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Re: Paul Anderson's "Truth and Liberation

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  • charles scott
    Horace Jeffery Hodges Wrote I recognize the helpfulness of this distinction, but it seems to me that there is a third element
    Message 1 of 2 , May 13, 2001
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      Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges@...>
      Wrote

      <SNIP>
      I recognize the helpfulness of this distinction, but
      it seems to me that there is a third element here --
      one's ideal self.

      The therapeutic goal of congruence is a worthy one,
      but it seems to me that there has to be a telos beyond
      congruence. I think that this is the difference
      between psychology's therapeutic goal and religion's
      moral aim.

      <SNIP>
      My intuition is that the Parakletos is doing more than
      bringing about congruity between the perceived and
      experienced selves -- it is making clear to us that
      both of these selves fall short of our ideal self.
      <SNIP>
      Professor Hodges:

      Thank you for the insightful comments on Paul
      Andersons piece.

      Your comments helped to clarify my thinking on another
      issue. I
      Have been working on related to Johanine Literature
      and
      �psychology�s therapeutic goals� and �religion�s moral
      aim�.

      John 20:21 � 23 and the �binding and loosing� sayings
      of
      Jesus have to do with dealing with guilt, forgiveness,
      and a man�s
      realization of the grace that God has given through
      Jesus Christ
      to become the �ideal self.� to which you refer and
      which St.
      Paul calls �the fullness�, grown to the stature of
      Christ.

      I find that in response to one segment of the
      church�s abuse of the
      sacrament of penance (the idea of indulgences), most
      sons of the
      reformation have erred by throwing out a healing tool
      and virtually
      ceded the ground of pronouncing and assurance of
      forgiveness to
      the science of medicine, psychiatry in particular.

      In the 16th Century the English church went through
      considerable
      debate before the Book of Common Prayer was set forth
      with
      a �general confession and absolution� that was placed
      in the prayers
      to be said before communion . Radical reformers in
      the church
      wanted no part of a minister pronouncing the
      forgiveness of sins,
      and militated against private confessions. English
      churchmen found
      a sensible middle way by putting a general confession
      of sin by all
      the people in the communion service followed by this
      statement
      �Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of his great
      mercy
      hath promised forgiveness of sins to all those who
      with hearty
      repentance and true faith turn unto him, have mercy
      upon you;
      pardon and deliver you from all your sins; confirm and
      strengthen
      you in all goodness; and bring you to everlasting
      life; through
      Jesus Christ our Lord.. �

      Following this statement of forgiveness
      was quotes from John 3:16 and other scriptures wherein
      is given
      assurance that God will forgive . The English
      reformers did put
      in an exhortation that was to be read to the church
      several times a
      year. Included in that exhortation was the admonition
      that a
      person should not approach communion if he was not at
      peace
      with his neighbors, and or if he had an unquiet
      conscience toward God and
      lacked a penitent heart.

      If a person could not come to �holy communion, but
      with
      a full trust in Gods mercy, and with a quiet
      conscience�. . . .but required
      further comfort or counsel, he was to come to a
      �minister of God�s
      Word, and open his grief; that he may receive such
      godly counsel and
      advice, as may tend to the quieting of his
      conscience, and the
      removing of all scruple and doubtfulness.�

      The apostles, the Early church fathers, and the
      English reformers saw
      the healing ministry of the church and the work of the
      Comforter in
      that regard. Not everyone who has a guilty conscience
      or is upset
      with the meaninglessness of his life has bi-polar
      disorder and is in
      need of medication.

      The words you have given me will help me to better
      express to my brother clergy and to the church this
      neglected dimension of their Christian service
      to the troubled.

      Charles Scott
      St. Pauls Anglican Church
      Cincinnati Ohio

      Faithandlife-subscribe@...
    • Horace Jeffery Hodges
      ... Thank you for your kind words. You might be interested in reading some of Robert Bellah s work, especially his Habits of the Heart . He has a similar view
      Message 2 of 2 , May 13, 2001
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        Charles Scott wrote:

        > Thank you for the insightful comments on Paul
        > Andersons piece.
        >
        > Your comments helped to clarify my thinking on
        > another issue I have been working on related to
        > Johanine Literature and �psychology�s therapeutic
        > goals� and �religion�s moral aim�.

        ...

        > The words you have given me will help me to better
        > express to my brother clergy and to the church this
        > neglected dimension of their Christian service
        > to the troubled.

        Thank you for your kind words. You might be interested
        in reading some of Robert Bellah's work, especially
        his "Habits of the Heart". He has a similar view of
        the therapeutic assumptions that have come to pervade
        so much of American thinking and that have tended to
        reinforce a radically individualistic sense of the
        self that makes people incapable of perceiving and
        expressing moral views in language other than that of
        radical individualism (a very poverty-stricken
        language for moral discourse!).

        Bellah was one of my advisors at Berkeley, and we
        still keep in fairly frequent email contact.

        Jeffery Hodges

        =====
        Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
        Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
        447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
        Yangsandong 411
        South Korea

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