Valentinus the learner? LO27273

From: Lawrence J Stevens (
Date: 09/24/01

Replying to LO27258 --

Mark and All

First, in my experience, those who have delved deeply into theology tend
to have the most respect the enormity of the theological task and the
diversity of equally legitimate positions that are possible when one
attempts to explain the inexplicable. Consequently, precisely because of
the depth of their personal inquiry, they tend to value and encourage
genuine inquiry and learning, not devalue and discourage it. (Just so you
will know from whence I come, I'm a trained systematic theologian with an
MDiv, plus 1.5 years postgrad at St. Andrews and 3 years postgrad at

All I can say is that, as a general rule (hasty generalization?), the more
anyone relies on an outside authority to determine what they or others can
think or believe, the less likely it is that they have genuinely come to
grips with the content of that particular area of inquiry. Interestingly,
the more dogmatic they are, the more likely it is that they have
unresolved doubts which their appeals to external authority are masking.

Second, Mark, I'd like to express my regrets for the impression dogmatic
pedagogues have given you of religion. Sadly, there are many of them out
there . . . too many.

Finally, please, accept my apologies for lobbing this and running. I'd
dearly love to engage in several of the conversations, in particular the
metanoic posts. Unfortunately, at the moment, I am unable to do so. (I am
attending a week-long seminar while simultaneously working on several
projects and over-seeing others that are all due early next week. I wrote
this as my mental-health break for the evening.)

METANOICly Yours (tm),

LJ Stevens
Metanoic Leadership Institute

>From: Mark <>
>Subject: Valentinus the learner? LO27258

> Some comments questions around your comments on Valentinus...
> One of the weaknesses I have experienced in relation to religion in
> general and spiritual (or mystical) paths in particular (as I have more
> experience of these) is that they tend to provide very limited support or
> encouragement for the development of what I have come to understand as a
> learning orientation. In my experience the authority of the learner and
> the process of learning tend not to be valued except within a set of
> externally controlled boundaries. On the contrary, the authority of the
> institution and its fixed views are valued, and learning is only
> acceptable that builds on or extends these views.



"Lawrence J Stevens" <>

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