Jesus, My Imaginary Friend

“Christian” A-theism Series, Part III

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?

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How to Read the Bible: A Progressive Christian Guide

Here I offer a set of assumptions and suggestions for reading, understanding, and making creative spiritual use of the Bible.

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The Challenge of Jesus- DVD

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.

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Food, Inc.- DVD

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.

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Reformation of the Heart: Seasonal Meditations by a Gay Christian

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.

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“Christian” A-theism, Part II: What Language Shall I Borrow?

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?

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The Parent Café Speaker Series: Nurturing the Spirit in Our Families- Seattle- Fall 2013

Raising children and building strong families brings great joy, yet can also be a lonely journey that challenges the mind, body and spirit. As adults striving to instill a spirit of gratitude, a sense of mystery, and a commitment to progressive values in our children, we often overlook our own need for spiritual nurturing. Join us for this three part series led by local and national speakers who will share practical ideas for how parents, grandparents, teachers, and friends can nurture spirituality and build lives filled with meaning, both for ourselves and for our children. Light refreshments and childcare will be provided. Validation for parking at the UW Bookstore is available.

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Try-Alls and Tribulations: Interfaith Etiquette

Perhaps being a souljourner requires the same willingness to look foolish that is required in order to learn a language. I remember the crazy stuff I said when I was studying Spanish in Mexico years ago. I certainly embarrassed myself – and turned others beet-red a time or two, as well. But as long as I showed humility and a willingness to get it right the next time, people seemed to cut me lots of slack. Perhaps the most important ingredients in etiquette are genuine openness, curiosity, and an attitude, if not yet a correct appearance, of respect.

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After Weeks of Reading Spong

Lord Jesus, whom we call Christ, hear our prayer:
We have finished the book. Were you here, reading over our shoulders? Listening to our comments? What do you think?

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John Shelby Spong: Re-Casting the Christ Story- VIDEO

Bishop John Shelby Spong’s message might alienate certain types of believers–namely, biblical literalists. But he stands strong in his analysis of the Bible as a symbolic work and calls Christ’s followers today to recognize their savior as a “boundary-breaker,” not a “blood offering.” This lecture ended Spong’s weeklong stint as 2 p.m. interfaith lecturer, a gig he titled “Re-Claiming the Bible in a Non-Religious World.”

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Giving Without Expectations- VIDEO

The Thai telecommunications conglomerate True is getting rave reviews worldwide for its latest spot, “Giving,” which tells the story of a man unexpectedly rewarded for a lifetime of good deeds he performed without expecting anything in return.

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Prayer for Light

O God
We have said, “Your word is a lamp for our feet, a light for our path.” Sometimes it seems more like a flickering candle.

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