Category Archives: Publications

Fingerposts to Greatness

A Gift of Encouragement – a work of individual possibility.

by Max Dodd

A sample of this work. If you would like to read the whole publication, send an email to Max to receive a free copy…..maxdodd23@gmail.com

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT….as we begin
We are all masterpieces of the very highest order. We are all
geniuses and heroes. We are all the possessors of qualities of
brilliance. We are told we can be anything, do anything and
have anything. All this is utterly true and yet we fail daily to
meet any of these standards. Our lives are limited and shallow
and our experience bleak and restricted.
What to do?

Let me ask you a further question. Imagine that tomorrow is
your birthday and that it is a neat 100 years since you first
appeared as a screaming bundle of urine and faeces. No one
can answer the question “Did you lead a totally complete life?”
honestly and say “I did.” The honest answer that should be
given is “I did not do everything but I have had a very rich
varied and diverse life of great challenge and much
accomplishment and I pass beyond satisfied that to the extent
possible I have made the most of my time.” One of the
definitions of “success” is that the individual met God’s inner
compass. If you could say that, you can say probably as much
as you can.

A Gift of Encouragement is an operation here to assist you on
the very personal journey of living that may make possible
your providing the answer set out in the last paragraph. It is
concerned only with you as an individual. It is not interested
in social solutions or business solutions or religious solutions. I
simply want you to be able to say that you made the most of
your time and that the world probably gained something by
your being here.

This is a work of individual possibility. It is interested only in
what individuals can do. It is recognised that human beings
are social animals and that there is an underlying cosmic
architecture of unity that is propounded so effectively by the
Eastern spiritualities. This is not however a work seeking
religious conversion or the adoption of an arcane system on
which to build one’s life. It is interested in the dignity and
worth and freedom of the individual and in that individual’s
enormous, if often almost totally undiscovered, genius and
brilliance. The only disappointment in life is that you did not
try – or try hard enough. This is a work of guidance on action.
There are people who are motivators who can offer individuals
recognition of their power to find for themselves careers and all
that falderal of the world of business and commerce. There are
people who will assist as life coaches whose function will be to
ensure that careers are more fully developed than might
otherwise be the case. There are people who can offer support
when the demands of life and the complexities of the workaday
world become too much. Whole professions exist in aid of our
growth and yet the general simple principle of growth and
possibility is rarely offered as one united and simple approach.
This work is intended to do just that. By doing so, it is offering
the highest view of any individual to be and to do and to have
– and perhaps, most importantly, to become.

A Gift of Encouragement is a thoroughgoing approach to the
total development of the total being, physical, intellectual,
emotional and, of course, and most importantly, spiritual. It is
interested in your total journey to wholeness and full
functioning. It is concerned to ensure that you recognise that
the journey to wholeness is of you alone and that nothing really
can be done for you. I can discuss with you as an impartial
(and if you wish, highly partial) adviser all manner of the
questions of your life but the fundamental will always be that
you must lead your own life and that you must take a total
responsibility for it in all its dimensions. You are you and that is
a fact to be celebrated.

What is set out are many brief commentaries on the journey to
wholeness which are based on a worldwide contact with
people in all manner of places and activities. The questions
that are dealt with are those that have been met in practice and
relate to the concerns that are most commonly thrust at us. The
guidance is therefore very broad and not remotely concerned
with detail. The detail of your life is of you and for you and not
for anyone else. That comes not from our lack of interest or
concern but our determination to ensure that the advice we
give can be given a suitable application to the dilemmas and
challenges of life in such a way as will give maximum benefit
to that most important of all individuals, you.

Read on and be blessed and enjoy the Adventure.

Request a free copy from Max Dodd

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Hope More Abundantly

Maxwell Dodd has kindly gifted his writings to us and this is a sample – where Christianity meets Buddhism.

I felt as a youth as long ago as the 1950s that what I was hearing on Sunday night in a fashionable Anglican church on the North Shore of Sydney was less than sensible.   I had little doubt that the God of the service was being very inadequately presented though I kept my questions to myself.    In 1989 after a very successful career in Sydney in the law where I was a litigation solicitor and the senior partner of a three office city and suburban practice with surprising gifts as a “rainmaker,” I went to the (Presbyterian) San Francisco Theological Seminary and met my own guide and encourager the Revd. Professor Warren Lee (with whom I exchange even now emails almost daily).   Warren’s advice was not to seek an Anglican ordination – he saw the institution to be far too conservative for one who had been so accustomed to high levels of accomplishment – but to wander as a “bodhisattva” – a term I understood with my Buddhist enquiries – and bring “hope” to a wider world.

