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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 25 2019 2:44 AM

DIsciple II:

PetahChristian:

If sheep could merely learn on their own, they wouldn’t need a shepherd to watch over them.

We don’t simply learn on our own. We sit under more knowledgeable people, be it priests, pastors, professors, and learn from their teaching, knowledge, and experience.

Do you truly believe what you just said ? That we can not learn on our own?

What I wrote was apparently ambiguous. Sorry. That’s not what I meant.

Of course we can learn on our own, but we would miss out on the richer experience of hearing and discussing other insights, perspectives, questions, etc.

For example, I started learning Hebrew on my own, but also attend a Hebrew class at synagogue. I learn much more from questions and discussions that come up during the class, and insights and explanations that the Rabbi provides.

Would I have learned as much simply on my own? No, I’d have missed out on what the classroom setting offers.

I appreciate Logos and love the opportunity that Mobile Ed provides (because I wouldn’t be going to seminary so late in life), but I don’t consider self-study a replacement for or equivalent to a seminary education.

Thanks to all who did attend, who have used their formal education in so many different ways to help others.

Posts 2405
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 25 2019 6:02 AM

Interesting discussions.  And Yes, we get further along with a guide. [Mentor / Spiritual adviser]  

Posts 583
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 25 2019 8:16 AM

PetaChristian:

For the first two comments you make: my pont indeed. We should explore ways to allow greater acquaintance with theological subjects. Maybe at home with the help of Logos, or in the Local Church (small groups, lay leader training, etc).

PetahChristian:
If sheep could merely learn on their own, they wouldn’t need a shepherd to watch over them.

There is a difference between shepherding, and indoctrinating into wrong doctrine.

Want an example of good watch overs:

Noble Synagogue Bereans: they took a proposed theological construct (Paul's) and searched the Scriptures to see if things were so. {note that the leaders did not reject the proposed constructs just because "it was not developed / invented here".

How can a sheep develop enough critical thinking that can tell when someone is trying to brain wash them vs. really empowering to find the truth for themselves?

To me Faithlife through Logos seem to be wanting to foster sheep's individual exploration to see if things are so. 

Most experiences I have had with groups / traditions, lean more into authoritarian imposition of beliefs, that unfortunately most of the time do no jibe with the thrusts of the Bible nor with the Character and nature of God.

Then there are some groups that are solid doctrinally, but then want to rule your life like if they owned you (but did not pay the ultimate price for one's life like Jesus did).

A good watch over person understands that the sheep are not the Church's, nor Pastor's but God's, so we can only empower them to see the light for themselves, as salvation is individual responsibility, and each person will have to give account of what they understood of the Bible, not of what a group or supposed watch over person indoctrinated them in. Luke 10: 25 - 27.

Is it not curious that Jesus did not ask the person: What does Gamaliel think, what is the accepted doctrine of the Pharisees? have you checked the creed of the Saducees? etc.

We now have the doctrine of the Apostles, but if you take a look closely to what it entails, you will see far difference to what is taught now.

Just one example of the difference in focus that a true watch over person should have when teaching:

Church Members                                                                                   Outreach Disciples 

Committed to the church                                                           Committed to Christ                                                     

Managing committees                                                               Deploying missions                                                      

Holding offices.                                                                          Doing hands-on ministry                                                                  
Making decisions                                                                       Making disciples 

Trained for membership                                                             On a life-long quest for quality

Serving at the church                                                                Serving in the world 

Preoccupied with raising money                                               Preoccupied with rescuing people 

Doing church work                                                                    Finding personal fulfillment 

Retiring from church work                                                        Pursuing constant personal growth 

Surveying internal needs                                                          Sensitized to community 

Eager to know everyone                                                          Eager for everyone to know God

Loyal to each other                                                                  Drawn to the unchurched 

Building faith on information                                                   Build faith on experience with Christ

Perpetuating a heritage                                                           Envisioning a future

Thanks to David Mulder in "Outreach discipleship" for opening my eyes to the above.

