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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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Welcoming the Spiritually Independent

Let’s stop being so negative about the group that is transforming religion and spirituality in the 21st century. One-fifth of the American public – and a third of adults under 30 – do not identify themselves with a religion. This is a growth from 15% to 20% of the population in just five years, and we have no doubt that similar trends are happening around the world.

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Dying for a Drink

We worked all day. Dad and Rachel were on one team, Father Crespi and I were on another, refilling tanks, cleaning up trash around them, and placing new ones. Five new blue flags, marking the new tanks, waved defiantly against the demon of thirst, and fluttered in the breeze over the desert at sundown that evening. The crew enjoyed a dinner at Rachel’s house prepared by the Women’s Society of the Federated Church.

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Opening the Heart: an excerpt from Jim Burklo’s new novel, SOULJOURN

An excerpt from SOULJOURN, my new novel (Chapter 6): I went home, said goodnight to Dad, and went to bed. The moonlight bathed my bedroom. The silence seemed to beg to be filled. I opened the bedroom …

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A Search for the Historically Angry Jesus

a review by Jim Burklo

Do not think that Aslan, a professor of creative writing at my alma mater, the University of California at Riverside, wrote this book to present the Jesus of nonviolent compassion. Aslan zealously pursues an historically angry Jesus who sought to evict the Romans by force and institute an earthly realm of divine justice for the poor.

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Health Care for All: Seeds, Leaves, Roots

(I’m working now on a project called SEEDS, LEAVES, ROOTS: Faithful Rhetoric and Reflection for Progressive Social Action. It’s an initiative of Progressive Christians Uniting – I serve on its board of directors. We are creating a …

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Realism vs. Man of Steelism

Once upon a time, political conservatives in America were stereotyped as hard-headed realists, and liberals were described as ungrounded dreamers. How times have changed!

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Voting: A Ritual

“Voting is irrational.” This jarring statement comes from Paul Woodruff, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas in Austin, in his wise book, REVERENCE: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue. Paul came to USC a few months ago, hosted by my office, to give a series of talks. He’s a person who emanates the virtue that he teaches, speaking with a calm, reflective demeanor. Woodruff posits that unless we understand voting as a ritual, we’ll miss the point of it, and continue to see a decline in voter participation.

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