Breathing Under Water, Ch. 2

Chapter 2- Desperate Desiring
(Rohr is discussing how 12 Step programs are similar to the Christian faith and spirituality)

“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”  Step  2 of AA

Religion is lived by people who are afraid of hell. Spirituality is lived by people who have been through hell.

The innocuous mental belief systems of much religion are probably the major cause of atheism in the world today.

Religion either produces the very best people or the very worst.

I think your heart needs to be broken, and broken open, at least once to have a heart at all or to have a heart for others.

Most head churches do not touch the heart, most heart churches do not bother with the head, and almost all of them ignore the body as if of no account.


Books, Books, and More Books

Having two Library Sales sandwiched around my birthday has led to buying too many books.  Well, there are just too many good ones that I hope to read; and someday I may not have any money to buy books so I am storing up.

First, some fiction:

American Supernatural Tales:  anthology that includes Bloch, Bradbury, Lovecraft, King, Shirley Jackson, etc.
Yiddish Short Stories

Non-fiction, non-religious (not irreligious, mind you):

This is your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin(seems to be a neat combo of neurology and music)
Writing on Both Sides of the Brain by Henriette Anne Klauser ( I wonder if she is German.  the chapter on procrastination was worth more than the $1 I paid for the book)
The World of Caffeine


St Teresa of Avila by Medwick
Soul Work by Randy Harris
Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity by Whitmire
Not a Fan
Repenting of Religion by Greg Boyd
Down to the River to Pray by John Mark Hicks
A Gathered People by JMH +
Bonhoeffer Bio by Metaxas (for $10 !!)
In God We Don’t Trust by David Bercot

Now if I only had some time to read!

Trying to finish “Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes” by Bailey, hope to get back into Sherlock, and started “Forgotten God” by Chan and Bercot’s book comparing the Founding Fathers/colonials to Scripture.

What are you reading?

More from TMoaCN–Religion of American Democracy

I was planning on going chapter by chapter, but this quote is fascinating and helpful.  I am curious about your thoughts.

The Religion of American Democracy

“Like all religions, this religion has its own distinctive, theologized, revisionist history (for instance, the “manifest destiny” doctrine whereby God destined Europeans to conquer the land)…

It has its own distinctive message of salvation (political freedom)…

it’s own “set apart” people group (America and its allies)…

its own creed (we hold these truths to be self-evident”)…

its own distinctive enemies (all who resist freedom and who are against America)…

its own distinctive symbol (the flag)…

its own distinctive god (the nation deity we are “under,” who favors our causes and helps us win our battles)…

This nationalistic religion co-opts Christian rhetoric, but it in fact has nothing to do with real Christianity, for it has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God.”

(Gregory A. Boyd, p. 150)

Okay, that gives me chills (in a bad way, not a cool way).  Some of you won’t get it.  That’s okay.  Just be challenged and think about it.

BTW–My sunday night sermon 3 American Myths is HERE is you can stomach it.

Myth of a Christian Nation–Chapter 1

That’s, “The Myth of a Christian Nation” in case you were confused by the title. Chapter 1 is “The Kingdom of the Sword.”  More quotes:

“There have been democratic, socialist, communist, fascist, and totalitarian verions of the kingdom of the world, but they all share this distinctive characteristic:  they exercise “power over” people.” (18)

“Laws, enforced by the sword, control behavior but cannot change hearts.” (18)

“…we must never forget that even the best political ideology lies under the influence of a “power over” cosmic ruler who is working at cross-purposes to God.” (22)

“So as long as people locate their worth, significance, and security in their power, possessions, traditions, reputations, religious behaviors, tribe, and nation rather than in a relationship with their Creator, Babylon’s bloody tit-for-tat game is inevitable.” (26)

“The hope of this world lies in a kingdom that is not of this world, a kingdom that doesn’t participate in tit for tat, a kingdom that operates with a completely different understanding of power.”  (27)

On Peter cutting off the servants ear and Jesus healing him (Luke 22:50-51): “Jesus…showing that his kingdom would advance not by destroying the enemy who seeks to destroy you, but by loving, serving, and hopefully transforming the enemy who seeks to destroy you.” (28)