How can we come to personally know our loving God?
If any of these questions interest you, you may like to:
Read summaries and two complete chapters from this book
Know the essence of Jesus
See evidence for reincarnation
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Learn how to meditate
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Quote of the week from In Search of the Loving God:
n recent years, much attention has been given to the “Gnostic gospels” found among the texts unearthed at Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945. They challenge Christianity with a number of concepts the orthodox consider heretical. Yet many of these concepts are present in the canonical New Testament as well, though perhaps not so prominently. Take the concept of gnosis itself: it means knowing through observation or experience, and the Gnostics claimed people could know God through deep inner intuitive experience. Orthodox Christianity through the ages may not have liked this idea, nevertheless Jesus and Paul both taught it, and the record of these teachings is in the Bible. Jesus said,
“The kingdom of God does not come visibly, nor will the people
say, Here is is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God
is within you.” (Luke 17:20–21)
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor
to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot
accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you
know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”
…God…made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light
of knowledge of the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
And the “knowledge” mentioned is the word gnosis in the Greek.
Another Gnostic concept long repugnant to orthodox Christianity was that they possessed a secret teaching, consisting of the same mysteries Jesus shared with his disciples but didn’t reveal to outsiders. That Jesus had such teachings is clear from Mark’s gospel:
“The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But
to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that,
‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’” (Mark 4:11)
That Paul was also in possession of secret teachings not to be revealed to all, is equally clear:
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature,
but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who
are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a
wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory
before time began. (1 Cor 2:6–7)
Gnostics also claimed that following the crucifixion Christ continued to reveal himself to some disciples, giving them, through visions, new knowledge of divine mysteries. Though orthodox Christianity denied this, Paul himself described such an experience. So as not to boast too much about himself (2 Cor 12–5), Paul put the experience into the third person, but there seems little doubt he is referring to himself. But even if he isn’t, he still clearly approves of the vision. He said,
I know a man in Christ, who fourteen years ago was caught up to
the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body
I do not know — God knows. And I know that this man…was
caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things
that man is not permitted to tell. (2 Cor 12:2–4)
Many orthodox Biblical scholars, from Rudolph Bultmann onward, have insisted Paul does not mean what he says in this passage, and argue that Paul does not claim to have a secret tradition. Apparently such a claim would make Paul sound too “gnostic.” Professor Robin Scroggs and Elaine Pagels take the opposite view, pointing out, as I just have, that Paul clearly does say he has secret wisdom (1 Cor 2:6–7). Gnostic Christians in the early church also knew this...
— From In Search of the Loving God, Chapter 11, "Confidence in the Bible" pp. 180-182.
Past Quotes of the Week can be read at:
Past quotes of the week
Endorsements and Reviews:
In Search of the Loving God is a book written with a purpose - and that purpose is to bring an age old message of truth and love to our tired, confused and desperate world. Mark is out to conquer hearts and win love for God. His book mingles impressive scholarship with both poetic appeal and down to earth empirical experiences. The world is in great need of the healing that this book could bring it.
(Ian D. Baynes, B.V.Sc., M.A.P.S.)
In Search of the Loving God reads like a combination mystery, history, and Bible commentary all rolled into one. Read it for its enlightening view on Scripture and revealing stories of the church's history. May the Spirit use this book to reach many people with its hopeful
message for the future of Christianity.
(Joy Wells, Educator)
Mr Mason's skills as both researcher and writer are such that I was unable to put the book down once I started it. He makes what could be a very dry topic not only readable, but also highly relevant to someone who is attempting to move beyond surface spirituality to a level of deep understanding and growth.
His book is divided into two parts. The first gives a very comprehensive, and eye-opening, history of the Bible and Christianity as a religion. He shows incredibly clearly how and why the church strayed from the teachings of Jesus and what that means to the church today. The second section shows how the Bible and its teachings are relevant to seekers in today's world. He describes Bible passages that teach us about reincarnation, a simple lifestyle and free will, and he includes wonderful and affirming interpretations about what hell and the book of Revelation really means.
