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A Tower of Babble

Giving Voice to Intolerance in an Age of Pluralism

The back story to the Tower of Babel myth is that the orignial plans called for anything but babble. But where once humankind may have all spoken the same language with one unifying plan to build a place all could dwell and abide one another, it has long since ever been the case. “We live in a pluri-verse, not a uni-verse,” says Raimon Panikkar. Ours is a pluralistic age in which we have many different and opposing – even sometimes mutually incompatible — worldviews that threaten planetary human coexistence. In the midst of such chaos and confusion, how can we tolerate each other’s differences? Or, some might ask, should we even try? I consider myself a very tolerant person! The only people I cannot abide are ignorant and intolerant bigots! Does that make me intolerant as well, or merely principled? What would constitute a forbearance of principled intolerance, with a leniency of spirit? Here’s John Bennison’s latest Commentary from Words and Ways.

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Ayn Rand Was Consistent

Individualism vs Collectivism

I would say that belief in either God or spirituality goes hand in hand with collectivism. Spirituality is about “the whole enchilada.”

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Topics: Devotional and Political Concerns. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus, Point 3: Inclusive Community, and Point 4: Act As We Believe. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Texts: Matthew. Resource Types: Articles.

Voting With Enthusiasm

“….seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1: 17) Here’s how I translate this biblical urging into the way I will vote in November: 1. The passage of the Affordable Health Care …

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The Challenge of Jesus

With John Dominic Crossan

Dr. Crossan presents his life’s work of exploring the full matrix of Jesus’ own time and place to reveal that historical figure as still-and-ever a challenge for us today.

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The Nicene Creed: Ancient Words in the Light of Modern Faith

The Nicene Creed was both a religious and a political tool, a humanly constructed statement of belief that gave order and meaning to the world of its time. The question this book raises is whether it still gives order and meaning to our world–or rather, what kind of order and meaning does it give to our world.

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What Should Churches Be About?

Whatever paradigm a community may favor (or more than one among community members), the core of Christian faith and what Jesus emphasized — the centrality of love in action — can be the community emphasis as well.

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Dark Knights — How Spiritual Communities Could Help

The recent horrible shooting incident at a premier showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Colorado has focused attention, once again, on some aspects of what has gone wrong when a person takes such a violent and antisocial turn.

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Win, Lose or Draw?

Jesus' Way of Confounding the Trophy-centric Ways of this World

The ancient Olympic games were a series of athletic competitions between city-states. The results determined who were the winners, and who were the losers. But during the games, any conflict between the warring states was forbidden. If ever there was a time when that Olympic torch should be lit and never be extinguished, perhaps this is it. But how? It seems international good sportsmanship inside the stadium can only be assured by heavy security on the outside; where unruly competing self-interests would seek to turn winning at all cost into a blood sport. The previous Words & Ways commentary explored a foolish kind of wisdom once espoused by a Galilean sage through his teaching, the parables he told, and even the seeming absurdity found in his miracles (see “The Foolishness of Jesus”). It is this same Jesus tradition that also proposes such counter-cultural notions that one can “win by losing,” and “the last shall be first.” Here’s John Bennison’s latest commentary from Words & Ways.

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Messiah’s Resurrection and Messianic Jewish Belief

I’ve titled this as about the Resurrection, which is just one part of a complex of beliefs… but let’s return and end there… What similarities or differences do you see in Paul’s Resurrection statements and beliefs and those of the early Jerusalem Jesus-followers?

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The Foolishness of Jesus

Wisdom & Foolishness in the Perennial Tradition

Wisdom is often mistaken as knowledge, prudence or pragmatism; whereas foolishness is equally regarded sometimes to be the kind of fool-hearted thing Jesus would have characteristically espoused with many of his confounding ideas about God, God’s ways and how we ought to treat one another. Truth be told, there are plenty of people who consider themselves much too smart to take seriously some of the darn fool things Jesus actually said and meant. But Jesus was no ordinary fool. A Words and Ways Commentary by John Bennison.

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