The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Do you believe the Bible is infallible? If so, why?

HF, When someone’s only engagement with a thread’s serious question is to say that you can go to my library, I conclude that they feel unable to address the issues in question.

When folks respond with links to their favorite propagandists, I’ve always found they are unwilling to engage. If I then respond with problems in what the link says, they always respond that the link doesn’t represent what they would support. There’s never any serious grappling with the issues.

I possess and have read Ravi Zacharias’ many apologetic volumes. And engaging another video snippet from him neither answers nor adds anything to what I presented.

You sometimes offer wonderful and informative links, and I know you intend to be helpful. But your quirky tendency often comes across to me as simply implying that if others were as literate in their studies as you, they would agree with your views. And I observe that this can feel patronizing, for those who seek engagement with what they presented. But hopefully others find this helpful for their inquiries.

It all depends, Bob. If someone wants to debate…well, I have seen that …done that…Been real good at it…

If they have serious questions, they seek answers to…well, I’m more then willing, to provide answers.

I certainly don’t expect folks, to agree with my views. Many certainly wouldn’t agree, with following the EO path of Holy Foolery. Or preparing for the tribulation and Z-Hell ( 1, 2, 3).

Anyway, the key questions for me - are these:

  • What is the original poster seeking to accomplish? For example, is this a debate between atheism and theism? Well, it’s been done many times before. And they can accomplish this better, on other forums. Like with Matt Slick of CARM

  • Are they seeking real answers on Christianity? Or other topics? Well, ask the questions. I would be happy, to try to answer them. As well as others, on the forum.

  • And if the poster is an atheist, then what philosophers and philosophies, help them to make sense of life?

I like having a dialogue. Like I share things, that help me along. Like hanging out with the Eastern Orthodox - as a Prospect. Or taking the RC RCIA course. Or joining different healing and meditation groups, and hanging out with them.

Right now, I’m watching the TV superhero show Legends of Tomorrow. So I might have to continue, any dialogue for tomorrow.

I’d like to add, since I’m brand new here, that at first I thought HF was just a troll, and considered reporting him as such, actually! As I read more of his posts, I came to see that he sometimes offers valuable thoughts.

But I must say, HF, that your YouTube link spam just clutters up the discussion and is not really helpful. Additionally, the overall dismissive stance you seem to take (“I’m just the librarian,” “been there done that,” or like your very first post where you just threw out a video about time travelers as a response to an actual serious question, etc.) comes across as variously ridiculous / condescending / troll-ish at times. The attempts at “I’m so wise … did I mention I worked in digital marketing?.. oh, and here’s a dose of deflection with humor” just don’t seem genuine. It’s like you’re trying too hard.

Like, honestly, it’s kind of frustrating. If you don’t want to seriously and thoughtfully engage with the ideas and arguments we’re raising, then fine. Just don’t post, please.

But if you DO want to use actual logic (“logic again?”) and seriously engage, as you have in parts of some of your posts, then I am happy to engage with you. You do have knowledge that is valuable, and I don’t want you to feel that I am bashing you or am completely negative toward you.

I figured that as someone who worked in communication, you might find it valuable to know how you are coming across. Your communication could be a lot more effective if you changed some things.

[addendum: I wrote this before your post right above; and I should mention, credit where credit is due, that particular post is an example of one that seems genuine and I appreciate that… perhaps because you are dropping your Fool guise for a moment there?]

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Much depends on your purpose and what you want to accomplish. I do reveal a few aspects about my self.

Anyway, I add visuals and videos to stuff…because that’s what I did, in technology marketing. But it works well in social media.

And I do add a bit about myself, as I dialogue. It’s what I do.

Let’s get back to your goals, shall we? Are you seeking to set up a debate, between theism and atheism? Let me know. Are you an atheist, trying to prove the superiority of atheism? Let me know. What is your goal? What is your purpose? What are you trying to accomplish? And MOST important, WHY?

Anyway, I do follow a serious theological path here. Or try, as best as I can. It’s the Russian Orthodox path, of the Holy Fool. It has a valid, historical position in Christianity. I’m just trying to revive it.

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I agree, and FWIW, I heard tomatohorse’s goal as seeking to elicit whether we find the Bible to be infallible, and especially why we would feel assured of that. That’s why I stated my own take on this and on the reasons offered to believe in infallibility (after stating that I’m not much help, because after a career in Biblical studies, I think the evidence is that the Bible is not actually that kind of book).

I understand if you don’t prefer to detail your own view, and I only wanted you to understand why your alternative approach often leaves me without seeing something to respond to.

There are senses of the concept ‘I know’ that are germane to this discussion of infallibility.
When someone says ‘The Bible is Infallible’, they are inferring this sentence: "I KNOW the Bible is Infallible’.
The meaning of that ‘I know’ can muddle the conversation. I was reading Norman Malcolm today and he had this insight:

“When I use ‘know’ in the weak sense I am prepared to let an investigation (demonstration, calculation) determine whether the something that I claim to know is true or false. When I use ‘know’ in the strong sense I am not prepared to look upon anything as an investigation; I do not conced that anything whatever could prove me mistaken; I do not regard the matter as open to any questions.” (Knowledge and Certainty by N. Malcolm)

That ‘weak sense’ of knowing is not comfortable to many religious folk; they have too much invested in their belief to allow any ‘shaking of the foundations’. They feel that certain important things MUST be defended in the strong sense of ‘know’, those things are, in their minds, fundamental to their security, to their family structure, to their community and to their inner sense of ‘rightness’. We call them ‘fundies’, but we can see much the same in ourselves if we are honest.
The weak sense of ‘know’ is perhaps the only way I’ve grown as a person of faith… Being open to challenges, to investigations, to doubt, to uncertainty - how else can we enlarge our faith?
I do believe that in its clearest expression, the New Testament, we do have reliable testimony that in fact shows us the plan of history, the answer to what God has ‘been up to’, and the road to a wise and flourishing life and more. When someone asks “How do you KNOW”? - I really need to ask: in what sense of Know are you asking? There is a human way of knowing that is not ‘proof’ but something richer, we do it all the time, refining our sense of what is good, true, and beautiful as we go along life’s path with open minds and hearts.
I can honestly say that I ‘know’ (in the ‘weak’ sense - open to empirical or other evidence that I’m wrong in whole or in part) - the following is true:


Every one has faith in something, and acts accordingly.