Hope More Abundantly is a series of essays written over the last 15
months in Germany and Scotland. It reflects my concern that the
triumphs of Evangelical Christianity have done great harm to the
Church and to its message. I am sure that the widely trumpeted
interest in the apparent certainties of “Bible believing” creedal
positions is finally the road to a perdition of irrelevance.
As Paul observes in the final verse to the 12th chapter of his first
Epistle to the Christians in Corinth, there is a better way – agape –
“love” or “charity” or “compassion” or even “fellow-feeling” – in
short, the equal other. Difficult, yes, and calling for courage, yes,
but it is the Way – and all spiritual traditions agree on it. The Other.
Read on, and give and share and surrender yourself to the other –
and be deeply blessed.
Maxwell Dodd
St. Goar (Rh), Germany
Thursday 12 September 2013

A word to begin with….
We are blessed with endless potential to lead full and constructive
lives. So few of us do. It is the duty of the Christian to lead a life
worthy of his call; again, he or she fails signally to do so. Pursuing
that vision is the source of this work.
A few weeks short of my 70th birthday, I feel constrained to offer
some thoughts to the man or the woman in the pew of any age on
the wisdom that has led them to be sitting there.
I do not see Jesus in the conventional Evangelical Anglican way. I
am a child indeed of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney in far off
Australia, a diocese well-known in the Anglican Communion for
the rigorousness of its Evangelical opinions. I have to confess that
even as an early teenager with a vision of what I shall be calling in
this little work “the Eternal,” I was singularly uncomfortable with
what was being offered. Energetic presentations based on man’s
“sin” and his need of “salvation” and the substitutionary death of
Jesus left me quite cold. I was sure that we were of an accessible
Eternal of unimaginable immensity (in all necessary departments)
to which we were (perhaps unexpectedly) personally important but
that we had to seek forgiveness of these mysterious things called
“sins” astonished me. I saw the Eternal at night in the scope of
what lay above my head in those remarkable pin-points of light
that we called “the Universe” and in the utter acceptance that I
knew from an adored smooth-haired fox terrier bitch of impeccable
pedigree who shared so much of my life and who listened so
patiently to all my questions. She still wagged her tail and wanted
to share my bed and have me throw a tennis ball. For that vision of
simplicity in the order of the Creation I am deeply grateful. The
journey of the years since has been one of a long and at times
difficult confirmation of something of astonishing beauty and
clarity.
My awakening began in the southern winter of 1961 when I met the
remarkable Wednesday mid-week ministry of St. Stephen’s
Presbyterian Church in Macquarie Street in Sydney. The Revd.
Gordon Powell (and a string of major international clergy from
both the United Kingdom and the United States – I recall hearing
the famed Norman Vincent Peale) preached to an overflowing
congregation of those working in the local surrounding banking
and professional area of all that was positive and constructive. It
was a Christianity that sent us (nearly 2,000 people we were told)
back to the workplace revived and strengthened by the support of
an involved God in the minutiae of committed daily commercial life.
For nearly four years Wednesday by Wednesday I experienced a
view of Jesus which inspired the searcher to seek growth and
challenge with the utmost vigour. My eyes had been opened.
By 1963, I was 21 and nearly through the professional course of the
law conducted under the Legal Practitioners Act, 1898, (as
amended) of the State of New South Wales in the Commonwealth
of Australia. I was a capable examinee more than a good student
and I was to finish the course and be admitted as a solicitor at 22 –
even then very early, now impossible. I knew little of the law but I
had convinced one or two barristers of my good memory of
essential material and of my capacity for regurgitation. Such was to
be my sole formal tertiary education.
In 1963, too, I was becoming aware from what I was reading in The
Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney’s only broadsheet newspaper itself
owned by a prominent Anglican family) of the work of an Anglican
bishop in England, one John A.T. Robinson, who had written a
highly controversial book called Honest to God. When later in that
year I should have been studying for the then forthcoming Torts
and Crimes examinations of the Board in October, I was retiring to
my bedroom (accompanied by my fellow student) and instead of
reading of negligence or homicide or larceny and the procedures of
enquiry and enforcement, I was wrestling with the utterly new and
unexpected notions of “the Ground of our Being” and “the Beyond
in our Midst,” terms which were remarkable and slightly
frightening to me. I found the work difficult – I had no familiarity
with theological discourse – and the language at times virtually
impenetrable. I did however realise that there was a revolution
taking place abroad in the way highly intelligent people were
daring to look at the questions of God and meaning and especially
how the message of God and Jesus ought to find its way to the
consciousness of the churchman or churchwoman. I found this so
consoling and struggled on in the assurance that the light would
come. It did – my explorations were themselves the wisdom of the
Eternal.