(Patricia Vallerand, from her review of In Search of the Loving God in the Observer Quarterly)
To read more reviews, and more of what readers are saying about his book, see the reviews and endorsements page at this site.
Author's description of In Search of the Loving God:
In Search of the Loving God proposes that the key to knowing and loving God is meditation, but that before we can love God, and effectively meditate, we need to overcome our fear of Him. The book challenges traditional Christian beliefs by taking a fresh look at the life of Jesus, and at how the church soon became corrupt and power-seeking and largely ignored Jesus' teachings, invented the concept of everlasting punishment in hell in order to control people through fear, and eventually terrorized European society with the Inquisition and the witch craze, in which millions of women were burned at the stake, often for no crime greater than being a midwife. It looks at the disturbing similarities between medieval Christianity and modern religious fundamentalism, which in America manifests as the Christian Coalition, and other organizations of the religious right. It shows how the "us and them" nature of our society is based on, and underpinned by, the medieval Christian belief that some people are valuable to God and are saved, while others are not and are eternally damned. The importance of the separation of church and state in protecting us against fundamentalism, and preserving our freedom to make our own moral choices is highlighted, as is the reality of our free will -- God's greatest gift to us.
The book has chapters on why there is no honest Biblical basis for believing in everlasting punishment in hell, Biblical evidence for believing in Reincarnation, a metaphysical interpretation of the Book of Revelation, how to meditate, the reality of miracles in our lives, and on how Christianity could be more accepting of other religions such as Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. It advocates a radical reform of Christianity, which would result in it becoming a religion of love and acceptance, rather than what it traditionally has been: a religion of guilt and fear. Abandoning the belief in eternal hell, and embracing reincarnation and meditation may sound particularly New Age, but the Bible shows Jesus taught these concepts, and that they open the way to knowing and loving God. If you are looking for a loving and inclusive spirituality, a Christianity that embraces God and all people, then this book might be a stepping stone on your path.
In divine love,
Challenge yourself to this zany and informative Religous History Quiz
If you need help editing and or publishing your writing,
you may like to read about the author's editing and publishing service: Dwapara Press Editing and Publishing
The Hot Springs of America, a novel, showing how another "terrorist" attack could mean the end of our current democracy, and plunge America into a second civil war. Read two complete chapters online, and if want to read the rest, the e-book can be purchased for just $5.95 (PayPal or Credit Card). To start reading, click here: The Hot Springs of America.
Original Songs: Songs of love, peace and the spirit. A number of songs I have written, including "Avatar" and "Live by the Words We Say": Songs.
Clipper Ship is a suite of productivity tools that makes working on a computer easier and more enjoyable. It includes an "instant spreadsheet," allowing you to do calculations with numbers in editors or word processors, even if they are mixed with text. It also allows you to paste often-used blocks of text from a pick list, and copy symbols not on your keyboard from a symbol list. It has a macro recorder, enabling you to record and replay keystrokes and mouse actions. It has an Area from Map feature that easily gets diminsions and areas from on-screen maps including Google Earth. It has an image capture feature that copies the current window or the whole screen into the Paint program so you can edit and save the images. It has a multi-clipboard, enabling you to paste any of the last 12 clips you have copied, monitors your typing speed in the current session (if you care to look at it!), and it is also an abbreviation expander with over 26,000 built-in short forms for words and phrases. It is fully Windows 7 compatible, and also works on previous versions of windows. To find out more, and to download the free 'Lite' version of the program, click here: Clipper Ship.
Aquarius Database is a freeware business database with perpetual inventory stock control and many other nice features, which will meet the needs of many startup and/or small businesses, and which can be extended later to give added functionality as a business grows. To find out more about it, click here: Aquarius Database.
My farm and forest at Fox Hollow: near Eugene, Oregon: Farm.
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