  1. We sit in a chair, through faith, believing that the chair will support us when we do so. It doesn’t HAVE to.I once saw a man sit in a chair, and it immediately collapsed. The faithful man went down with it.

  2. We enter our car, with faith, turning the key and believing it will start. It usually does, but there are times when it won’t.

We cannot live a day of our lives without faith. Sometimes we place our faith in something which is not worthy of our faith, or in a person who is not worthy of our faith.

I used to teach religious education in an Ontario school. I asked a grade eight class to define “faith.”
One boy raised his hand, and when called upon, gave the following definition:

“Faith is believing in something that you know is not true.”

Sad to say, that is an all-too-common false concept of “faith.”


Yes. J. P. Moreland gives a definition of faith that seems reasonable, but it differs from others I have seen. He claims religious faith is akin to what one means when one says, “I have faith that I can solve this problem.” Thus, it is a kind of confidence or trust based on knowledge. In one of his books (In Search of a Confident Faith), he defines faith as “trusting in what we have reason to believe is true."


Interestingly though in one sense… the opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty.

Anyway, now we are all having a dialogue. So I thought I’ll add a bit, to the discussion.

The Easiest Way

I’m lazy. In a good way. What does this mean? It means I’ll take the easiest and quickest way, to get something done.

What does this mean, for the forum?

It means if someone wants to know, why the Bible is infallible. I’ll do keyword research on Google. And more likely than not, I’ll find an answer - on page 1 of Google. And - more often than not - it’s from Got Questions or CARM. They are the subject matter experts. They can answer the question (s), better than I can.


Folks here come from a wide variety - of theological and philosophical positions. Many would-be deemed statistical outliers, by the outside world. So there will be “differences”. I decided in my life, to look through the eyes of others. And spend time with them…hang out with them…whether they are Christians, Zombies, Baha’i’s, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists or Native Americans. Each had to teach me something, with I brought back into my Christianity. Especially with Tibetan Lamas, Zen Masters and Native American, medicine people.

Actually, I come from a Christian theological tradition…where being crazy (or pretending to be crazy), is a virtue - see Holy Fool

One of my science theories…is that we live in a universe, of multiple dimensions (Not so “outlandish”, if you know anything about String Theory) and parallel universes. And everyone on - and off - this forum…is right in some parallel universe or alternate dimension.

I do have another theory. When someone here, presents a philosophical, theological or scientific theory / idea…which in statistical terms, is deemed a statistical outlier…they are being pulled back in, to the parallel universe or alternate dimension - where the idea is popular…and if they keep “selling” the idea (s) here, on the forum…they might get lost, in that parallel universe or alternate dimension! .

I do have these spiritual goals:

  • To follow the Christian faith of Eastern Orthodoxy or Eastern Catholicism…in order to experience Theosis, while following the path of Holy Foolery

  • To explore what Catholic writer, Wayne Teasdale calls The Mystic Heart. Or RC Fr. Richard Rohr calls the Perennial Philosophy and Wisdom Tradition at CAC. Primarily by hanging around Native American Medicine people, ceremonies and medicine. The healing and light traditions from the Suyko Marakari, Johrei and Bruno Groening Circle of Friends. And Indian Holy People who embrace meditation traditions…like DYC (i.e. Madhusudandas in person), Heartfulness (i.e. Ram Chandra in person) and Bala, along with Mindfulness. And receiving blessings over the years…from the house of the Yogi from Gurgaon…as well as the female saints. Amma and Karunamayi. But especially practice contemplation, on the “uncreated” light…as best exemplified in the Eastern Orthodox Hesychasm, Native American Light; Tibetan Rainbow traditions.

  • To hang around practitioners of Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Tibetan Medicine…in order to be healthy, in conjunction with traditional medicine.

  • To warn folks of my theory of Z-Hell (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)…as the most probable, end-times tribulation scenario.


If you take time, to study the profile links I provide…you will find the answers you seek. Especially under the Inclusivism (1, 2, 3, 4) and Hope (1, 2, 3 4) links.

So while I might say, that EO / EC - is the “best” way…And one that can take us to Theosis…which is radical in the western church…but fully in accordance, with Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition…And is called deification in RC theology…and one can find the counterpart, in any Light ( 1, 2, 3, 4) modality. Like this one:

Does anything in Unitarianism, even come close to this teaching?

But it’s not the ONLY way. And the fact I join other groups, for contemplation practices…and spending time with folks, who are considered saintly (i.e. Amma and Karunamayi)…shows that I am “open-minded”, to other paths.

Perhaps this talk, by a conservative Calvinist theologian and clergy member…at the Theosophical Society (of which I am a member, chiefly for their extensive library)…might shed some light.

And you might find, that five minute YouTube story interesting

Spiritual Experience

The contemplative tradition has stories…of folks achieving the end, of the contemplative goal…and being able to do most of the miracles - and more - that Christ did. Like is alluded to, in this Kung Fu TV show clip:

I follow a simple contemplation experience, from these four traditions:

Or one can see from the article at Talks with a Sufi Shaykh…or the video at Tibetan Rainbow…or the lives, of the RC and EO saints.
This is as potent, as it gets. The only thing equally as potent is joining genuine Native Americans…for their all-night, ayahuasca and peyote ceremonies. Which I can neither confirm - nor deny…whether I have ever taken part, or not.

Anyway, I mentioned that I know the husband…of contemporary, Old Catholic mystic - Tiffany Snow…he’s an Old Catholic Church priest. And she is a contemporary, Christian mystic. Let me share an article of hers - regarding her visions:

The Third Secret ‘The Secret’ Didn’t Tell You

Let me quote a bit of “radical” stuff, from the article:

I was first awakened by a lightning-strike and near-death experience in 1999. Since then, there has been continual communion with the other side and further choices to empirically experience Divine Love through times of stigmata, which began in 2005. I have learned many deeper things and further clarity on things that are popular and already known. So for me, since I had come from a traditional religious background, one of my first questions was; “What religion is the right one?” The answer: “All those who love me.” Another question; “Are the Holy Scriptures complete?” The answer: “All the Holy Books are incomplete, so that man may reach out to me, and I will greet him, and he will know me by name.” All this made sense to me more than anything before, and empirical experience made it something I couldn’t ignore.

