The Power of Half: how Hannah Salwen and her family gave half their home away

When 14-year-old Hannah Salwen asked her parents to sell their $2 million house and donate half the proceeds to charity, rather than laugh her suggestion off they took it seriously.

‘As we were talking, I could hear what it sounded like through Hannah’s ears and it sounded lame,’ Kevin says. ‘The truth was we weren’t giving generously. With the resources we had, we could have been doing much, much more.’

read more

The Danger of Religious Prayer versus Spiritual Prayer

The public prayers of conservative Christians are embarrassing to me, and I find myself uncomfortable sharing with strangers the fact that I am an ordained member of the Christian clergy. I was recently in a situation in which I once again experienced this unsettling, self-conscious feeling.

read more

Thank You Ross Douthat; A Discussion on Liberal Christianity

Well at least we can all agree that Ross Douthat got our attention with the article he wrote recently for the New York Times. His dire attack on the so called liberal churches has already stimulated several well written articles, with a plethora of responses to each of these.

read more

Can Christianity Be Saved? A Response to Ross Douthat

Many of the criticisms were mean-spirited or partisan, continuing a decade-long internal debate about the Episcopal Church’s future. However, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat broadened the discussion, moving beyond inside-baseball ecclesial politics to ask a larger question: “Can Liberal Christianity be Saved?”

read more

Deconstruction and Reconstruction

Progressive Christianity as it exists here and practiced on the discussion board is in my view well noted as an aid to deconstruction of the programmed dogma and doctrine of the traditional church system. Many but not all seem to come here that appreciate the support and presence of like minded individuals who have come to similar conclusions. What has been voiced here in the past is that we are good at deconstruction of organized religion but not at all in reconstruction.

read more

Can Non-Liberal Christianity Be Saved?

So the time has come, I think, for Liberal Christians to get excited, to get active, and to get vocal – not just about the contemporary issues of equality and justice that we feel passionate about, but also vocal about the fact that what we stand for is something that has always been a part of Christianity, even if it has sometimes been forced to the fringes.

read more

Some Outrageous Facts about Inequality

Studying inequality in America reveals some facts that are truly hard to believe. Amidst all the absurdity a few stand out.

Total corporate profits for 2011 were $1.97 trillion. Corporations paid $181 billion in federal taxes (9%) and $40 billion in state taxes (2%), for a total tax burden of 11%. The poorest 20% of American citizens pay 17.4% in federal, state, and local taxes.

read more

Messiah’s Resurrection and Messianic Jewish Belief

I’ve titled this as about the Resurrection, which is just one part of a complex of beliefs… but let’s return and end there… What similarities or differences do you see in Paul’s Resurrection statements and beliefs and those of the early Jerusalem Jesus-followers?

read more

The Foolishness of Jesus

Wisdom & Foolishness in the Perennial Tradition

Wisdom is often mistaken as knowledge, prudence or pragmatism; whereas foolishness is equally regarded sometimes to be the kind of fool-hearted thing Jesus would have characteristically espoused with many of his confounding ideas about God, God’s ways and how we ought to treat one another. Truth be told, there are plenty of people who consider themselves much too smart to take seriously some of the darn fool things Jesus actually said and meant. But Jesus was no ordinary fool. A Words and Ways Commentary by John Bennison.

read more

UMC Conference Ruling on Homosexuality Reflects Conservative Resistance to Change

As an ordained elder in the United Methodist church I was pleased last week by President Obama’s stance against prejudice and homophobia and his support of gay marriage. At the same time I was dismayed and saddened to read …

read more

Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church: Sex Abuse and the Study of Religion

Over the next several weeks, The Immanent Frame will post remarks from a conference held on the campus of Yale University, “Sex Abuse and the Study of Religion.” That event sought to connect leading scholars in the humanities with the emerging documentary record of the Catholic sex abuse crisis.

read more

Christian Genealogies of Religious Freedom

During the same period that Taylor identified as central to the transition between Christianity and secularism—namely, Deism—we witness an exacerbation of several tendencies that were bound up with the self-definition of Christianity as against Judaism. I will identify and briefly discuss three such tendencies: internalization, universalization, and the critique of heteronomy.

read more