Author Topic: “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome” An interview with Reba Riley  (Read 166 times)

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Offline Orest

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“Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome” An interview with Reba Riley
« on: September 01, 2015, 03:56:28 PM »

http://www.christiancentury.org/blogs/archive/2015-09/church-wounds

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Q: Your book claims to remind readers that “sometimes we have to get lost to get found.” Explain what this means.

A. It reminds people that their religious past does not have to shackle them, and that it can become the bedrock of transformation. That’s why there is a peacock on the cover: It is the physical equivalent of the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes, a symbol of healing, transformation and personal resurrection. “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome” may be my story of physical and spiritual change, but it is also the story of everyone who has witnessed the way God can transform brokenness into beauty.
 

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome” An interview with Reba Riley
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2015, 04:06:11 PM »
It seems like the faux-sentimental way of speaking that many emergent evangelicals take on. Behind this sentimentality I can't help but feel a brash aggression. The phrase "kinda like Jesus" speaks volumes. There is a triumphalism here, and a sense of having overcome and mastered some aspect of the world. True uncertainty isn't welcome, only the kind of uncertainty that has been planned for and that this way of speaking about things and events can accommodate.

The real trauma would be to speak to the author and woo him or her into saying what they said again in a different way.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 04:10:28 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline Maria

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Re: “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome” An interview with Reba Riley
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 04:47:44 PM »
Same link as in the OP: http://www.christiancentury.org/blogs/archive/2015-09/church-wounds

Quote
A: It seems to me that Jesus honored faith wherever he found it, and it usually looked the way the people of his day would have expected. I’m reminded of a conversation I had with my friend and mentor, an Eastern Orthodox monk who lives and works among the inner-city poor. So one day the urban monk asked me, “Would you like to learn to meditate?” I knew that in addition to his whole Christian monk thing, he had also studied Buddhism under the Dalai Lama. So I got all twisted around with questions, like “Do you mean Buddhist meditation or Christian meditation?” And he just smiled beatifically, all monk-like, and answered: “There is no difference whatsoever.”A: It seems to me that Jesus honored faith wherever he found it, and it usually looked the way the people of his day would have expected. I’m reminded of a conversation I had with my friend and mentor, an Eastern Orthodox monk who lives and works among the inner-city poor. So one day the urban monk asked me, “Would you like to learn to meditate?” I knew that in addition to his whole Christian monk thing, he had also studied Buddhism under the Dalai Lama. So I got all twisted around with questions, like “Do you mean Buddhist meditation or Christian meditation?” And he just smiled beatifically, all monk-like, and answered: “There is no difference whatsoever.”

So the Eastern Orthodox monk says there is no difference between Buddhist or Christian mediation? This does not sound right.

Under which Orthodox Christian denomination is this Eastern Orthodox monk?
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome” An interview with Reba Riley
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 12:33:40 AM »
Same link as in the OP: http://www.christiancentury.org/blogs/archive/2015-09/church-wounds

Quote
A: It seems to me that Jesus honored faith wherever he found it, and it usually looked the way the people of his day would have expected. I’m reminded of a conversation I had with my friend and mentor, an Eastern Orthodox monk who lives and works among the inner-city poor. So one day the urban monk asked me, “Would you like to learn to meditate?” I knew that in addition to his whole Christian monk thing, he had also studied Buddhism under the Dalai Lama. So I got all twisted around with questions, like “Do you mean Buddhist meditation or Christian meditation?” And he just smiled beatifically, all monk-like, and answered: “There is no difference whatsoever.”A: It seems to me that Jesus honored faith wherever he found it, and it usually looked the way the people of his day would have expected. I’m reminded of a conversation I had with my friend and mentor, an Eastern Orthodox monk who lives and works among the inner-city poor. So one day the urban monk asked me, “Would you like to learn to meditate?” I knew that in addition to his whole Christian monk thing, he had also studied Buddhism under the Dalai Lama. So I got all twisted around with questions, like “Do you mean Buddhist meditation or Christian meditation?” And he just smiled beatifically, all monk-like, and answered: “There is no difference whatsoever.”

