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Reading this on Easter Sunday, 2024. A non Christian, but as strident, and perhaps empty, a truth seeker as the author. Even the militant atheist Dawkins, with his Gaia Mother Earth reference, was on to something. The crisis of connectedness the author felt at his child’s school musical is real. It is the only thing that is real. Material is not to be rejected but materialism is. We are, after all, part physical beings, and to deny the implications of our physicality is wrong. Science taught us to take the material side of ourselves seriously. But using it, we became addicted to its power over our material senses, and we forgot that our spiritual senses and selves are at least the other half of us. Hinduism, the Natarajah, captures this as well as anything I’ve known. There is no separation between the creator and the creation. We are atomized droplets of a flowing stream of consciousness. I am no convert to Christianity but I suspect Christ grasped this at a time when the power of materialism was rising, and it gave voice and validity to those without material power, to say to themselves and the world, we who you believe to be leaving behind, in our recollection of our spiritual selves, are as real as any of your advancing material hegemony. U fortunately, in today’s world, things will get far worse before they get better.

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Absolutely wonderful read. I started this when it was first published and got distracted. Now it's getting added to my bookmarks! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mr. Kingsnorth's journey to Christianity. As a practicing Catholic and having just taken a pilgrimage through Italy (Assisi, San Giovanni Rotondo, St. Michael the Archangel's cave, Pompeii, Rome/Vatican, etc etc) I can tell you there are contemporary saints that God put on this earth to fulfill His endeavor to continue converting souls. Read up on Blessed Carlo Acutis, who is on the path to sainthood and how he impacted a new generation through modern technology. His mother came to speak to us and just when I thought I felt quite close to God, bam....there I was contemplating how much more I can and must do. The peace I felt all through COVID and the insanity of culture and global wars comes directly from the Holy Spirit.

Mr. Kingsnorth's writing is just divine.

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Wow. Fantastic. Possibly the most interesting conversion story I've ever heard.

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What a gorgeous read. Love when things make me think while presented so poetically and deep. What am I actually "seeking" anyway? What a profound question. When you've been through the valleys, over the hills, read/watched/discussed so much and still feel "the abyss".... Wow, this made me really slow down, to think and feel and that always takes my breath away, and gives me pause. "In the Kingdom of Man, the seas are ribboned with plastic, the forests are burning, the cities bulge with billionaires and tented camps, and still we kneel before the idol of the great god Economy"...... My brain still vehemently rejects "organized" religion but maybe he's right, we are all still part of the story, this "rebellion against God." Hmmmmm...... "Get thee to a nunnery" (I substitute "monastery") sounds down right heavenly right now.

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Re: I discovered that magic is real. It works.

Oooooooooooooookay. Doesn't that negate your newfound Christian beliefs? 🧐

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I've read several of the comments and haven't seen this brought up yet. What is it about this writer and this essay that a person like Bari, as Jewish as the Pope is Catholic, to find this worthy of publishing? Don't get me wrong -- I appreciate it. But why would someone who is thoroughly Jewish publish it?

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I once had a friend, fairly new to the faith, describe her journey this way: “The Holy Spirit pursued me and led me to Jesus who took me by the hand and introduced me to the Father.” There are hundreds of ways to become a Christian and multiple ways to practice worship services. However, what is real and true and forever is that the Bible tells the story of our rebellion against God and the plan He has put in place to restore creation. This essay is correct: it is the cross of Jesus Christ which is at the center of Christianity, indeed at the center of all history: not denominations, not Catholic or Protestant, not church history or traditions or any other ideas foolish humans put out there. The full counsel of scripture from Genesis to Revelation is what unites believers all over the globe. The Redeemer has come and He is coming back. Hallelujah.

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Bari, thank you.

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Thank you.

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There was so much in here that I wanted to paraphrase and send to different people, members of my family, friends, acquaintances. I am going to send it en masse to those I feel need to read it and, hopefully, they will. The truth of it is staggering. The journey worth taking. “The way and the truth and the life”. We are doomed if we do not see and understand the message. Thank you so very much for printing Paul Kingsnorth’s article. I hope it will convince some people to open their hearts and minds to the possibility of traveling down this path. In Jesus’ name I pray….

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“Still, he obviously didn’t die and return to life, this being impossible, and without that, the faith built around him was nonsense.”

Thanks for sharing Paul. I’m curious what you have now come to think of the literal resurrection from the dead of Christ. Have you, or anyone else, found a way to reconcile the Orthodox faith with this ostensible impossibility? Is it simply the wrong question to ask? Does it not need to have literally happened for it to be true (the way Jordan Peterson often talks about myths)? Is it a unique event only to happen once in all of existence? Or is there anything else an orthodox Christian can comment on this rather pivotal point?

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“Every culture that lasts, I suspect, understands that living within limits—limits set by natural law, by cultural tradition, by ecological boundaries—is a cultural necessity and a spiritual imperative. There seems to be only one culture in history that has held none of this to be true, and it happens to be the one we’re living in.” So....what you’re saying is...those previous cultures you’re so fond of DIDN’T last?

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This year I converted to Orthodoxy. I was always a believer but the description here of what the Orthodox Church means is a lovely summary of the feeling.

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I loved this. That's my Lord, pursuing hearts... it reminds me of the book A Severe Mercy. So wonderfully told as well.

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Sounds like a man bouncing through the years from trend to trend and belief to belief, searching for something to cling to. I expect in a few years he'll be touting something new as "the real deal" after this bout with Romanian Orthodox Christianity.

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founding

Wonderful.

When people ask me about Christianity, I suggest they start with the book of Matthew. If that's too much, I suggest they read chapters 5 through 7 at least. I find I need to remember Matthew 7:5 and 7:20 almost every day.

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