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Biography discussion: fanatical? crazy? in love with God?
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Which famous figure to discuss?
Augustine of Hippo
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Athanasius of Alexandria (4th century B.C.)
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Martin Luther
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John Wesley, 1703-1791
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Charles (C. H.) Spurgeon, 1834-1892
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Amy Carmichael, 1867-1951
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 100%  [ 1 ]
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Linna Heartbooger
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:11 pm    Post subject: Biography discussion: fanatical? crazy? in love with God? Reply with quote

Here are a few very capable famous men who, to me, seemed to really love God.

And who we have enough info on to learn a bit about their struggles, weaknesses and foibles.

I'm most interested in discussing:
* the stuff they wrote
* stuff about their everyday interactions with people
* how they managed the intensity of the very intense lives they lived
* how people were blessed through their very eccentricities.

What do other people here think of this idea for a discussion?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow Linah! I may be being a bit presumptious here, but I suspect few of us have the requisite knowledge to discuss in depth any of the above charachters [I may be wrong and apologise in advance if I am so]. I have a little knowledge of the first four [particularly Augustine of Hippo's famous quote "Lord, give me chastity and continancy - but not yet"] but waaay not enough to micro-disect any of them. Be assured however, if you can gey a discussion up and running I will follow it and will contribute as and where I can - it's a seriously interesting idea.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, the only ones I could even think of talking about are Luther and Wesley, and even that would probably be almost entirely about their schisms and the denominations that resulted. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, if you want crazy and in love with God, try Khalil Gibran. Very Happy I liked him so much it was years before I realised he was a Christian. Wink

--A
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Hey, if you want crazy and in love with God, try Khalil Gibran. Very Happy I liked him so much it was years before I realised he was a Christian. Wink

--A
Cool.
I totally count that as a recommendation around here.

Tell us more about him on this thread?
(Because I'm lazy and like getting info about some things through social conversations?)

Also-about Wesley's and Luther's 'schism-y' parts of their stories... yep, pretty hard to avoid.
Of course, _I_ would wonder about the angle, "what would it be like to have done that, believing it was necessary..? And yet sometimes, you would probably doubt and be like, 'did I just split a community I love needlessly?' "
(And I think there enough primary resources on those men that we could make some good inferences.)

Peter- well then maybe you all would provide me with a sounding board as I compose my theories? Smile
(And maybe even check me when it sounds like I'm going overboard.)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'm right Av [but quite happy to be corrected here] that Wesley never actually entertained [or even approved] of the idea of fracturing the C of E in the way that ultimately happened with the formation of Methodism. [As you know, I'm from 'that part of the world'; they are a dour and serious lot by and large - there's not much scope for humour in Methodism. Wink.]
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....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We posted pretty much simultaneously Linah; You betcha! Always keen to learn something new and totally agree - a site like this is a much more fun way of getting ino than loads of dredging through the nets! Wink
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If you've ever wondered how you would have behaved in one of the great developments of historical oppression of the twentieth century - now you know.

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hah, you should see some of the Methodists on my side of the pond!
Little do you know about them....

But I gotta admit, old church history figures often seem dour and serious.
(Though Augustine had more quotes where that one came from!)

Actually, here's one piece of evidence I am providing:
"Sinning Like a Christian" by William H. Willimon.
Methodist preacher.
Trolls his readers / hearers and plays Devil's Advocate like nobody's business.
Also, may include at least one metaphor by Augustine that I won't post in mixed company.
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His sense of evil is diluted or lacking altogether, and so he has forgotten the price of restoration.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Hey, if you want crazy and in love with God, try Khalil Gibran. Very Happy I liked him so much it was years before I realised he was a Christian. Wink

--A

I've read "The Prophet" a couple times now.
[I own an old copy that I found in a used shop...got it for a buck, I think. I don't think it is valuable...but I like old books, even worthless ones. I like opening them up and I like looking at them on my shelves.]
Many pieces/parts I think are just spectacular. I think if you like poetry at all, you'll find at least some things to like in him.
[I didn't like him at all the very first time I read anything---that was like 30 years ago or something, though].

But I'd be careful calling him "Christian."
It is true in some sense---and he was religious/spiritually oriented beyond any question.
But his poetry, and more importantly he himself, was much more syncretic/idiosyncratic.

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the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love The Prophet. I have large chunks of it by heart, because, well, I just like poetry. Very Happy

And he was a Christian. Very Happy The Maronite Church is the largest Christian denomination in Lebanon, nearly 1/4 of the population, and despite being influenced by Islam, he self-identified as a Christian. Hell, his mother was the daughter of a priest.

Linah, so much easier just to give you a link. Wink He was very prolific, both in art and his writing, and died in his late 40's.

My introduction to him was via my mother, one of whose students gave her a copy of The Prophet in the early 70's. (I still have that same copy. ) My father had an LP of The Prophet read by Richard Harris, so that's sorta always how I hear it in my head.