Continue reading

A Spiritual Science Interpretation of the Gospel of Thomas

Raul Valverde

Concordia University, Canada

Scientific GOD Journal | July 2020 | Volume 10| Issue 4 | pp. 277-285
Valverde, R., A Spiritual Science Interpretation of the Gospel of Thomas


Abstract


Spiritual science tries to merge science and religion. The humankind is always evolving and what was called before religion becomes science in modern times. The Gospel of Thomas, written in the second century teaches that salvation is through the words of Jesus and not through his death and resurrection which are never mentioned. The gospel does not contain cross, suffering, healing, miracle stories or exorcisms. The gospel teaches that salvation comes from the perfection of the individual. The article gives an interpretation to the Gospel of Thomas from the Spiritual Science perspective that empowers the individual as capable of understanding his true nature and relationship with the creation. The gospel reconciliates Christianity with Buddhism as
it teaches that reaching enlightenment is the only way to escape the material world.

To read this article go to: Spiritual Science where a full text PDF can be downloaded.

The purpose and mission of Scientific GOD Journal (“SGJ”, ISSN: 2153-831X) are to conduct scientific inquiries on the nature and origins of life, mind, physical laws and mathematics and their possible connections to a scientifically approachable transcendental ground of existence – we call “Scientific GOD.” By “scientific inquiries”, we mean building concrete and testable models and/or hypotheses connected to hard sciences (e.g., physics, neuroscience, biochemistry and physiology) and doing the experimental testing. We believe that in this golden age of Science the GOD in whom we trust should be spiritual as well as scientific. Indeed, since we are all made out of the same subatomic, atomic and genetic alphabets, the scientific GOD each of us seeks should be one and the same whatever our race, religion and other differences. There is also a Scientific GOD Forum available.

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New Publication from Kevin Treston

Sayings for the Soul: Now I Have Put My Words in Your Mouth: Jeremiah 1:9: Themes for Personal and Communal Meditation  offers a mini resource for those who wish to deepen their spiritual journeys through prayer using mantras and sacred sayings.

In a time of cultural turmoil and declining religious affiliation, at least in the West, Christians are called back to recover time-honoured approaches to prayer. Karl Rahner, a leading Jesuit theologian in the twentieth century, once wrote: The Christian in the future will be a mystic or nothing at all. Mantras and sacred sayings in prayer lead one into this mystical way.

 The first section of the book is a summary of key ideas towards an appreciation of mantras and sacred sayings in religion generally and Christianity in particular.

The second and third sections of the book offer a compilation of over 160 popular biblical and sacred sayings which may be helpful in choosing mantras and sacred sayings for meditation.

The fourth section presents some examples of music and song as expressions of prayer.

To order: kevintreston@gmail.com

Price $12 plus postage (invoice enclosed)

Enquiries: (07) 38561712

Mobile 0408 192 123

I’ve been surprised at the response with a third print already half sold after just three weeks. The little booklet (A5) is really a personal one for people to deepen their own prayer life. Something is at work here with the response. Dr Kevin Treston

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A call for contributing authors

THE ONCE AND FUTURE JESUS Exploring the afterlife of Jesus in world cultures.

Editor: Gregory C. Jenks Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ABSTRACT
This set of essays explores the impact of Jesus within and beyond Christianity, including his many ‘afterlives’ in literature and the arts, social justice and world religion. It traces both the impact of Jesus on his devotees as well as his legacy among people who claim no religion.

