"The Evolution of Human Consciousness: and why we should be more open about The Bible" by Devon Bailey

Often a former way of thinking is challenged by an oppressed group and allies who have seen a different way to be in the world. ...But now we have photographs of our round home and we’ve sent men into the sky so that they could walk on the rock that lights up our nights....But you can only bend so much truth towards your way of understanding before you realize quite simply…you are wrong. ...Well, the rain god makes these crops grow, so let’s build an altar to this god and each time it rains we will set aside some crops to the rain god as a statement of our thanks. ...The reason Abraham doesn’t scream back NO WAY to God when asked to sacrifice his child (his only child whom he loved) is in part because there was nothing shocking about a God asking for the burnt offering of your firstborn....When we read a book like Leviticus it’s easy to think “How in the world did this barbarism make it into the Bible?” ...So much so that all labels were destroyed “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” ...It’s a living word, constantly being called to be brought to each new generation and each new level of our consciousness. ...But sometimes we cling so tightly to another generation that we aren’t present with God now as much as we are with God then. ...Christ called all of his chosen people into a new awareness, one that lives on to this day. ...The Bible has primitive views of the universe, views we’ve now transcended because we’ve created new tools to inform our understanding in deeper ways.
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"7 Theories of the Atonement Summarized" by Stephen D Morrison

One of the earliest theories for the atonement is the Moral Influence theory, which simply taught that Jesus Christ came and died in order to bring about a positive change to humanity. ...Although Augustine himself differs here in that he did not teach free will, but instead that human beings are incapable of change themselves, and require God to radically alter their lives sovereignly through the Holy Spirit....It is often held alongside the Moral Influence Theory, and usually deals more with the actual death of Jesus Christ, what it actually means and the effect it has upon humanity. ...“Essentially, this theory claimed that Adam and Eve sold humanity over to the Devil at the time of the Fall’ hence, justice required that God pay the Devil a ransom, for the Devil did not realize that Christ could not be held in the bonds of death. ...Some have written that this is not a fair statement to say that all Ransom Theorists believe that the Devil is paid, but rather in this act of Ransom Christ frees humanity from the bondage of sin and death. ...In this theory, Jesus Christ dies in order to defeat the powers of evil (such as sin, death, and the devil) in order to free mankind from their bondage. ...Anselm’s satisfaction theory says essentially that Jesus Christ died in order to pay back the injustice of human sin, and to satisfy the justice of God....This theory of the Atonement contrasts with Anselm’s Satisfaction Theory in that God is not satisfied with a debt of justice being paid by Jesus, but that God is satisfied with punishing Jesus in the place of mankind. ...The Governmental Theory also teaches that Jesus died only for the church, and if you by faith are part of the church, you can take part in God’s salvation. ...This theory moves away from the idea that Jesus died in order to act upon God (as in PSA, Satisfaction, or Governmental), or as payment to the devil (as in Ransom). ...James Allison summarizes the Scapegoating Theory like this, “Christianity is a priestly religion which understands that it is God’s overcoming of our violence by substituting himself for the victim of our typical sacrifices that opens up our being able to enjoy the fullness of creation as if death were not.”
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Saved From God? Alternatives to Penal Substitution Atonement Theory" (part 2) by Matthew Distefano

In other words, while the theory isn’t necessarily wrong—that is, Jesus Christ is the model of what it means to be “at-one” with the Father (John 5:19–20; 6:38; 8:28; 10:29; 12:49)—it leaves us wanting a more robust explanation as to how Jesus, and most specifically, the cross, saves us....And, excitingly, we can apply it in such a way that doesn’t necessitate a “traditionally sacrificial” interpretation of the cross, while at the same time taking sin seriously (a charge PSA folks tend to make against their non-PSA interlocutors)....According to the writer of Hebrews, it is the problem: “So that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death” (Heb 2:14–15, emphasis mine). ...In other words, because we have nothing to hold onto any longer—now that the sting of death has been taken away—we are free to give ourselves in love for the other (the Greek term for this is kenosis). ...In other words, the sacrifice of Jesus is not to be thought of as something that changes God and his mind, it is something that God does through Jesus that changes us and our ways of thinking. ...What I mean is that when the Father puts forth the Son (and, also, when he raises him up), it is to show how the whole sacrificial system is not something he desires, for he never desires death (Ezek 33:11), but rather, we do. ...Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins . . . [however] when, Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. ... When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” ...On the one hand, the desire for sacrifice, while historically something we can’t help but project onto the entire pantheon of gods, is shown to be purely a human desire: “These are offered according to the law.” ...To ask it this way: Does the cross save us from God or from something else (e.g. the Principalities and Powers, the practice of sacrifice, the fear of death, the devil, sin, and so on)? Throughout this series, I hope I did my job in showing that those who affirm the latter should be afforded a seat at the table with the majority of Western Christians who conclude the former; that we can offer some critique and pushback against their idea that, on the cross, the wrath of God was being poured out on a broken and bloody Jesus.
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"Are You Ready to Lose Your World?" by Adyashanti

There is a very famous poem written by the third patriarch of Zen, Seng-ts’an, called the Hsin-Hsin Ming, which translates as Verses in Faith Mind. In this poem Seng-ts’an writes these lines: “Do not seek the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.” ...The reason Seng-ts’an is saying not to seek is because truth, or reality, is not something objective. ... Such concepts may have a practical value in daily life, but when assumed to be true they distort perception and create a virtual reality, or what in the East is called the world of samsara. ...He knew that seeking truth, or reality, is as silly as a dog thinking that it must chase its tail in order to attain its tail. ... So even if you were to find the truth through grasping, you will have to let it go at some point in order to function. But even so, any truth that is attained through grasping is not the real truth because such a truth would be an object and therefore not real to begin with. ...That idea may not even be very conscious or clear but it must be there in order for you to seek. ... Seng-ts’an is not saying you should never have a thought in your head, he is saying not to cherish the thoughts in your head. ...The task of any useful spiritual practice is therefore to dismantle cherishing the thoughts, opinions, and ideas that make up the false self, the self that is seeking. ... Through cherishing this thinking, through taking it to be real and relevant, we create internal images of self and others and the world.
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"Are You Ready to Lose Your World?" by Adyashanti

There is a very famous poem written by the third patriarch of Zen, Seng-ts’an, called the Hsin-Hsin Ming, which translates as Verses in Faith Mind. In this poem Seng-ts’an writes these lines: “Do not seek the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.” ...The reason Seng-ts’an is saying not to seek is because truth, or reality, is not something objective. ... Such concepts may have a practical value in daily life, but when assumed to be true they distort perception and create a virtual reality, or what in the East is called the world of samsara. ...He knew that seeking truth, or reality, is as silly as a dog thinking that it must chase its tail in order to attain its tail. ... So even if you were to find the truth through grasping, you will have to let it go at some point in order to function. But even so, any truth that is attained through grasping is not the real truth because such a truth would be an object and therefore not real to begin with. ...That idea may not even be very conscious or clear but it must be there in order for you to seek. ... Seng-ts’an is not saying you should never have a thought in your head, he is saying not to cherish the thoughts in your head. ...The task of any useful spiritual practice is therefore to dismantle cherishing the thoughts, opinions, and ideas that make up the false self, the self that is seeking. ... Through cherishing this thinking, through taking it to be real and relevant, we create internal images of self and others and the world.
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