“Divine love has always met and will always meet every human need” - Mary Baker Eddy

“Stop thinking about the difficulty and think about God instead.” - Golden Key - Emmet Fox

But let me add a caveat. If you take the systems of folks like Mary Baker Eddy, Joel Goldsmith and Emmet Fox…and instead of theology and philosophy, turn them into a contemplation…on the Omnipotence, Omnipresence,. Omniscience .and Goodness of God…you will have all, that TV preachers like Joel Osteen teach…And if would be fully compatible with Christian theology, as most folks see it.

If I go to:

  • An un-programmed Quaker meeting

  • A Zen Temple

  • A Native American Ceremony (AKA Red Road)

I have spent much time in all 3, by the way. The first thing you notice…is that logic, philosophy and theology, are thrown out the window. In fact, Zen is the antithesis of logic.



Let’s look at a story from Zen at

A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

So these - and other traditions I mentioned - emphasize spiritual experience.

A Work in Progress

I look at the path of the Holy Fool, as very real for me. But it’s an extension - in the Christian world - of one I traveled, in the Native American world. Which is the Lakota Heyoka path. Which attempts to do the opposite - or contrary - to what the world considers normal.

The heyoka ( heyókȟa, also spelled “haokah,” “heyokha”) is a kind of sacred clown in the culture of the Lakota people of the Great Plains of North America. The heyoka is a contrarian, jester, and satirist, who speaks, moves and reacts in an opposite fashion to the people around them

So at the end of this path, either I become:

  • Crazy

  • A Genius

  • Or Enlightened

Most likely, it’s some combination of the 3.

In the Sufi story tradition, there is such a character:

Let me share some stories about him, from the Wiki article:

The Sermon

Once Nasreddin was invited to deliver a sermon. When he got on the pulpit, he asked, Do you know what I am going to say? The audience replied “no” , so he announced, I have no desire to speak to people who don’t even know what I will be talking about! and left.

The people felt embarrassed and called him back again the next day. This time, when he asked the same question, the people replied yes . So Nasreddin said, Well, since you already know what I am going to say, I won’t waste any more of your time! and left.

Now the people were really perplexed. They decided to try one more time and once again invited the Mulla to speak the following week. Once again he asked the same question – Do you know what I am going to say? Now the people were prepared and so half of them answered “yes” while the other half replied “no”. So Nasreddin said Let the half who know what I am going to say, tell it to the half who don’t, and left.[22]

Who do you believe


Nasreddin Hodja in Bukhara


Nasreddin Hodja in Ankara

A neighbor came to the gate of Mulla Nasreddin’s yard. The Mulla went to meet him outside.

“Would you mind, Mulla,” the neighbor asked, “can you lend me your donkey today? I have some goods to transport to the next town.”

The Mulla didn’t feel inclined to lend out the animal to that particular man, however. So, not to seem rude, he answered:

“I’m sorry, but I’ve already lent him to somebody else.”

All of a sudden the donkey could be heard braying loudly behind the wall of the yard.

“But Mulla,” the neighbor exclaimed. “I can hear it behind that wall!”

“Whom do you believe,” the Mulla replied indignantly, “the donkey or your Mulla?”[23]

Taste the same

Some children saw Nasreddin coming from the vineyard with two baskets full of grapes loaded on his donkey. They gathered around him and asked him to give them a taste.

Nasreddin picked up a bunch of grapes and gave each child a grape.

“You have so much, but you gave us so little,” the children whined.

“There is no difference whether you have a basketful or a small piece. They all taste the same,” Nasreddin answered, and continued on his way.[24]

Reaching enlightenment

Nasreddin was walking in the bazaar with a large group of followers. Whatever Nasreddin did, his followers immediately copied. Every few steps Nasreddin would stop and shake his hands in the air, touch his feet and jump up yelling “Hu Hu Hu!”. So his followers would also stop and do exactly the same thing.

One of the merchants, who knew Nasreddin, quietly asked him: “What are you doing my old friend? Why are these people imitating you?”

“I have become a Sufi Sheikh,” replied Nasreddin. “These are my Murids [spiritual seekers]; I am helping them reach enlightenment!”

“How do you know when they reach enlightenment?”

“That’s the easy part! Every morning I count them. The ones who have left – have reached enlightenment!”

Nasreddin’s ring

Mulla had lost his ring in the living room. He searched for it for a while, but since he could not find it, he went out into the yard and began to look there. His wife, who saw what he was doing, asked: “Mulla, you lost your ring in the room, why are you looking for it in the yard?” Mulla stroked his beard and said: “The room is too dark and I can’t see very well. I came out to the courtyard to look for my ring because there is much more light out here.”[25]


The ultimate purpose of contemplation is to achieve, what is common to Eastern Catholicism, Roman Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy - Theosis.

I also spend time with folks, who are considered saintly (i.e. Amma and Karunamayi), when they come to my area.

And I use

  • Homeopathy

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine

  • Tibetan Medicine

  • Ayurveda

Combined with modern (AKA conventional) medicine

Using Humor

If you can’t find humor in life, then what good is it? Some of the greatest tragedies were written by William Shakespeare. But he always injected comic elements and characters, into each of them.

Giving Background

When I share what I have done…It’s not necessarily an ego thing. It’s to get folks to share, their background and training. It helps to establish a dialogue.

Where is someone coming from

This is important. And nobody appears to be asking the poster - except me. What do they hope to achieve? A good debate? Or are they seeking REAL answers? Motive and purpose are key. Otherwise, this quote would apply.


Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Quakerism …all understand the role of spiritual experience…in Catholicism, many of their saints and mystics - became doctors of the church. And in Eastern Orthodoxy, mysticism is part of the Divine Liturgy. And active in the desert fathers. And it was a mystical experience, that brought George Fox to found Quakerism. And even the second, most popular religion - behind Christianity (AKA Islam) - has a mystical branch called Sufism.

