Any Christians who've read GTD?

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cdevidal

Guest
I have a serious GTD-related question for genuine born-again Christians here.

If you are not a Christian or you consider yourself to be a Christian but do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, please don't answer. Thank you for your understanding.

I just learned about GTD this weekend through websites and blogs. I've considered reading the book but David's use of phrases like "mind like water" and the Zen references have turned me off.

Let me explain why. About 5 years ago my favorite music group played techno music -- almost no words, but many of the words they used were out of the Bible. But they were heavy into Kabalah, that strange demonic mix of Judasim and mysticism. I didn't think much of it because I wasn't being discerning of what I was listening to, but one day God convicted me about it and I stopped listening. IMMEDIATELY my spirit brightened. About a week later I felt about 2x better.

I am utterly convinced that there is a spirit behind everything, influencing you positively or negatively. It has far more to do with mere words, because most of those songs had either one or two generic words (repeated often), a few Bible verses, or no words at all. It was the spirit behind the music that was getting to me.

So when I encountered these Zen-like phrases in reference to GTD immediately my antennas went up. But I still want to read and recommend the book to other people for it's core concepts.

My questions to you:
* In David's GTD book, do you recall reading much spiritual information? Could you please type it in here?
* Do you think there is an eastern religious theme to the book?
* What is your overall impression?

The good news is GTD actually led me to rejoicing. The concepts are indeed religiously-neutral and I rejoiced on Sunday morning for God handing me such wisdom that I could apply to life and stop procrastinating and be effective for His kingdom in ways that bring Him glory and me satisfaction. I rejoiced! It gave me such joy because my TODO items had grown stale and I knew I could be more effective but didn't know how.

And I'd read enough information online to learn how to apply GTD without actually reading the book. But as I said I want to read it for more information AND I want to help other people. I want to host a GTD workshop at work and teach everyone about it and point them to the book, but I couldn't do that right now, my conscience wouldn't let me.

Would *love* your discerning feedback. Thanks.

Again if you are not a Christian or you consider yourself to be a Christian but do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, please don't answer. I only want the input of genuine brothers and sisters right now. Thank you very much for your understanding.
 

Max

Registered
I am a Christian. I have read the book. There is nothing in the book or related works that is remotely religious. He makes comparisons to martial arts and getting things down on paper so your mind is not cluttered with thought. I see nothing that a Christian would find a problem with.
 

gtderik

Registered
Wow...

CD,
Yes, I am a Christian, but judging by your loaded buzzwords- we probably are not the same flavor of "Christian." there are lots of notes from great wisdom literature in GTD. its inspiring qoutes like that are what I love. and yes the book is influenced by eastern thought and spirituality. I dont take any offense at all by the spiritual claims. it is this specific aspect that I think really draws people to GTD. All in all I dont think that David's spiritual claims (not that I can ever speak for someone else...) are in anyway much different than the "spirituality" of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We are all spirits that are in some way moving to a greater destiny. this crosses all boundaries of faiths and borders.

CD, a great starting point in understanding Zen principles and how they are alike to Christianity would be a book called Living Buddha, Living Christ written by Thich Nhat Hanh. Hanh was a great friend of Thomas Merton the Trappist Monk. I highly recommend you check out the book.

I would be open to continue talking more about this.
-Erik
 

TesTeq

Registered
What's your problem with "mind like water"?

cdevidal said:
If you are not a Christian or you consider yourself to be a Christian but do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, please don't answer.
...
Again if you are not a Christian or you consider yourself to be a Christian but do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, please don't answer. I only want the input of genuine brothers and sisters right now.
I am sure that Jesus was not saying to non-Christians: "please don't answer". If you have a personal relationship with Him, he should have told you so.

cdevidal said:
I've considered reading the book but David's use of phrases like "mind like water" and the Zen references have turned me off.
What's your problem with "mind like water"?

What other Zen references have you found in the book that you haven't read?
 

kewms

Registered
[Struggles to come up with a reply which would not be deliberately antagonistic. Fails. Writes long post anyway. Thinks better of it and deletes.]

