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Re: Been listening to Huston Smith's lecture series

Posted by Dinah on April 24, 2005, at 11:52:03

In reply to Re: Been listening to Huston Smith's lecture series Dinah, posted by cricket on April 23, 2005, at 9:55:36

"The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions (Paperback)"

He's a philosopher with a special interest in religion. I've only heard Buddhism and Hinduism so far, but I've been really impressed.

It's hard to grasp those things that impress me most. Since I'm hearing them rather than seeing them, and I tend to be more of a visual learner, my insights tend to be ephemeral.

But I think the thing that grabbed my attention most was the Hindu idea of different paths to God based on different personalities of people. That reaching God was like reaching a mountaintop. But that since we all start in different places, there are different roads to help us reach him.

I always get into arguments at church. While our faith believes that salvation comes from grace alone, and while I don't particularly think about salvation at all, in practice there is a lot of emphasis on salvation coming through faith rather than works. And I always get very confused because to me it seems that having faith is a work. It is an act. And to some people having perfect faith is a much harder work than having right behavior. So I argue that if salvation is through grace alone, and that we can never reach God through constructing a ladder of our own works, then neither can we reach God through constructing a ladder of our own work of having faith. That if salvation is through grace alone, then our actions of faith no more than our actions of good deeds can earn us a place near God.

So the idea of different paths appeals to me. It doesn't place an unbearable burden on anyone given their personality structure. Sometimes I feel a nearly unbearable burden expected of me to have perfect faith, when having perfect faith is really not in my nature. And God created me this way. Shouldn't he accept me and love me as a questioning soul?




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