One of the great writers on mysticism is

This doesn’t mean we ignore reason. But reason and our great intellectual scholars…haven’t found uniformity - in either Christianity or Islam.


Folks who “advertise”, “sell tickets” or “charge admission” - are not the real thing. Sure, they might be an excellent stage magicians themselves. Or they might even have a demon (s) or evil spirit (s) - assisting them. But they are not, who you want - to hang around with.

I believe I needed to witness, the real stuff for myself. Perhaps to increase my faith. Or maybe to share with others. But they didn’t advertise", “sell tickets” or “charge admission”.

Take a look at this article - for example - for a real example:

Talks with a Sufi Shaykh

Or these books:

Let me quote a bit, from the end:

When I ask Shaykh Taner about these things he tells me that he does nothing. That things happen by the will of Allah, who has all power to do and not by the will of Shaykh Taner who has no power at all.

I have asked Shaykh why he does not let people know that he can do these things.

His reply is always “I can’t do anything. If Allah wishes for something to happen, then it does. If I think that I can do anything else it is my Nafs talking, and if I say I can do this or do that, then I am saying that “I” have power, which is not true. Only Allah has power, only Allah can"Do”. To think anything else is saying that Allah has a partner."

Perhaps this is the biggest miracle of all.

I mentioned an RC priest, I hung around with. Who “allegedly” has the gift of healing and hearing the voice of God. Well, when he was in Illinois - I attended his healing services. One day, there was a woman speaking. She had terminal brain cancer. But she went to one, of the Catholic sacred sites - and was healed. Well, what does that mean - in terms of science? It means that the medical doctors, conducted all their tests…did all their therapies - brought in all the specialists… Before concluding, nothing more can be done. And it means that the Catholic scientists and medical doctors, reviewed all the tests, doctor reports, treatments, etc. And they also would follow up, with after healing tests (i.e. blood work, MRI scans, etc.).

And one can see miracles…in the Tibetan, Rainbow body practices:

I like to share this, from the Roman Catholic priest - Fr. Richard Rohr. It’s from his email newsletter. Since I have talked about RC, EO, and Native American spirituality.

The human need for physical, embodied practices seems universal. Across Christian history, the “Sacraments,” as Orthodox and Catholics call them, have always been with us. Before the age of literacy started to spread in Europe in the sixteenth century, things like pilgrimage, prayer beads, body prostrations, bows and genuflections, “blessing oneself” with the sign of the cross, statues, sprinkling things with holy water, theatrical plays and liturgies, incense and candles all allowed the soul to know itself through the outer world—which we are daring to call “Christ.” These outer images serve as mirrors of the Absolute, which can often bypass the mind. Anything is a sacrament if it serves as a Shortcut to the Infinite, hidden in something that is very finite.

In 1969, I was sent as a deacon to work at Acoma Pueblo, a Native American community in western New Mexico. When I got there, I was amazed to discover that many Catholic practices had direct Indigenous counterparts. I saw altars in the middle of the mesas covered with bundles of prayer sticks. I noted how the people of Acoma Pueblo sprinkled corn pollen at funerals just as priests did holy water, how what we were newly calling “liturgical dance” was the norm for them on every feast day. I observed how mothers would show their children to silently wave the morning sunshine toward their faces, just as we learn to “bless ourselves” with the sign of the cross, and how anointing people with smoldering sage was similar to waving incense at our Catholic High Masses.

All these practices have one thing in common: they are acted out, mimed, embodied expressions of spirit. The soul remembers them at an almost preconscious level because they are lodged in our muscle memory and make a visual impact. The later forms of more rational Protestantism had a hard time understanding this.

This article might prove useful

The Science of Miracles: How the Vatican Decides

The process of certifying miracles in the Catholic Church goes back centuries and involves an investigation by scientific experts.

Nearly all, or “99.9 percent of these are medical miracles,” O’Neill said. “They need to be spontaneous, instantaneous and complete healing. Doctors have to say, ‘We don’t have any natural explanation of what happened,’” O’Neill said.

A woman whose breast cancer was cured wouldn’t qualify, for instance, if she was given a 10 percent chance of survival — she would need to be told there was no chance of survival before any divine intervention, said the Rev. Stephan Bevans, a theology professor at the Catholic Theological Union.

There is a similar process, with the Bruno Groening Circle of Friends. I receive their journal. And they have healed cases, from around the world. But they also have a group, of worldwide medical specialists - investigating the doctors’ reports, tests, etc. Then they provide commentary, following the medical success report.

It’s interesting that Native Americans - following their traditional ways - don’t talk about miracles. So if I say something supernatural occurred (AKA a miracle)…for them, it’s natural…it’s been going on for centuries…and it’s part of their spiritual and medicine ways.

It’s also the “same fruits”, one can experience…by taking a contemplative path - to its ultimate conclusion. Whether that path is Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Tibetan Buddhist, Islamic Sufi, Native American spirituality, etc.

Let me share a segment or two, from the newsletter today - of RC priest Richard Rohr:

At the resurrection, Jesus was revealed as the eternal and deathless Christ in embodied form. Basically , one circumscribed body of Jesus morphed into ubiquitous Light. Light is perhaps the best metaphor for Christ or God.

Back in 1967, my systematic theology professor, Fr. Cyrin Maus, OFM, told us that if a video camera had been placed in front of Jesus’ tomb, it wouldn’t have filmed a lone man emerging from a grave (which would be resuscitation more than resurrection). More likely, he felt, it would’ve captured something like beams of light extending in all directions.

In the resurrection, the single physical body of Jesus moved beyond all limits of space and time into a new notion of physicality and light—which includes all of us in its embodiment. Christians called this the “glorified body,” and it is similar to what Hindus and Buddhists sometimes call the “subtle body.” This is pictured by a halo or aura, which Catholics placed around “saints” to show that they already participated in the one shared Light.

People who are properly aligned with Love and Light—“enlightened”—will always see in holistic ways, regardless of their denomination or religion.

I just “extend” that one sacred light, to ALL who follow a contemplative path - to its ultimate conclusion - regardless of tradition.

I’m going to stir things up a bit, by saying something radical.

Radical Candor ™ is the ability to Challenge Directly and show you Care Personally at the same time. … Radical Candor really just means saying what you think while also giving a damn about the person you’re saying it to.

