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World Religion in America: The Second Generation

American-born Muslim young people, growing up post 9/11, are more marked as just-plain-Muslims than they are as Ismaili or Sunni or Shia or Ahmadjyya or Sufi Muslims. Or Turkish or Syrian or Jordanian or Saudi Muslims. They’ve been thrust into a wide realm of choice by historical circumstance. There’s no one way to do their faith, and for some this opens the door to creative expressions of their religion.

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Topics: Interfaith Issues & Dialogue. 8 Points: Point 2: Pluralism. Seasons & Special Events: Pluralism Sunday. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Resource Types: Articles, Curriculum Supplements, and Interfaith.

God beyond, God between, God within – a Trinity

Introduction In my faith journey, I have struggled with the concept of the Trinity. Like many other followers of Jesus I suspect, I have lived for many years with questions, even misgivings, about this doctrine. The orthodox …

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Our New Cathedral

What is the economic value, say, of Wells Cathedral? Or Notre Dame Cathedral? Or National Cathedral? They not only help us understand our humble place in the cosmos, but the grandness and abundance of that universe.

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Does the Bible teach “The Secret”?

A few years back a book called The Secret took the world by storm, and it is still prominently displayed on the shelves of most bookstores today. The message of the book was to invoke the laws of attraction and intention to attain the life and circumstances that we desired. And because of the books popularity I was compelled to grab a copy to see what all the hype was about. As I was reading it I wondered how a book could really promise those kinds of results, and why so many people were swearing by its results. And then it hit me that the best selling book in the history of the world really isn’t all that different. And this got me to wondering if Jesus and King David may have been teaching us this same “secret” thousands of years prior?

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Defining Progressive Christianity

An Open-Ended “Creed” for a Progressive Christian

I have often said so-called “progressive Christianity” is a notion forever in search of its own elusive definition; and that’s as good a way of explaining it as we may be able to find. We live in a post-modern world that considers the age of Enlightenment to be a post-facto reality. As such, “progressive” thinking in an age of Reason has pushed the boundaries of nearly every facet of life, except one: those ‘traditional’ or ‘orthodox’ beliefs, based on certain creeds, doctrines and dogma that still dominate what it presumably means to be “Christian.” It hardly needs to be said that it is also why so many one-time believers have outgrown their one-time faith. Calling them merely “lapsed” is misleading. So much has elapsed in the world we have all come to know and take for granted, that the once-dominant Church — — despite all its denominational varieties — has fast become a post-modern relic. Yet any critical examination of how Christian scriptures developed and how the history of the tradition evolved will quickly demonstrate how it has always been in a constant state of flux. Or, if you like, “progression.” It was only when it stopped and got stuck that we traded in the tent for a temple, and snuffed the life out of a movement that is progressive by its very nature. What then would constitute an honest statement of belief for at least this “progressive Christian?”

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Affirmations and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – Faith

The Greek word for “faith” in the New Testament is pistis, which occurs 243 times. As a noun, pistis is used as a technical term for “forensic evidence.” In other words, faith is not blind; we must investigate to establish the facts. I agree with retired Episcopal bishop, John Shelby Spong, who writes, “My problem has never been my faith. It has always been the literal way that human beings have chosen to articulate that faith.” To many Christians, faith means believing highly suspect claims, which is a problem for me. Thinking isn’t a sin. God created our minds and I’m certain that we were intended to use them.

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Mindful Christianity

Mindful Christianity is mysticism: the experience of a human being in spiritual union with the divine, seeing each other with the same eye. The observer within you, when you are deep in mindfulness meditation, is God. God is lovingly attentive toward your every experience, every feeling, urge, and thought. In mindfulness practice, God notices all of that is going on inside of you, with deep compassion and without judgment.

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Not In My Name

An extremely small percentage of the world’s Muslim population recognizes ISIS as having any sort of authority over their lives. In other words, being Muslim does not equate with ISIS affiliation. We need to stop acting as if the two are interchangeable and start acting out of love, rather than from hate or fear. Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35). If there is no love, there is no Christianity. Period. There is just an empty label that leaves the world seeing us in ways that will make you cringe.

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Come Together and Act

Every living being on this planet and indeed this universe is interconnected in a deep and meaningful way. We are literally made of the stars, we breathe the air that the trees cleanse for us, and we are in a symbiotic relationship with every creature in this web of life.

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Big Bang, Darwin, and Evolutionary Images of Divinity

In the words of our ancestors as they grappled to tell the story of the Divine Mystery we call God, it is written. “Then God spoke all these words, and said, “I AM YAHWEH who brought you …

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Global Warming and the Christian Prophetic Voice

In the midst of all this one might well ask: What has happened to the Christian prophetic voice? the voice that says: no, you can’t do that. Christians lately have a tendency to accommodate culture, either by draping the cross with the American flag, or by pretending that new philosophical/theological theories are the answer to the world’s problems. The prophets of the Hebrew Bible had a different take on the divine will. They walked into the king’s court and the king’s chapel, and proclaimed what they believed was the word of God: you cannot do that! We may not like to use the word sin anymore, especially when thought of as “original”. So let us put something else in its place. We are parochial, we do create our own little world, we do put our interests above those of others. And it will haunt us. The eternal now is upon us, and it is time for the Church, progressive and otherwise, to join those prophetic voices that the the world so desperately needs to hear, those voices that cry out: you cannot do this!

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