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The Vision of an Un-Church

Post number two of this new blog and I find I’m having trouble getting my thoughts into words.  I have all this random friendship stuff floating around, yet it’s having trouble getting out of my head and onto paper in any intelligible fashion.  I also have pages and pages of notes filled with topic ideas, and yet they aren’t magically transforming into brilliant articles.

Instead of starting where I thought I’d be starting I’m going to talk about my vision.  In the last post I talked about my prophetic dream.  Today I want to talk about a vision for the future.  It’s not necessarily a vision for this blog, although that is a part of it.  This is a vision for something that doesn’t really exist yet.

I have a vision of creating a church that isn’t about religion.  That may sound strange at first, but read on and I hope it may make more sense. 

I’m a regular guy in my late thirties.  I have a wife and a seven year old daughter.  I often think about what it takes to raise a child today.  Not just the necessities of feeding, housing, and educating, but the more intangible items that will define her as a human being. 

How do I teach her to be kind, caring, and compassionate?  How do I teach her to treat others and interact with her peers and with those older and younger?  How do I prevent the selfishness that seems to appear in abundance in today’s society? 

The Basis of Friendship as Described by Aristotle

To start a discussion on friendship we should look at what defines friendship and why it is necessary and good.  For this we look to the great philosopher Aristotle.  Many philosophers focus on theory and conjecture.  I’m sure Aristotle did his fair share of this type of philosophy as well, but in his work Nicomachean Ethics he looked for a practical application of theories originally explored by Plato. 

Aristotle wrote the Nicomachean Ethics (NE) in 350 BC.  NE is full of great material on how to live a good life.  At some point (when we have a larger audience here at Friendship Society) I’d like to host a read and discuss where we read a section each week and discuss it in the comments section.  I think that would be a fun activity to share and would help us learn a great deal about how to be good and virtuous. 

Today I want to talk about a portion of NE that covers friendship, specifically the section that discusses why we need friends and then looks at three types of friendship and defines one as the only true form of friendship.  I think this well set us up well for all future discussions of friendship and all that is related.

We’ll begin by seeing what Aristotle has to say about why friendship is important.

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