

love and blessings

Jae :lovedrops:
In the triumph of prayer
Twofold is the spell.
With the folding of hands
There's a spreading of wings
And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands
And ineffable peace .....

Evelyn Underhill <><

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Emle
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Advent Book Group 2012

Post by Emle » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:45 pm

Thank you Jae for organising this and selecting such a good book. :angel:

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book group and thank everyone involved for making it so interesting and encouraging me to dig deeper into my own thoughts on the subject matter.

I hope we meet again sometime :reading: but I understand these groups do not just happen they take a lot of preparation and folllow up each week and for that we are truly indebted to Jae :flowerface: :lovedrops: :choc: :tea:

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Joyce
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Advent Book Group 2012

Post by Joyce » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:45 pm

I agree with Emie.

When's the next one ? :)

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Pam
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Post by Pam » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:55 pm

It was a great choice of book, very challenging but with so much in it.

There's no particular plan for book groups Joyce - they happen when someone proposes them and sets them up and has the time to lead meetings. It's been great that Jae and Peter between them have run groups in Advent and Lent over the last few years but that pattern isn't set in stone.

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truthseeker
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Post by truthseeker » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:38 pm

I enjoyed the discussion bit too and the fact we had opportunity to participate in something i-church provides for.

i have a little ask, Pam: it is an idea, not about a book group, but something like that. Why don't we do Bible topics or Bible books discussions, so everybody can participate; Or we can discuss questions and matters of faith in the same manner?

of course they are message boards, but i suppose many people might be interested actually to participate in live chats centered around certain topics? - something like online house group.

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Beth
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Advent Book Group 2012

Post by Beth » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:49 pm

Thanks for arranging the book group Jae. I enjoyed the chapters I read and the sessions I attended. I haven't yet finished the book, but I'm working on that. :thumbs:

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