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the God who has endowed us with wisdom and intellect expects us to forgo their use." -- Galileo Galilei.

Katherine
 

mcogilvie

Registered
cdevidal said:
I just learned about GTD this weekend through websites and blogs. I've considered reading the book but David's use of phrases like "mind like water" and the Zen references have turned me off.
I recommend the book

Beside Still Waters: Jews, Christians, and the Way of the Buddha (Paperback)
by Linda Klepinger Keenan (Author), Harold Kasimow (Author), Jack Miles (Author), John Keenan (Editor)

where you will find interesting and informative essays by Jews and Christians with a variety of informed perspectives.

cdevidal said:
But they were heavy into Kabalah, that strange demonic mix of Judasim and mysticism.
Now this is offensive, although I assume out of ignorance and parochialism rather than malice. Kabalah is an authentic branch of Jewish mysticism, and the dominant form for hundreds of years. I know vulgarizations have appeared in popular culture, but even the ones that are scams are no worse than other scams appearing in other religious traditions, e.g., selling "cures" and "blessings". However, to say that Kabalah is demonic is similar to saying that the writings of Saint Teresa of Avila or John of the Cross were demonic. A nice recent introduction to the Zohar, the principal Kaballistic text, was written by the scholar Arthur Green. I strongly recommend the brief, easy book Jewish Spirituality : A Brief Introduction for Christians by Lawrence Kushner.
 

Max

Registered
TesTeq said:
I am sure that Jesus was not saying to non-Christians: "please don't answer".
Actually there were no Christians during Jesus time therefore no non-Christians. ;)

First, let's not get into a religious debate here. We don't want another thread shut down abruptly.

I also gather that cdevidal is a rather by the book Christian, the question is basically, does GTD conflict with my faith. Valid question although I agree with TesTeq in that I don't see what issue there could be with mind like water.
 
C

cdevidal

Guest
TesTeq said:
I am sure that Jesus was not saying to non-Christians: "please don't answer". If you have a personal relationship with Him, he should have told you so.
I'm afraid I don't understand your question. Could you please rephrase it?

TesTeq said:
What's your problem with "mind like water"?
See the post above, I listed why (spirit behind the book).

TesTeq said:
What other Zen references have you found in the book that you haven't read?
I haven't read the book, which is why I'm asking.
 
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cdevidal

Guest
Max said:
First, let's not get into a religious debate here. We don't want another thread shut down abruptly.
Right. I asked, very politely, twice, that non-Christians please excuse themselves.

If you want to debate Christianity, please go to CARM.org and click the Forums link on the right-hand side where I engage in debate all the time. You can ask me there.

Max said:
I also gather that cdevidal is a rather by the book Christian, the question is basically, does GTD conflict with my faith. Valid question although I agree with TesTeq in that I don't see what issue there could be with mind like water.
It's about discernment! GTD itself doesn't conflict with my faith, the question was does the book itself (not the concepts) list too many eastern-religious concepts (higher consciousness, Zen, etc.) to be in conflict with my conscience.

That's all.
 
C

cdevidal

Guest
kewms said:
[Struggles to come up with a reply which would not be deliberately antagonistic. Fails. Writes long post anyway. Thinks better of it and deletes.]
Thank you, Katherine, for refraining.

If you'd like to debate Christianity, please join in in the CARM.org forums.
 
C

cdevidal

Guest
mcogilvie said:
Now this is offensive, although I assume out of ignorance and parochialism rather than malice.
I mean no malice, but I stand by my belief that mysticism of any kind, even mixed with Judaism, is demonic.

If you would like to discuss this further, please join me in the CARM.org forums.

Thank you.
 
C

cdevidal

Guest
Max said:
I am a Christian. I have read the book. There is nothing in the book or related works that is remotely religious. He makes comparisons to martial arts and getting things down on paper so your mind is not cluttered with thought. I see nothing that a Christian would find a problem with.
Thanks, Max.

Could you please type in a few quotes?
 

TesTeq

Registered
End Of Message.

cdevidal said:
I'm afraid I don't understand your question. Could you please rephrase it?
As far as I know Jesus was ready to talk to everybody - not just to His followers.

