Re: "Starting with Our Weakness" - Howard Pepper said...

On Adele's blog,, Howard Pepper left this comment to my "Starting with Our Weakness" post...

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...I've for some time been quite comfortable "outside the fold" as far as fellowship or people for support, joint worship, etc. But I am fascinated with (almost obsessively) several things from the interests and professional training/experiences of my whole life.... things like human development in relation to belief systems and stages of growth (cognitive, moral, spiritual, and the interaction of these, etc... incidentally, tho I don't go back and read a lot of his work, I'm very grateful for Ken Wilber's work). And I've come to love history, and particularly the history of ideas.

A big part of that, for the last several years, after all my extensive formal theological education (Bible Col, M.Div.--Biola/Talbot, and PhD work, ABD, at Claremont) has been pursuit of understanding Christian origins and the early development of Christianity and the milieu of 1st Cent. Palestine, including "Jesus Research" (building on the 2 phases of the "quest"). So, I'm historically curious, but equally so about the sociology and psychology, in a tumultous time, that drove the development of the NT and its noncanonical cousins, and the diverse branches of Jewish-Christian, Christian (quickly anti-Jewish, largely) and Gnostic/Gnostic-Christian groups... What a century the "first" was!

Since I have limited time, Peter, can you perhaps point me to where you've written up more of your pilgrimage, your current situation in seminary, etc.? (I am somewhat familiar w/ George Fox College [or Univ.?], and lived 8 yrs. in Eugene in the 80s, but don't recall if they had a sem. by that name attached... don't think so, last I knew.)
Along with what I described above, a direction I've begun to go is to identify and build relationships with particularly open Evangelicals as well as others to help keep me abreast of trends, etc., but also to build a consortium of writers, leaders, etc. who want to do important creative work in those areas I mentioned, and related ones. I do have a fairly detailed vision/mission, and am in early stages of moving into application, knowing that others will help form it as well.

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One of my favorite aspects of the blogosphere is its ability to connect folks who would otherwise never meet. Howard, it's a PLEASURE to meet you. As an aside, I've enjoyed reading some from your nascent blog, "Natural Spirituality," and hope you'll continue to write there. You've been on quite a path! From conservative Bible College and Seminary, to doctoral work at Claremont. I hope we'll be able to stay in touch - I'm interested in where your vision/mission is taking you.

I would recommend this link for the clearest (if that's possible), most brief summation of my current beliefs:
This article, from back in 2005, is a good generalization of relationships, scenarios and attitudes that began my deconstruction:

Also, Howard - Eugene - fantastic town! My little sister-in-law goes to UofO, and we spend quite a bit of time down there.

George Fox Seminary is a part of George Fox University. GFU took over Western Evangelical Seminary in Portland about a decade ago. I'm not sure what that school was like at the time, but GFS has generally become more and more progressive (given its egalitarian Quaker roots), especially in comparison to its other Portland seminary neighbors, Multnomah Biblical Seminary and Western Seminary. I wouldn't call it "liberal" by any stretch, but certainly progressive for an evangelical institution.

1 comment:

Existential Punk said...

Thanks, Peter, for the link to his blog. i hope he writes more as i always appreciate his perspective at Rachel Held Evans' blog!

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