INDICATIVE TABLE OF CONTENTS

Proposals for contributions around other topics which are clearly relevant to the collection are also most welcome.

Foreword Introduction

SECTION ONE: JESUS BEFORE EASTER

  1. Galilee in the first century 2. First-century Nazareth 3. Historical Jesus research 4. Jesus as a historical figure 5. Jesus the sage 6. Jesus the healer 7. Jesus the prophet 8. Jesus the rebel 9. The crucifixion of Jesus

SECTION TWO: THE CHRIST CULT

  1. The Easter tradition 11. Jesus and the Q community 12. Jesus and the Pauline mission 13. Jesus in the Johannine community 14. Jesus and Judaism after Bar Kochba 15. Jesus and the Byzantine Empire 16. Jesus outside the Chalcedonian matrix

SECTION THREE: JESUS AS A GLOBAL CHARACTER

  1. Jesus in Judaism 18. Jesus in the Quran 19. Jesus in medieval coins, 500–1500 CE 20. Jesus in other major religions 21. Jesus in alternative Christianities 22. Jesus in art 23. Jesus in literature 24. Jesus in film 25. Jesus in popular culture 26. Jesus and human rights 27. Jesus in the Antipodes 28. Jesus through Indigenous Australian eyes 29. Jesus in Pacific culture 30. The Judaic humanism of Jesus

PUBLISHER’S GUIDELINES
• Chapters will normally be no longer than 6000 words • Chapters will be checked for suitability, language and grammar by our Desk Editors before being sent to the Guest Editor, and may be returned to the author for amendment and resubmission • Chapter authors will be asked to sign a short publishing contract on provisional acceptance. Chapters should be free of rights restrictions. Authors should have the authority to submit the chapter for publication. • Royalties will not be paid to chapter authors

To see the Call on the Publisher’s website, please visit: http://cambridgescholars.com/edited_collections/once-and-future-jesus-chaptersubmission.docx where you can download and complete a submission form.

For further information about this project, please contact me directly:
Dr Gregory C. Jenks gjenks@csu.edu.au (+61) 426067344

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Easter Reading

JOHN QUERIPEL PROGRESSIVE AUTHOR

I have written two books to have you thinking over the Easter season. They would make an ideal gift for either a friend or with which to treat yourself.

The first is ‘ON THE THIRD DAY: RE-LOOKING AT THE RESURRECTION’ https://morningstarpublishing.net.au/product/on-the-third-day/ OR https://wipfandstock..com/on-the-third-day.html (the second website offers a preview reading)

‘The Easter story culminating in the resurrection of Jesus stands at the heart of Christian faith and celebration. But in the modern world is the story still believable? And does it still have transformative power for modern living? The scriptures contain a mix of attitudes to life after death, and the resurrection stories themselves contain a mysterious mix of the physical and mystical. John Queripel argues that we can no longer hold to a literal understanding of these accounts, but neither can we see the resurrection as merely delusion and wish-fulfilment.’

The second is ‘BONHOEFFER: PROPHET AND MARTYR’ (Play and essay) https://wipfandstock.com/bonhoeffer.html (Preview reading offered)

The 75th anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s death will be 8th April. 

‘In the final days of World War II, early one frosty morning, a young German pastor was taken from his cell by his Nazi captors and led to his place of execution. Coming from one of Berlin’s leading families, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s already brilliant academic and church career was thus brutally terminated. Bonhoeffer found himself in such a strange place for a theologian, being one of the very few in the German Church who stood resolutely opposed to the Nazis to the point where he, as a one-time pacifist, became deeply involved in the conspiratorial plot to kill Hitler and bring down the regime. This course of action saw him enter the murky sphere of secrecy and duplicity as a member of the conspiracy, while two-timing the Nazis as a member of military intelligence. Using that official role, Bonhoeffer was able to travel and communicate with his international ecumenical contacts as part of the conspiracy’s attempt to strike a deal with the Allies to end the war. From a dark period, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, brave and resolute, stands as a bright and shining light.’ Information on my books is available on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/JohnHenryQueripel/

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Real Estate Parables

Real Estate Escapes – SPECIAL PRICE for Christmas 2019

Another inexpensive Christmas gift idea that informs, protects and warns….