Now let me try my hand, at radical candor!

And it’s something one can find, by studying with - and about - Holy people and Medicine people, of different traditions. Particularly the saints, of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. As well as the Native American, Medicine, and Holy People. And the shamans, Tibetan Lamas, Indian Yogis, and Islamic Sufis.

There’s another part of us, that normally can’t be tapped into. I like to call it a Light Body. It can also be called, the subtle body. It’s Not the Soul. It’s NOT our minds or hearts. It’s NOT our body. And you WON’T find Biblical texts - to confirm nor deny (a typical CIA answer) - what I am saying.

But it’s the closest we can get to, the resurrected or glorified body - in this life. And folks that follow a contemplative and ethical path - to its logical conclusion - can tap into it.

It’s what allows God, to work through the Saints and Holy People. And it’s what allows them to be, in two or more places at once - fully Cognizant.

And this - and all this other “mystical” stuff…can be explained scientifically, by controlling quantum fluctuations. Whether it’s being, in two places at once…or walking through walls…or bending light, to become invisible…healing an “incurable” decease…etc.

If an Electron Can Be in Two Places at Once, Why Can’t You?

Much like how the Avengers save the world, in Avengers Endgame…with some discoveries in the Quantum World, from Ant-man.

So we can tap into, that glorified or resurrected body now. But we can’t escape death. And it will be a permanent fixture - of us in Christ (whether we are aware, of Christ or not) - who follow his great commands, to the best of our ability. We are all hoping, for that great awakening.

So I stirred things up a bit!



I see hell as the Eastern Orthodox

The Eastern Orthodox / Eastern Catholic position (and mine also)…is that heaven and hell are equally, being in the presence of God. Now “ hypothetically speaking ”, if I am “pure” - when I see God…,I might see dancing angels around me…and if Chad is “impure”, when he sees God…he might see zombies from Z-Hell (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

Many of the Native American, Lakota visionaries…speak of experiences of the afterlife, akin to this Robin Williams movie:

Well, I did go through the Roman Catholic RCIA class. As well as almost being a year (come October), hanging out with the Eastern Orthodox. There is an RC Bishop Robert Barron, who made many of the videos - used in the RCIA class. In one video, he talks about Dante’s Inferno. He mentioned that Satan was in the deepest part of hell - where it is cold.

He also made a video (not shown in the RCIA class) - on Hopeful Universalism:

I think hell - if any end of there…is NOT a place of punishment…but of containing evil, from corrupting the new, established good…Which is what the book Skeletons in God’s Close believes.

Now I don’t know, whether the people there are conscious (i.e. have awareness) or not…but they exist…maybe as energy in the new earth (as contemporary, Old Catholic mystic - TIffany Snow envisions)…or as P-Zombies like NT Wright envisions

But heaven (whatever it is), would include folks from other faith traditions: As this conservative seminary, Calvinist theologian states:

And I’m sure I’ll see people there (if I’m one of the “chosen”), like these Tibetan saints:

Or those who are considered saintly - outside of Christianity (i.e. Amma and Karunamayi).

Lest we forget…That Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and the forum rules here - allow for hopeful universalism. And it’s my sincere hope, that someone’s forum vision of universalism - turns out to be true.

But I have room, for a

  • Definitive Inclusivism (1,2,3,4)

  • And a Hope ( 1, 2, 3, 4) for universalism.

Now who here, would welcome the zombies of Z-Hell (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) to heaven…if I were leading them…and they were NOT “civilized”?

A mixture of Universal Restoration and Annihilation is what this author envisions:

Is Hell Eternal Punishment, Eternal Death or Disciplinary Restoration?

So, the question for me - is this. Contemporary Old Catholic Church mystic Tiffany Snow… envisions some as becoming part of the energy, of the new earth. And Anglican bishop and New Testament scholar, NT Wright - envisions some becoming what I deem P-zombies. So if folks continue to exist, in some form…but are not consciously aware, of their existence - is this TRULY annihilation? And if I undertook these as “possibilities”…this is in keeping with RC, EO and EC theology and church teaching on “eternal existence”.

Writing Style

“scattering” is a “matter of perspective”. For some, a person might be “scattering”. Others might think they are "gathering a lot ". But, for me…I normally combine things I learn from humor writing, academia, and marketing…where academia is "gathering a lot “…which is what you normally find, on Wiki - with footnoted references. A technical term for it is 'writer’s voice” and ‘writing style’.

P.S. I might have to continue, any “dialogue” tomorrow. As I must relax from “mind stuff”…with some “non-redeeming”, TV shows…similar to how Chicago newspaper columnist, Mike Royko - used to relax…by reading supermarket tabloids.

And sometimes William Shakespeare would give his audience - some much needed relief…from his great tragedies - with some “comic elements”.

There is always A method in one’s madness

A method in one’s madness is a phrase used to assure someone that one’s actions have a purpose, though they may seem foolish or crazy. Sometimes it is not prudent or expedient to explain a plan in full. Telling someone “there is a method in my madness ” is a way of asking him to trust you until the outcome becomes more apparent. The phrase is derived from the play *Hamlet *, written by William Shakespeare, performed in 1602. The line is spoken by Lord Polonius: “Though this is madness, yet there is method in ‘t.”

It follows for anyone, following the path of Holy Foolery


Things labeled “drugs” might also be viewed, as “medicines” or “sacraments”.

But I can neither confirm - nor deny - whether I have ever taken part - or not…in any ceremony using Peyote or Ayahuasca…or taken such medicines or sacraments…but, hypothetically if I did…it would be with a Native American Church or Brazilian church, in the US - that has federal legal protection…and to study the academic benefits, from such disciplines as psychedelic psychotherapy.

There is a feature called labels. Let’s take Mindfulness, for instance. I practice it. But I’m not doing a Buddhist practice. I’m taking the therapeutic and academic adaptation, from the discipline of psychology. Or, hypothetically…I attend an Ayahuasca or Peyote ceremony, with either a Native American Church or Brazilian Church…but also utilize it, in the context of psychedelic psychotherapy.