Written in the 20's, The Prophet was probably his best known book. Here's the Wiki entry on him: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kahlil_Gibran

And the full text of The PRophet is available here: leb.net/mira/works/prophet/prophet.html broken into chapters. Although you should pair that with his hand drawn illustrations for it. Here are some found via image search/

--A
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:

And he was a Christian. Very Happy
--A

I don't want this to, in any way, devolve/twist into any kind of "true Christian" discussion...
But---in most defined Churches, he'd be severed into pieces [literarily] for the parts they like, and dismissed/labeled misguided in the other parts. More strict Churches would just call him "heretic" or "blasphemer" and be done with it. [old/fanatic/empowered ones would sever him literally].
But---if you read it without knowing God/Christianity is part of it, you'll obviously miss a lot.
OTOH---if you approach it from some Christian frame, you will miss, misinterpret, or [in extreme cases] deny even more.

I'm not sure he or "TP" is a fit for this thread...except for the point you already made on loving God.
OTOH, maybe he/it are.
Pretty easy to find things on his life---and "TP" is very short, very free, and lovely.

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Sig-man, Libtard, Stupid piece of shit. change your text color to brown. Mr. Reliable, bullshit-slinging liarFucker-user.

the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are so many differences between all the various sects of Christianity, that from an atheist perspective it scarcely makes a difference. Very Happy If somebody says "I'm a Christian" then I assume they are.

Really, to my mind the only technical criteria for being Christian is believing Jesus was the son of God and that he died for your sins. (Maybe that he was resurrected as well, but maybe not necessarily.)

Anyway, not to derail the thread too far too quickly, yes, short, free and lovely. I quite like his brand of Christianity, whatever it is. (As expressed therein anyway. Very Happy )

--A
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a book I have to take on board at some point. Like V. I love old books and not for their value but for their 'feel'. I'll hunt a copy down and then report back.

John Wesley preached extensively in my part of the world and rumour had it he may actually have stayed in a cottage owned by my father on one occasion. A short annecdote pertaining to his brother Charles; I read an excerpt from his diary relating to his atempt to rid himself of the shocking vice into which he had fallen - namely the excesive consumption of tea. Two days after going 'cold-turkey' he was driven to his bed, in which he remained for several days, sweating and trembling, as the poison withdrew itself from his system. Some days later he emerged ashen and wan, a wiser and more wholesome individual.
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If you've ever wondered how you would have behaved in one of the great developments of historical oppression of the twentieth century - now you know.

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or just follow the link in my post and read it online while you look for a print copy. Wink

--A
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Really, to my mind the only technical criteria for being Christian is believing Jesus was the son of God and that he died for your sins. (Maybe that he was resurrected as well, but maybe not necessarily.)


My understanding is that the main criteria to be christian (at least to the Catholics and Orthodox) is accepting the [url=en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed]Nicene Creed[/url].

To the original post, I know a little bit about Augustine and Luther. (I have a small book on Augustine lying about the house somewhere) but not enough to discuss them, let alone the others, intelligently.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another atheist's view... Laughing I'd define Christian as a follower of Christ. And I've never heard anything that makes me think anyone has the most objectively accurate or true interpretation of Christ, giving them the authority to say others claiming to be Christians really aren't.


Vraith wrote:
I've read "The Prophet" a couple times now.
[I own an old copy that I found in a used shop...got it for a buck, I think. I don't think it is valuable...but I like old books, even worthless ones. I like opening them up and I like looking at them on my shelves.]
I feel the same way. I love the smell of a used bookstore. The old paper, probably with a fair amount of sweat and food from hands. Lol. But it gives the books a sense of history. If you wanted, you could imagine some interesting places those books have been.

At the same time, I'm a huge fan of ebooks. Very surprised at myself. I didn't want anything to do with them for a long time. Now, if anything I want is available as e, I don't care if I ever buy another actual book.


As for the actual topic of this thread! Very Happy I got nuthin'. I don't know anything about the lives of any of those people, and I haven't even heard of some of them. I'm not a biography kind of guy. J.S. Bach is the most extraordinary human in history, imo. But I don't much care about his actual life. I know some stuff about him, but mainly as anecdotes relating to particular compositions. I guess it could be argued that I gain a fair amount of insight into the man by knowing his music. But maybe not. And I'm not concerned.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Or just follow the link in my post and read it online while you look for a print copy. Wink

--A


I doubt I could do it Av. When I read 1984 alongside you a while back I was using a friends Kindle and I struggled even with that. I find it even worse trying to read for a sustained period on my laptop. Alas old habbits dying hard, old dogs - new tricks, stuff like that. Wink
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If you've ever wondered how you would have behaved in one of the great developments of historical oppression of the twentieth century - now you know.

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's short. You can read each chapter in under 10 mins. Very Happy But hey, however you read it, just read it. Very Happy Everybody should, at least once.

--A
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just opened up the Wikipedia page Av referenced and I am totally intrigued by this character.

"Third most read poet behind Shakespeare and Laozi"?
And I couldn't remember hearing of him?
My ignorance...

Hmm... so, a thread on "The Prophet" in Gen Lit Disc?
Or a "Biography: Khalil Gibran" thread here in Dor. Cor.?
What do people think?

(we can start with a discussion of an amazing poet from an unfamiliar culture while this poll completes, right?)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I coulda sworn there was a thread somewhere, but can't find it. Go for it. I can quote The Prophet endlessly. Wink

Oh, wait, found these:

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) by Lord Mhoram, last posted in in 2005 and Kahlil Gibran started by Biff and last posted in in 2003. Very Happy

--A
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