American retailers have essentially pre-announced that the annual Thanksgiving observance — when we presumably pause to gratefully remember everything we have — has been cancelled so bargain shoppers can get an even earlier jump-start on their holiday shopping for all the things we don’t have yet.
Meanwhile, halfway around the world a typhoon of record proportion hit landfall only a few weeks ago; nearly wiping an island nation off the face of the earth, and leaving those who survived with virtually nothing. Then last week an unseasonable swarm of twisters flattened whole towns across the Midwest. By comparison, it all makes the plight of those first pilgrims facing the harsh realities of their first Thanksgiving in a brave new world look like a walk in the park.
And, all the while, the airwaves and media have been filled with docu-dramas and documentaries commemorating the half-century mark of those events that shattered an age of relative innocence for those of us old enough to remember it; ushering in an age of extraordinary upheaval and anxiety, starting with what social critics and historians alike attribute to the assassination of JFK. Juxtaposed and taken together, these events represent a seeming un-reality that hasn’t really abated much in the last fifty years. We live in an age of anxiety.
Jesus masterfully taught in the philosophical tradition known as Jewish cynicism, with such parabolic tales and quaint-sounding imagery as the “lilies of the field.” And he did so at a time and age that – while seemingly ancient to our modern way of thinking – may not have been all that different from our own anxious age. Consider then our fretful, misbegotten ways, and the wild lilies of the fields.read more
THE DAY OF DIALOGUE BETWEEN DR ALAN WALLACE AND LAURENCE FREEMAN OSB EXPLORED THE THEME “SALVATION OR ENLIGHTENMENT’read more
This paper addresses recent discoveries of previously unknown Christian scriptures which predate the orthodox canonical gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Surprisingly, these earlier writings reveal a totally different kind of Christianity – one which could very well speak to the needs of the lost Christians of today.read more
I offer that the literal interpretation of this story, being a myth, represents an interpretation of a truth that constitutes one of the most powerful paradigms in history since it is the foundation of the entire Muslim and Judeo-Christian religions. And Paul’s allegorical interpretation (another myth) obliterates God’s justification for the existence of the Muslim religion – a monumental feat. So, which myth deserves to exist? Only the one that serves as a long-term bond to a civilization, which both do. Yet Paul’s myth interpretation of the Muslim faith did not take, while the Muslim myth did.read more
What I want to depict here is the question of whether these two kinds of people, as widely separated as they are today, could ever be so dedicated to each of their respective Christian faiths as to actually live together in harmony. The evidence proves the contrary, but that is what this article is about – can Jesus’ admonition to love each other possibly encompass these two extremes of Christianity?read more
I didn’t see him often because he was always moving about. But those few times we spoke together, were enough to last me a lifetime – maybe an accumulation of only four or five hours total.read more
I find it exciting to read Burton Mack’s book, “The Lost Gospel Q*, I find his account of the early days of Christianity fascinating, when, as a result of Jesus’ life and teaching, the discovery of God as being within was so vividly first articulated in the near-western world. And it is just as exciting to observe how this wonderful teaching almost immediately went awry – how it was so soon abandoned when early (and later) Christians returned to a largely external search for God. It would appear that in those early times there were not enough people devoted to moving forward in this search within to build and sustain an inner-searching Christian religion.read more
Sharing the Light is an Internet talk show of The Sunshine Cathedral where Rev. Drs. Durrell Watkins and Robert Griffin discuss theological questions of interest to our community.read more
Sharing the Light is an Internet talk show where Reverends Durrell Watkins, Robert Griffin, and others discuss theological questions of interest to our community.read more
In this episode of Sharing the Light, Sunshine Cathedrals Senior Pastor Durrell Watkins speaks with Light University Academic Dean Robert Griffin and Mona West, Spiritual Practices Consultant on the subject of Queer Bible Study. We invite you to join us for an enlightening conversation on Sharing the Light.read more
A Lenten tradition in Western Christianity is to meditate upon the journey Christ took to Calvary. These stations or steps are found both in the Scriptures and in the traditions and legends of catholic Christianity. For many this practice is used to participate in the suffering and sacrifice endured by Christ. I encourage you to also take up this journey seeing within each station a calling for the modern, progressive Christian to grow in the ways and love of God. Meditate upon each station considering the questions or thoughts presented with a Scriptural verse to ponder and a brief prayer of the heart. In John 15:12 Jesus tells us, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Only by walking with Christ and seeing just how much he truly loved everyone can we begin to love others in the same fashion.read more
Loneliness. Addiction. Hate. Violence. Death.
It’s hard to know what to say. But while we may run out of words, God will never fall silent.read more
Part III of this “Christian” A-theism Series explores new possibilities to be found in pushing beyond the constraints of theism and a-theism; and the blunt and limited question of believing or not believing in a “theistic” notion of “God.” We typically fashion our notion of anything we deem sacred “Oneness” in anthropomorphic terms, so we can more easily relate to the idea. The Christian then proceeds to incarnate that God notion with a Christology in which Jesus is construed as a co-eternal mediator and – peculiarly – a substitutionary sacrifice.
But for those progressives for whom such a construct is no longer viable or credible, what might still be found amidst the theological rubble in a post-modern – even post-deconstructionist – age? Indeed, what may have been there from the start of the entire imaginative process; known in the earliest days of a pre-Christian movement simply as the Way? As near as we might be able to discern it with our own creative and interpretive imaginations, what resemblance might it bear to the “voice-print” of an extraordinarily imaginative character we might want to befriend?
Here I offer a set of assumptions and suggestions for reading, understanding, and making creative spiritual use of the Bible.read more
In The Challenge of Jesus, renowned historical Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan, presents his life’s work exploring the matrix of Jesus’ unique time and place. Drawing on scholarly text, excavation and history, Dr. Crossan introduces us to the flesh and blood people who shaped the world into which Jesus was born. In these DVD presentations, we meet a Jesus we’ve not known before.read more
This hard-hitting documentary charts the sad and sometimes scary state of affairs in America’s food industry. Director Robert Kenner presents interviews with farmers, ranchers, and chicken farmers who are increasingly being squeezed out by large and powerful corporations (like Monsanto who over the past decade has increased its share of the soybean market from 2% to 90 %). In addition to exerting control over the nation’s food supply, Big Agriculture has the clout to influence the regulatory agencies which are supposed to protect the consumer. On the one hand the public has more choices in the marketplace (bigger-breasted chickens and insect-resistant soybean seeds); on the other, they are getting sick from the food they eat as new strains of e coli cause illness in an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. In 1972, The FDA conducted 50,000 food inspections and in 2006, the number was down to a dismal 9,200.read more
In these meditations for the church year, Chris Glaser continues his tradition of writing meaningful meditations for all Christians from the perspective of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.read more
Part One in this series considered the notion of “God,” or “gods,” as the single most elusive idea the human imagination has ever concocted or tried to fathom. But we typically constrain ourselves, thinking only in theistic terms; and fashion our notion of “God” in an anthropomorphic image so we can more easily relate to the idea. We ascribe to such a being all kinds of desirable characteristics that might comprise this composite character. The Christian then proceeds to incarnate that idea with a Christology in which Jesus is typically construed as mediator and chief negotiator; to the extent such a savior is willing to atone for all our wretchedness and secure our own immortality in another existence. It’s all pretty fanciful stuff. But for those progressives for whom such a construct is no longer viable or credible, it is not simply a question of what remains amidst the theological rubble, but what more, or other, might yet be discovered? As such, we ask how we might speak of such things. What language might we use?read more