Or take Native American spirituality. I was really doing, an academic field study…when I hung out, with their medicine people. And hypothetically…if I joined them for any, Ayahuasca or Peyote ceremony…it would be under the wings, of US legal protection…and would be to explore, it’s medicinal and spiritual properties…or as Native Americans might say, its use as a medicine and sacrament

Most of what I do, outside of Christianity…is to explore in the academic footsteps, of that classic book by William James…A Variety of Religious Experiences.

Something must be said of this. I don’t advocate hallucinogens, for recreational use. However…under the proper medical and/or legitimate, religious ceremonial context…they might have a sacramental and medicine purpose. Look at books like Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD, and Anxiety and The Fellowship of the River: A Medical Doctor’s Exploration into Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine.

For example. I was part of the extended family, of the Two Feathers Medicine Clan - for 15 years or so. And their ceremonies included ayahuasca and peyote. Now I can neither confirm - nor deny…whether I have taken part, in any such ceremony…or partook of any, such as sacrament or medicine. But under US federal law…and under centuries of ceremonial usage…and under the right, Native American, medicine men, and women…they might have healing and transformation properties. Or Ayahuasca under legal federal protection…for the Brazilian churches União do Vegetal and Santo Daime. As well as the Native American Church.

Under a similar vein, medical pot has been used…for centuries, under the Native Americans and Chinese. So as long as there is a medical need…it’s covered by state or country law…and a licensed medical doctor recommended it…I have no objection to it.

Also, see

What Should Christians Take from the Native American Church Peyote Ceremony?

And these US Native American churches, open their doors to non-Native Americans:

And maybe…just maybe…those Brazilian churches and Native America Churches… taking peyote and/ or *ayahuasca *, during ceremony…might be seeing reality, as it really is…and the sacrament and/or medicine is like a TV set…tuning to the right channel.

Sometimes a Holy Fool is like Curly Stooge…they appear to say or do things, that appear “off the wall”…but on closer examination…they might not be so “off the wall”, after all.

So, anyway. Let me share a couple of true stories.

  • Duke Big Feather was the spiritual leader, of the Two Feathers Medicine Clan. Where I was part, of their extended family. He told a story of a Roman Catholic priest friend, who had lost his faith. He then talked to Duke. Duke suggested he attend, an all-night Peyote harmony - in the traditional Native American way. Well, he did. And he rediscovered his faith. And went back to his duties, as a Roman Catholic priest.
  • A young American woman shared a video on Facebook. It was about her experience with an ONAC church Ayahuasca ceremony. Well, believe it or not - she had a vision of Jesus. And was told that our purpose here, was to practice loving folks. Which was what two Christian medical doctors also discovered, during a Near Death Experience - of the wife (AKA female medical doctor). From a book I once read.



Now I am the worst possible example, for God - or any spiritual elements - to choose me for healing.

And others have been chosen, in contemporary times. For example:

First some background:

  • I was initiated into the masters level, of Reiki healing - from various persons - but I never used it.

  • I received the touch of the Holy Spirit, during a gathering in Tennessee. I was told I was receiving something, I always wanted. I never found out what it was. But my Protestant mom, born with the gift of prophecy…said it was the gift of healing. But I had no farther direction, on how to use it. A term for this is dunamis. Later, I was on the receiving end for several months…by RC priest Father A., with the gift of healing and hearing the voice of God.

  • I have been in the extended family of the Two Feathers Medicine Clan for decades (AKA Duke Joseph Big Feather). And have been part of their healing and ceremonies…as well as those of Ute Medicine man Joseph Many Horses…and Lakota elder Quentin Young.

  • I have been initiated into the meditation traditions from DYC (i.e. Madhusudandas in person), Heartfulness (i.e. Ram Chandra in person) and Bala. I have also received blessings over the years…from the house of the Yogi Guruji of Gurgaon…as well as the female saints. Amma and Karunamayi.

  • I have received healing and light from the Suyko Marakari, Johrei and Bruno Groening Circle of Friends’ traditions.

  • Recently, I was at a South American Condor medicine ceremony. Everything keeps vibrating around me…until the vibrations finally existed within me. I also had the spiritual form, awareness, and claws of an eagle…As well as the capacity to generate light. I was told I am stronger than what I think I am. As well as having been exposed, to medicine people and ceremonies - over the years (I.E. Lakota Duke Big Feather, Ute Joseph Many Horses, Ojibwa Black Wolf, Oneida Russell Four Eagles; Lakota Quentin Young) . And should know the ways. And I knew exactly what to do, as I helped other folks - during the ceremony and afterward - including at a distance. It should not be that surprising. After all, I am from the house of Christ…as well as the extended family houses, of select Eastern holy people… and the Two Feathers Medicine Clan. It’s all part of what Wayne Teasdale calls The Mystic Heart. Or RC Fr. Richard Rohr calls the Perennial Philosophy and Wisdom Tradition at CAC. I shared Jai (AKA holy water), from the house of yogi from Gurgaon - for use in the ceremony. And it was combined, with South American Condor medicine.

The healing path I follow is called vibing. It consists of:

  • That of the Holy Fool, leading to Theosis

  • That of the Eagle and the Condor, bridging the Native American Red Road and Amazon road traditions. While honoring the Medicine and Holy people I hung out with, from the Lakota, Ute, Ojibwa and Oneida tribes. And yogic masters, from the Indian and Tibetan traditions. It also honors the claws and spirit form - of the Eagle (ceremonies and teachings, of Western Native American spirituality), the medicine of the South American Condor and the yogi fromGurgaon Jai Eastern medicine - awakening this path.

  • The “uncreated” light…as best exemplified in the Eastern Orthodox Hesychasm, Native American Light; Tibetan Rainbow traditions.

  • That God is doing, any and all work…like the Sufi in Sufi Miracles. This is also the approach, of deceased German healer Bruno Gröning . And like the REAL medicine people and Eastern masters, I have hung around with…I will NOT “sell tickets”, “advertise” or “charge admission”.

  • The thing to emphasize is that there’s really NO competition on TRUE spirituality, TRUE healing, and TRUE medicine. Nor is there any conflict of interest with modern medicine, ancient healing methods or other forms of spiritual healing

Now, is this “evil” or “good”?