So the Eastern Orthodox monk says there is no difference between Buddhist or Christian mediation? This does not sound right.

Under which Orthodox Christian denomination is this Eastern Orthodox monk?

This is concerning about this monk :o Why should Buddhist practices be considered okay by a Orthodox monk. Buddah was a mere man and Buddhism reduces Christ to just a mere prophet not the fully man fully spirit ans son of god that we in Orthodoxy believe in. This is disturbing.
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Offline FinnJames

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Re: “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome” An interview with Reba Riley
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 05:53:03 AM »
I'm just making a guess here, so please forgive me if I'm mistaken. That said: my guess is that what the Orthodox monk has in mind is the great similarity between the Christian teachings on the 'passions' and overcoming them through cultivating the 'virtues' to the Buddhist teaching on the 'poisons' & their 'antidotes' and the role of meditation in bringing the two together.

I'm guessing, too, that the more an Orthodox Christian moves from verbal prayer into a wordless and imageless prayer of the heart the more similar what is being done is to what I understand to be the practice of Theravada and Zen Buddhist meditation (but not Tibetans Buddhist!).

I could be quite wrong, of course, in thinking that the Philokalia Fathers see the Jesus prayer as moving from repetition of words into a sort of silent waiting on the Lord, but that is how I understand it. This sort of silent waiting (not on the Lord Jesus, of course) is exactly what Zen and Theravada Buddhist meditation is working toward as well. It's just a state of calm, aware openness into which both one's sins and guidance about how to overcome them as well as guidance on how to deal with daily troubles (and occasionally a great sense of relief) bubbles up. Christians would no doubt view the source of this bubbling as the Holy Spirit or Jesus or the voice of God. Zen and Theravada teachers I've spoken to are more reluctant to assign a specific origin to it. (Since some Zen teachers are at the same time Roman Catholic priests or nuns--or even Jewish rabbis--I don't think we need to panic about Buddhism as long as we hold firmly to our own Christian faith.)

Christian monks and nuns of all traditions who have had contact with monks and nuns who practice Buddhist meditation often remark on the great similarity of what they all do. So I wouldn't be overly worried if one Orthodox monk said what he is quoted as saying even if it isn't the sort of comment you'd expect from your priest.

Offline Maria

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Re: “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome” An interview with Reba Riley
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 12:04:56 PM »
I'm just making a guess here, so please forgive me if I'm mistaken. That said: my guess is that what the Orthodox monk has in mind is the great similarity between the Christian teachings on the 'passions' and overcoming them through cultivating the 'virtues' to the Buddhist teaching on the 'poisons' & their 'antidotes' and the role of meditation in bringing the two together.

I'm guessing, too, that the more an Orthodox Christian moves from verbal prayer into a wordless and imageless prayer of the heart the more similar what is being done is to what I understand to be the practice of Theravada and Zen Buddhist meditation (but not Tibetans Buddhist!).

I could be quite wrong, of course, in thinking that the Philokalia Fathers see the Jesus prayer as moving from repetition of words into a sort of silent waiting on the Lord, but that is how I understand it. This sort of silent waiting (not on the Lord Jesus, of course) is exactly what Zen and Theravada Buddhist meditation is working toward as well. It's just a state of calm, aware openness into which both one's sins and guidance about how to overcome them as well as guidance on how to deal with daily troubles (and occasionally a great sense of relief) bubbles up. Christians would no doubt view the source of this bubbling as the Holy Spirit or Jesus or the voice of God. Zen and Theravada teachers I've spoken to are more reluctant to assign a specific origin to it. (Since some Zen teachers are at the same time Roman Catholic priests or nuns--or even Jewish rabbis--I don't think we need to panic about Buddhism as long as we hold firmly to our own Christian faith.)

Christian monks and nuns of all traditions who have had contact with monks and nuns who practice Buddhist meditation often remark on the great similarity of what they all do. So I wouldn't be overly worried if one Orthodox monk said what he is quoted as saying even if it isn't the sort of comment you'd expect from your priest.

Many Orthodox nuns and monks have also read Thomas Merton, who was a Catholic priest, not an Orthodox one.
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