Max said:
First, let's not get into a religious debate here. We don't want another thread shut down abruptly.
You're right.
 

kewms

Registered
cdevidal said:
Thank you, Katherine, for refraining.

If you'd like to debate Christianity, please join in in the CARM.org forums.
Christianity (or any other religious belief, including atheism) is a matter of faith, not reason. Faith is, by definition, a very personal thing. So I don't find debate over matters of faith to be a productive use of my time.

Katherine
 
C

cdevidal

Guest
gtderik said:
Yes, I am a Christian, but judging by your loaded buzzwords- we probably are not the same flavor of "Christian."
I want to hear the opinions of genuinely born-again Christians like Jesus said in John 3. If you are one, please reply. If not, please excuse yourself.

Nothing against you (or ANYONE who isn't born-again), it's just that, from what I can tell from Scripture, those who have not been born again as it says in John 3 don't (can't) think with God's heart and mind, the God of the Bible. So I want to hear from people who are, like David, after God's own heart. The God who wrote the Bible.

Thanks for your understanding.

gtderik said:
there are lots of notes from great wisdom literature in GTD. its inspiring qoutes like that are what I love. and yes the book is influenced by eastern thought and spirituality.
That's what I was afraid of.

Could someone please quote those places?

gtderik said:
All in all I dont think that David's spiritual claims (not that I can ever speak for someone else...) are in anyway much different than the "spirituality" of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
The "spirituality" of that book comes from a Mormon so I don't trust it, either.

I am only interested in seeking wisdom that doesn't confront/conflict with the Bible, so while I don't have a problem with the concepts in GTD, I also don't want to be influenced by David's words if he's coming from an eastern religion background.

As I mentioned above, I've had a bad experience with that.

gtderik said:
I would be open to continue talking more about this.
Would you please send me an email? Chris (AT) deVidal (DOT) tv. You will get an automatic reply, click the link.
 
C

cdevidal

Guest
cdevidal said:
I'm afraid I don't understand your question. Could you please rephrase it?
Now I understand.

I have zero problems talking to non-Christians. This isn't an exclusive "members-only" club.

I'm just not asking your opinions on this subject right now. I know your opinions -- GTD is wonderful and David Allen is a fine guy and what's the big deal about eastern religious ideas anyway if it gets the job done?

I want the opinions of someone who is a born-again Christian.

If you want to discuss this further, please write me an email. Thanks.
 
C

Cuccu

Guest
I'm a Christian, and I've found much that is valuable in David Allen's writings.

If you're looking for bits and pieces that won't jive with your world view, you'll find them. I won't quote them, partly because that's a research project not on my projects list (not even in someday/maybe).

I don't think David is espousing any particular religion in any of his books. As far as I can tell, he takes great care not to. GTD is not about any religion.

Is there an eastern religious theme to the book? I wouldn't say so. Yes, David uses terms like "mind like water." I bet it would take me less than an hour to find the biblical equivalent. But again, that's not on my list.

I wish that GTD had been taught in my Christian high school or college. In my opinion, GTD is an essential life tool. Regular use of GTD makes navigating the complexities of life that much easier.
 
C

cdevidal

Guest
Cuccu said:
Is there an eastern religious theme to the book? I wouldn't say so.
Thank you, that is PRECISELY the kind of answer I'm looking for, though up above gtderik said yes it's definitely there.

Nonetheless you've answering the question directly and I appreciate that.

Because I am getting mixed answers, I would encourage you to make it a research project on your TODO list for the simple reason that we should always read, listen, etc. with discernment like the Bereans in Acts 17. We should test everything and only then hold fast to what is good.

Because I am getting mixed answers, I probably will avoid reading it to avoid a similar incident like I had with the techno music. I've learned plenty from the web and blogs to get me going.

And I will probably not recommend people read his book, but I probably will teach a class on the core concepts.
 
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cdevidal

Guest
Once again, if you would like to debate Christianity, PLEASE don't do it here. I am MORE THAN WILLING TO TALK but not right here.

Shoot me a private message. Send me an email. Join me at CARM.org. But not here, please.

Thank you.
 
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