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The Consciousness of Christmas

This past Saturday night, my wife Roberta and I stood with a group of people on Hollywood Boulevard, holding flickering candles. Passers-by might have assumed we were Christmas caroling. But we were holding a vigil for the …

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Mary’s Rebirth

(From a sermon I gave at Mt Hollywood Congregational Church on 12/2, the first Sunday of Advent.) On one seemingly ordinary day over 2000 years ago, a seemingly ordinary girl had an extraordinary rebirth. Mary abruptly experienced …

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Topics: Devotional and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 2: Pluralism and Point 8: Compassion and Selfless Love. Seasons & Special Events: Advent. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Texts: Luke. Resource Types: Adult Curriculum, Meditations, and Sermons.

Changing Actions, Changing Hearts

((My wife Roberta and I hope that THIS IS MY SONG will be sung at Obama’s 2nd inauguration in January. It’s “a song of peace for their land and for mine” – just the message America needs …

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Understanding “The Gospel”: Why Authorship Claims Matter Dramatically – Part 2 B

But the loss of their key center and probably the main leadership and overall strength of the movement opened the way for Pauline Christian influence which is clear particularly in Luke (both his Gospel and Acts).

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Sara Kay: On The Way

Soulful music that combines elements of folk, blues, jazz, and gospel. Lyrics are spiritual yet progressive, philosophical yet earthy, and realistic yet hopeful. The topics include: enjoying the sacredness of daily life, finding hope in difficult times, …

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Promises, Promises

What’s a promise worth, any more? Surely one of the most peculiar phenomena in America’s peculiar politics has been Grover Nordquist’s no-tax-increase pledge. It was signed solemnly by countless Republican politicians over the last couple of decades. …

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Understanding “The Gospel”: Why Authorship Claims Matter Dramatically – Part 2

The great dividing line for two religions and the relationship between them is the period of 66-70 CE, which ended in the destruction of both Jerusalem and the great “Second Temple”. For Jews of the time this destroyed the political, economic and religious organization of Israel….

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Quotations of Jim Burklo

Christianity follows the humble faith of an empty man. So how did we Christians become so full of ourselves? It’s time to empty ourselves of the belief that our religion is better than others.

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Outrageous Conception

Richard Mourdock crashed his dogma into the wall of logic. He totaled his belief system with one elegantly absurd utterance. Now would be a good time for him to get a new religion, and a new political philosophy to go with it.

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Faces of Fasting

Simone Weil was a Jewish philosopher from France who was hungry for God, and found God through Christianity – even though she never became a Christian…For her, being hungry for God was the way to have God. Yearning for God was her experience of God.

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The Varieties of God

Musings by Jim Burklo - www.tcpc.blogs.com/musings

I offer here a categorization and listing of ways that people think about God. I offer this list in order to stimulate my own thinking, and hopefully yours, about the tremendous variety of ways that people have tried to define or begin to comprehend Ultimate Reality.

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The Heart of Freedom

For Whitehead and Hartshorne, the indeterminacy of subatomic events suggests that freedom, and the creativity that flows from it, are ubiquitous in the universe. Even electrons make choices. According to process thought, we’re so free that even God can’t know the future, since all entities have the God-given ability to behave unpredictably.

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Soulful Citizenship

Isaiah, the prophet, who said “… seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1: 17) This passage is a key to the whole scripture; It’s what led Jesus to say three times to his disciple Peter, after Jesus’ resurrection: if you love me, feed my sheep. All my sheep.

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Another Reason for Women in Church Leadership

It does mean that each gender should recognize that their opposite may have a naturally different way of perceiving and weighing things and not label it as either inferior or superior but as something to be understood and learned from. This, I believe, provides one of many good reasons for society and its institutions, including religions, to actively seek ways to include women at all levels of leadership and decision-making.

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Arbitrarily Close to God

I like to think that my job at our Office of Religious Life at the University of Southern California is to facilitate the experience of goosebumps, when students discover how all things fit together into the Holy Whole. Sometimes, of course, religion itself gets in the way of this experience. Denial of science and common sense by dogmatic theology is a sure way to dull the kind of glow that illuminated Nicolas of Cusa’s face in 1464, and prevent the kind of tingle that went up my back in calculus class in 1975. Happily, within religion there are cures to be found for religion’s diseases.

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Common Sense

I think the problem is exactly the opposite of the one Romney suggests. Americans aren’t as dependent on their government as they should be. If Tom Paine’s plan had prevailed in 1797, if the principle of universal income had become integral to the culture of this country from its founding, a whole range of problems we suffer in America today would not
exist.

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A God of Sensations

But there is another way I believe God and spirit may be experienced: kinesthetically. It is primal and pre-rational, our first encounter with something beyond ourselves. It begins in our mother’s womb, immersed in embryonic fluids, nourished and protected by our mother’s flesh. We feel the pulsing of her heart. On a men’s retreat, I heard the Franciscan Richard Rohr speculate that men’s love of drumming may come from that early memory of our mother’s heartbeat.

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Topics: Devotional, Health and Healing, and Jesus Studies. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus and Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Resource Types: Articles.

What Does Rabbi Gamaliel have To Do with New Testament Interpretation?

So in a round-about way, Gamaliel, as quoted by Luke, is giving us a powerful clue about what kind of literature the Gospels are — a unique mix of a few core historical events with lots of theological overlay, all blended with a good dose of the kinds of stories of miraculous signs that we know were common and sometimes persuasive in that day. And not surprisingly…. They still are today!

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