Is there a subtle sheep abuse in the system ? consider:

HOW TO EMPOWER OTHERS                    HOW TO EXPLOIT OTHERS

allow them to function                                          give them functions

believe in them                                                     make them believe in you

delegate authority                                                require submission

further God’s plan for them                                make them part of your plans

invest in them                                                      use them

love them, and say so                                          love the task more than the people

give them what you have                                    take what they have to give

discuss with them                                                preach at them

freely spend time with them                                 require appointments

give them the keys now                                       make them wait until you retire

serve them                                                            let them serve you

praise them                                                          accept their praise of you

transfer masterhood                                             demonstrate masterhood

 Simson, W., & Barna, G. (2015). The house church book: rediscover the dynamic, organic, relational, viral community jesus started. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale.

Critical thinking of things about God (theology) is very important, and mostly at the sheep level, because God wants us to be informed so we can make correct decisions.

Watch over people? yes, but look at the fruit they produce. If they are on the left of the above comparison charts, stay away.

If they are to the right, (like I think Faithlife does), stick with them.

Peta, this is not the place to be talking about this. I do it out of genuine concern for the common sheep (like myself), and I write with the hope people will further research, reflect and constructively comment, not to start polemics.

Posts 583
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 25 2019 8:29 AM

PetahChristian:

What I wrote was apparently ambiguous. Sorry. That’s not what I meant.

Of course we can learn on our own, but we would miss out on the richer experience of hearing and discussing other insights, perspectives, questions, etc.

For example, I started learning Hebrew on my own, but also attend a Hebrew class at synagogue. I learn much more from questions and discussions that come up during the class, and insights and explanations that the Rabbi provides.

Would I have learned as much simply on my own? No, I’d have missed out on what the classroom setting offers.

I appreciate Logos and love the opportunity that Mobile Ed provides (because I wouldn’t be going to seminary so late in life), but I don’t consider self-study a replacement for or equivalent to a seminary education.

Thanks to all who did attend, who have used their formal education in so many different ways to help others.

Totally agree with this, but some are not so fortunate to have the chance to be allowed to study with certain groups / persons, unless you are considered a bird of a feather.

Closest I can get? Logos Bible software with all the different packages into different denominations and traditions.

You see I firmly believe into checking all and retaining what is good, I find that all traditions represented in Logos have something good to add to some conversations.

The parts that I perceive as not jibing with the Bible or with God's nature and character I dismiss or study further to see where it could have come from.

Posts 583
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 25 2019 8:39 AM

David Ames:
Interesting discussions.  And Yes, we get further along with a guide. [Mentor / Spiritual adviser]  

Yes, but the right kind of mentor / spiritual advisor.

There comes a point when persons flee from perceived indoctrinators. We are in the 21st century, people want to be empowered to be able to decide and act for themselves.

It seems that the command was to make all believers (not just a few seminarians) into the image of the firstborn Jesus Christ, and that seems something that some groups seem to not grasp.

Do I admire the theology, research, language abilities of posters here? of course, they are like role models.

Do I approve of authoritarian, indoctrinating type input that does not jibe with the thrusts of the Bible or the Character and nature of God? no way. I prefer to fly solo than to submit to persons that are on the left in the contrast lists in a previous post.

No human is perfect, but those that are humble enough to change and accept when mistaken, specially when the heart of the matter is presented to them, are the ones I can see as good mentors, watch overs, etc.

We are all under particular contextual understanding of God and His reality, the only fully Orthodox Being in the Universe is God. So we should proceed humbly, kindly cooperating in the elucidation of Truth, and thanking the fellow pilgrims helping us in the way to such.

Posts 583
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 25 2019 8:45 AM

Disciple II:

Agree with what you say, we are in similar wavelengths. Thanks for your kind words.

So that there is no misunderstanding, at the beginning I mentioned that a Catholic Theologian in a Argentinina tv series was superb at getting to the heart of the matter in particular topics, and very well explained why they had reach such conclusions.

Verbum has amazing resources: Catholic topical index, CCC, moral theology resources, etc.

I am just suggesting that such fine minds that put such together, could also do a superb resource with curriculums, and syllabi, that can be used to enrich Christianity in general.

Thomas Aquinas seminary and college has magnificent curriculums, only that some of the resources found in Logos that are also good regardless of what tradition they were produced, are not included.

The enemy is not the different traditions / denominations, but the devil that wants common Christians to be ignorant of important principles, and precepts for good life.

Peace and grace.