$15.00 from For Pity Sake Publishers

For the real estate enthusiast – Real Estate Escapes by nationally recognised ‘real estate watchdog’ and consumer advocate , Tim O’Dwyer , is just the ticket at only $15.00.

[Tim is a member of our New Farm Explorers group.]

When ‘sold’ isn’t sold and ‘Off-the-Plan’ is just ‘off’

Real Estate Escapes is a collection of timeless property parables where not all agents, solicitors and conveyancers are created equal, and where not all escapes are successful. Drawing from over four decades experience, Tim O’Dwyer combines his deep knowledge of the subject with an uncanny ability to explain, in a simple and entertaining way, these true tales of getting out of contracts, leases, prosecutions and legal liability.

Real Estate Escapes is more than an informative consumer guide. It’s also a really good read – riveting stories of the traps, rorts and misunderstandings that abound in the real estate industry. I highly recommend you read it BEFORE venturing into the minefield.”

– Helen Wellings – Channel Seven Consumer Affairs Reporter

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Christmas Gift Ideas

We are very fortunate to have many productive authors in the Progressive Christian movement. Some have made a major focus on Christmas.

Here are three that you might like to consider when looking for gifts for thinking friends or even for yourself:

Available from Barnes and Noble with free delivery.

  • Rex’s Book has been a great reference for many seminars.

Available directly from Rex Hunt.

  • Borg and Crossan are leading scholars of the historical Jesus.

Available from Amazon.

Enjoy the season!

Paul

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The Impact of the Death of Christianity on Australian Society

Predicting social trends is usually an inexact science, but England’s influential Spectator magazine has boldly put a precise date on the disappearance of Christianity from Britain: 2067.

“What does all this mean? …. First, that reports of Christianity’s demise in the West are greatly exaggerated; and second, that to the extent it does disappear, it will be greatly missed…

The churches will have fewer nominal attendees, so that members are more committed. As they continue their good works, but without much of the moralising of the recent past, the faith will become more attractive. It will be like the fourth century – before Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire and began its fateful courtship of power and authority….

Much of Australia’s social capital over the past two centuries was built by Christians, explicitly motivated by their faith to work not just for themselves but for the community at large. They believed they were called to love their neighbour – all their neighbours – and brought their (now-maligned) “Protestant work ethic” to bear on the problems and challenges of their time. The economy, and in particular the siren call of profit, is the only language that seems to move government or business now. Or at least, it is the most heard….”

To see the full article by Barney Zwartz from the Centre for Public Christianity go to:

Christianity is dying out? Don’t count on it.

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The latest from Kevin Treston now available

Opening Doors: A Seeker’s reflections on the rooms of Christian living
Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. (Revelation 3:20) Opening Doors: A Seeker’s Reflections on the Rooms of Christian Living takes seriously the invitation of the Lord for us to open the door to him, and with confidence consider how our faith may be enhanced and energised through the wisdoms of contemporary theology and spirituality.
The book is written for those whom Charles Taylor describes as ‘seekers’ – Christians who are searching to reconcile their faith with emerging insights from modern science, cosmology and consciousness.
We are invited to open eleven doors and enter eleven rooms of Christian living. Each room offers a flavour of each of the topics in the Christian Story followed by focused questions for individual reflection and shared conversations in self-directed groups. The topics of the rooms include everyday spirituality, the universe story, humans and religion, the mystery of God, meeting Jesus, the church, ministry, women and faith communities, a Christian ethical way of life, Christian spiritualities and faith communities in a global world.
Kevin Treston graduated BA (Hons), MA (Hons), MEd., PhD (University of Notre Dame USA) and pursued post-doctoral studies in Washington, Boston and Chicago. He was visiting Scholar at Boston College and is a member of the Association of Practical Theology Oceania. He has worked in ministry across Australia and many countries.
To order online go to: www.coventrypress.com.au
Phone: 0477 809 037
Email: enquiries@coventrypress.com.au
Post to: Coventry Press, 33 Scoresby Road, Bayswater Vic
Opening Doors @ $24.95
*Postage: $9.95 for 1-3 books; $11 for 4 and more; free freight for orders over $100
OPENING DOORS
A Seeker’s reflections on the rooms of Christian living
Kevin Treston
Coventry Press
9780648566106 — $24.95

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