Good. Here’s the test. I wear a cross, which I call the cross of many blessings. It’s been blessed by

  • Clergy, from the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.

  • Folks considered saints from the East

  • The ceremonies of various Native American tribes.

If I have something evil, then the cross would burn either it - or me - up. Neither thing has happened.

There is a book called Christ and the Pipe. The Pipe is the most sacred instrument of prayer, for the Native Americans. And the author is a Roman Catholic priest. And this book is a dialogue between Roman Catholic Clergy and Lakota medicine men and women. The author talks about the spirits of heaven, hell, and the earth. And the spirits even said something, that SHOCKED the medicine people. If the Catholic priests continued, in the right way… they could ALSO hear and see the spirits.

But I still feel there is more bad - then good - in my life. Which is why I feel, I’m the worst possible example - to choose for this work.


And like the bird, in the Liberty Mutual commercial…viewing his reflection in the mirror: “He’ll figure it out!”:

Here are a couple of talks on Native healing, by Russell Four Eagles:

Now I’ll say something RADICAL, in accordance with the Holy Fool tradition. If Jesus is like Superman, then he also wants us to become like the Flash, Green Lantern, Spiderman, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, or Batman. Something that the Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholics, and mystics of all traditions (as exemplified by RC Fr. Richard Rohr at CAC) - keep telling us!


Then we can all attend, the eternal superhero party! But it starts right here…in the here and now, with a change of consciousness.


The Medicine Men and Holy People, Black Elk and Fools Crow - were also Roman Catholic. And the book Fools Crow: Wisdom and Power, was written by a Lutheran minister. And there is a school of Lutheran theology, that believes Native American spiritual - was a separate revelation - just like Judaism was. And I feel that way. While God was communicating to ancient Israel…don’t you think he was also communicating to the Americas - and other continents?

Currently, I just “dabble” in embracing the love of Christ (towards God and man) and the Buddhist compassion…The sacraments and teachings, of the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches (especially the Holy Fool tradition)…the ceremonies and medicines, of the Red and Amazon Roads (AKA Native American spirituality)…And the silent contemplation methods, from the East……and receiving light and healing, from the appropriate spiritual groups…and availing myself to modern medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and Homeopathy…that’s enough to keep me busy.

And when I introduce myself, in Native American circles…I first mention my biological parents…then say I am, from the house of Christ and the Eagle…and the extended families, of the Two Feathers Medicine Clan and certain Eastern Holy People.

And here is an interesting article:

Traits of the Eagle and How It Pertains To Our Christian Walk

Here’s a simple contemplation, to promote healing:


And how do you interpret the scriptural passages? For example. I argue about Z-Hell (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)…being the most probable, end-times tribulation scenario. And I can present different Christian people - not related to (or knowing ) each other - having the same visions or prophecies. But I can also back it up, with scriptural passages about zombies:

Bible Verses About Zombies

Somewhere on the forum, I shared a true story - from Haiti. It was about a couple of western-trained clergies…who graduated from Western Protestant seminaries…and were assigned to Haiti…but after spending some time there…they starting talking about zombies as if they were real and commonplace there. I would assume these 2 theologians and church clergy, were of “sound mind” - as Paul would put it.

When a massive earthquake devastated Haiti some years ago, I was on the ground shortly thereafter as chaos reigned and decomposing bodies filled the streets.

Driving around with two seminary professors with doctorates from very conservative American schools that don’t even much believe in supernatural miracles continuing today, I was shocked when they casually began speaking about the zombie problem in Haiti. Apparently, it was a reality they had dealt with on multiple occasions in their pastoral ministry.


To exclude zombies would be “discrimination”, against all my zombie friends! Besides, I have established a theological foundation for them…I decided to examine my theory again…that Z-Hell (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)…is the most probable, end-times tribulation scenario…and guess what? I came up with 9 examples…of folks not related to each other - seeing this! And that is just the beginning… This is from page 1, of Google alone…and there are tons of pages, continuing on Google…as the most probable, end-times tribulation scenario… Which is no more - or less “unusual”…then saying things like all was fulfilled in 70 AD, we have no free will and are puppets on a string - via God, only parts of the Bible one agrees with are true, etc. ALL equally valid - or invalid - positions on this forum.


Let’s end now, with a comic Zombie moment.


They have been having trouble with technology, since the middle ages!

And even today, the technologists sometimes mess things up - with their improvements!

Above in a response to HF I said:

It sounds to me as if Moreland, Myers, and many of the thoughtful folk on this forum are in the same ballpark about how faith and evidential reason are related :slight_smile:

Since we have talked about Christianity and atheism…I found this interesting article, from today’s Patheos Evangelical newsletter:

One point in the article, this question was asked:

“Are you talking to me?”

Randy, what is your twitter account?

“No one”? On the contrary, I am certain that at least SOME non-Christians who are reasoned with in this way, become convinced from the weight of compelling evidence.

Evangelism (that is to say, sharing the gospel, e.g., John 3:16-17) can involve both telling the story of the good news, as well as examining the Scriptures themselves, even without providing exhaustive technical evidence that would stand up in a court of law. After all, that’s what happened to all of us here, isn’t it?

The gospel has supernatural power to convert skeptics when shared clearly (Rom. 1:16). God’s word will not come back to Him void (Is. 55:11).

Some skeptics are more hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb. 3:13) than others. Facts alone may not be enough to arrive at the truth: the work of the Holy Spirit is also necessary. The Holy Spirit can anoint evidence—if it’s at least presented—evidence from fulfilled prophecy (like Psalm 22), science, archeology, and, of course, corroborating signs and wonders.

Will EVERYONE who hears and sees evidence be convinced? No: some people, seeing things before their very eyes, may not believe their own eyes, and will still say that ‘it merely thundered’ (John 12:28-29). So, we see it is not always about the amount of evidence given, but the attitude of the heart. My argument is that the evidence must be promoted, even in the face of skepticism; this gives the Holy Spirit something else to work with.

Given that Jesus himself pointed skeptics to Psalm 22 during his crucifixion, unbelievers today can be shown the comparison between crucifixion details (that we can now recognize as such) presented there–in light of those same details offered in the description of the crucifixion found in the gospels (Ps. 22:1-21, Mt. 27:27-47, Mk. 15:16-35).