Posts 5019
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 25 2019 11:30 AM

Totally agree MJ that theology is to be in community, and I don’t intend that self-learning be otherwise. And I don’t think what is being spoken of in this conversation is about running around with a puffed up chest saying “I am a Theologian”. If one is doing this then one has not been impacted at all by their studies and is merely accumulating  knowledge for knowledge‘s sake. These are points that add great value to the conversation so appreciate you raising them.

This conversation is not about disrespecting or degrading the role or place of formally trained and recognised theologians but about answering can / are we all be theologians in some sense of the word. I respect some people’s faith traditions will not enable them to answer in an affirmative way and others will be able to do so with cautions attached.

MJ. Smith:

There is a reason that the Orthodox (mentor) and the Catholics (spiritual friendship or spiritual director) insist that learning be a communal act ... at least in the sense of having someone further along the path than you, listen, correct, and keep you honest. Furthermore, there is a reason the Jewish and Medieval Traditions have a tradition of "student partner"/"debate opponent" to keep one sharp in one's facts and logic. The same observation could be made of the Buddhists. Remember "pride cometh before the fall" (Proverbs 16:18 ... to be sure the topic is Logos). Better to have others call you a theologian than to assume the title for yourself to your own ruin.

Posts 5019
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 25 2019 11:47 AM

PetahChristian:

DIsciple II:

PetahChristian:

If sheep could merely learn on their own, they wouldn’t need a shepherd to watch over them.

We don’t simply learn on our own. We sit under more knowledgeable people, be it priests, pastors, professors, and learn from their teaching, knowledge, and experience.

Do you truly believe what you just said ? That we can not learn on our own?

What I wrote was apparently ambiguous. Sorry. That’s not what I meant.

Of course we can learn on our own, but we would miss out on the richer experience of hearing and discussing other insights, perspectives, questions, etc.

For example, I started learning Hebrew on my own, but also attend a Hebrew class at synagogue. I learn much more from questions and discussions that come up during the class, and insights and explanations that the Rabbi provides.

Would I have learned as much simply on my own? No, I’d have missed out on what the classroom setting offers.

I appreciate Logos and love the opportunity that Mobile Ed provides (because I wouldn’t be going to seminary so late in life), but I don’t consider self-study a replacement for or equivalent to a seminary education.

Thanks to all who did attend, who have used their formal education in so many different ways to help others.

It is always great if we can attend a class, but those don’t make us theologians in the formal sense of the word. i have studied a number of classes through bible colleges to add to my independent learning.  But for those of us not called to be formal Theologians , most of us at least, can not possibly attend all of the classes we would need to do so due to time, money and availability of classes. That does not mean we should stop our learning efforts and sell our Logos libraries to formal theologians. I don’t know if I will ever get to attend in person a Greek or Hebrew course but I have a vast wealth of material available to me that I can educate myself about the basics of these languages in order that I am better able to engage with commentaries and theilogical articles in area of interest that I am drawn to study. What I do learn about the languages and other theological topics only serves to keep me honest and remind me there is so much more for me to learn not only about the topic, but about myself, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, particularly those of a different fairh tradition to mine, but also those within, and so much more to learn about God.

Posts 583
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 26 2019 7:08 AM

DIsciple II:
It is always great if we can attend a class, but those don’t make us theologians in the formal sense of the word. i have studied a number of classes through bible colleges to add to my independent learning.  But for those of us not called to be formal Theologians , most of us at least, can not possibly attend all of the classes we would need to do so due to time, money and availability of classes. That does not mean we should stop our learning efforts and sell our Logos libraries to formal theologians. I don’t know if I will ever get to attend in person a Greek or Hebrew course but I have a vast wealth of material available to me that I can educate myself about the basics of these languages in order that I am better able to engage with commentaries and theilogical articles in area of interest that I am drawn to study. What I do learn about the languages and other theological topics only serves to keep me honest and remind me there is so much more for me to learn not only about the topic, but about myself, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, particularly those of a different fairh tradition to mine, but also those within, and so much more to learn about God.

Even though the above not written for me, I agree, like, cherish, etc.

Maybe if some of the books in Faithlife were deliverable to my region, I would not need to bother people in the forums:

https://ebooks.faithlife.com/product/167480/the-bible-and-the-university

Peace and grace.

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