To analyze and accept this evidence would be reasonable; to reject it would be unreasonable. I have never heard of anyone accusing Matthew and Mark of adding invented details (e.g., the very words used in the insults hurled against Jesus; mention of his clothing being gambled away; of his thirst; of his hands and feet being pierced) to their crucifixion narratives, in order to force a correspondence to Psalm 22; it would certainly be possible, but unreasonable.

What is actually more probable than a skeptic saying Matthew and Mark invented lies: that a person skeptical of the Scriptures has never even been offered this amazing comparison for consideration.

But this (examining fulfilled prophecies) is precisely how some people can finally get into my “convinced box.” Regarding the “objectiveness” of data analysis, here is an example of circular reasoning: the use of “index fossils” to determine the geologic age of a formation. That is to say, fossils are dated by the type of stratum they are in, while at the same time the stratum is dated by the fossils found in it! Thus, some of the main “evidence” for darwinian macroevolution is based on the assumption of darwinian macroevolution.

Yes, there are skeptics who are blind to valid evidence, because their paradigm for interpreting it is based on false presuppositions and traditions (see Thomas Kuhn’s, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions).

So, those who examine and reject historical, or archeological, or scientific evidence supporting the biblical narrative can only be as “objective” as their paradigms will allow them. (Not to mention my “conspiracy theory” that there really do exist malicious spirit beings promoting false paradigms :shushing_face:)

We are to reason with skeptics, and leave the results to God. But we are to reason with them:

Acts 17:1-3
Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”

(I am confident that some of the reasoning in Acts included the presentation of the messianic nature of Psalm 22.)

A few other examples of fulfilled prophecies for reasonable skeptics to consider:

Isaiah 13:17-19 prophesied that Babylon would fall to the Medes and Persians

Isaiah 53 portrayed the life, death, and resurrection of Messiah

Jeremiah 25:11-12 predicted that the Babylonian captivity of the Jews would last 70 years

Micah 5:2 predicted that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem

Luke 21:6 Jesus predicted the complete destruction of the temple 40 years before it happened

Acts 8:26-39 Philip used Isaiah 53 to evangelize the Ethiopian

Acts 2:14-41 Peter extensively used prophecy to evangelize, and 3000 reasonable people repented


I’m not quite ready to say that the ‘truth’ as set forth in the NT was ONLY a shaping of the extant materials into a Christian re-imagination of the materials, aimed solely at the contemporaries of the authors. I do recognize the temptation to go that far, but I’m not convinced. There is not much doubt in my mind that the OT histories had been shaped to meet the needs of, especially, a dispersed people who had lost direction and forgotten the history. But the NT seems very different to me.
In particular, I cannot fathom anyone believing that St. Paul was either lying, or fabricating, or fictionalizing anything in his work. His work feels like the raw expression of his calling and his study; rooted in Jewishness; fully aware of Rome and Greece, philosophies and politics.
Strangely enough, we know much more about Jesus and Paul, historically, than many of their contemporaries, the historicity of which we don’t question.
There’s much more to say on this subject.


Thanks for citing why you feel no one reasonable questions your view. I’d feel certain too if I never had even heard of anyone questioning the Gospel’s as reliable history. But it appears that our differing experiences in evangelism to those outside our own box explains why we reach different conclusions.

The reality is that virtually every serious skeptic tells me the Gospel writers may have constructed most of the details, when I present your kind of fulfilled prophecy argument to them. But I’m glad that every unbeliever you share with accepts the truth of the Bible’s witness and details.

That’s a personal question, Gabe. But if you PM me and promise to keep it to yourself…I’ll share it with you. I did update my Path post, to include the contemplative traditions - I currently embrace.

Anyway, I found this essay on reason and experience - in theology

Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Quakerism …all understand the role of spiritual experience…in Catholicism, many of their saints and mystics - became doctors of the church. And in Eastern Orthodoxy, mysticism is part of the Divine Liturgy. And active in the desert fathers. And it was a mystical experience, that brought George Fox to found Quakerism. And even the second, most popular religion - behind Christianity (AKA Islam) - has a mystical branch called Sufism.

One of the great writers on mysticism is

This doesn’t mean we ignore reason. But reason and our great intellectual scholars…haven’t found uniformity - in either Christianity or Islam.

I just went back through this entire thread and tried to make a summary of all the arguments / statements that directly relate to the thread’s original question. Here’s what I found:

  • It’s not infallible (Bob_Wilson) (LLC)

  • Use the Torah to derive the rest of the Bible, based on its lack of changes through the years, and the “torah code” (mik)

  • The Bible has probably been tampered with (Agnostic Gabe)

  • The Bible does have errors (Paidion)

  • Don’t worry about infallibility, just focus on the basic message of love and mercy (davo)

  • Biblical prophecies are evidence (Hermano)

If I missed an argument from somebody, please let me know (it’s a long thread!).

HF, since you have asked where I’m coming from, I describe myself these days as an “agnostic with Christian sympathies.” I am very open to spiritual things, and want Christianity to be true (or at least, something spiritual to be true). But I know too much about human psychology and sociology… such that most “supernatural” things can be explained quite easily in natural terms.

Ever heard of James Randi?

Or Derren Brown?

That is an intriguing claim by anyone’s measure.
What do you mean by ‘spiritual’? And what is it to be ‘true’?
It sounds like you have already jumped on the ‘reduction’ bandwagon, ‘easily’ reducing the rich spiritual tradition in Christianity by an appeal to - what? Social factors/brain chemistry/illusion? If so, that would imply that you are a materialist, believing that the spiritual can be reduced to the material and thus is not transcendent at all. That is a position in common with many people.

tomatohorse can answer, but I’ve never sensed that most who say that they affirm “spiritual” realities are necessarily meaning that they insist “that the spiritual can be reduced to the material world and thus is not transcendent at all.” I find that most of them hope that there is a transcendent and spiritual reality.

I think when they distinguish affirming the “spiritual” from endorsing “religion,” that they are often saying that many literal claims of traditional religions seem to them contrary to the evidence (as in the Randi example), and that they are thus inviting us to share on what basis we affirm a spiritual hope, and the actual meaning of that for us.

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