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Beliefs and Worldviews

What tells us more-a lot more-is someone’s worldview, the stage of development in which they operate. Two people who ostensibly share the same beliefs, but have different worldviews, are far more different than two people with the same worldview but different beliefs. This is one reason why churches are increasingly useless. Defining your affiliation with others based on beliefs, despite different worldviews (often starkly different), holds us all back.

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The Spirit Within, or Where the Wild Things Are

It is that elusive and intangible spirit that is within us … that constitutes both that tenuous thread and tether of a relationship with whatever we might call the holy divine.

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Traditional Marriage: One Man, Many Women, Some Girls, Some Slaves

Well, it’s been quite a whirlwind week for same-sex marriage, from North Carolina to Obama to Colorado—and, of course, to the many outraged conservatives concerned with preserving traditional marriage, i.e., the time-honored sacred bond between one man and one woman. Why, just last week, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said that marriage has meant just that for over five thousand years.

Huh?

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Wounded Healers

Henri once wrote that the “J. M.” in the middle of his name could stand for “Just Me.” He believed that the minister (again, every Christian) was called to live a life offered to others. The autobiography or memoir is said to have first appeared in The Confessions of Saint Augustine, and spiritual autobiography has long had a place as a means of doing theology. I lead workshops and retreats on spiritual autobiographical writing, encouraging participants to tell their stories.

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Creedless Religion: Work Out Your Own Beliefs

It is always interesting and sometimes perplexing to come across religions that readily admit that they hold no creed. It seems so strange because when people think of religion, they still often think of a set of rules or beliefs that one must believe in and live by in order to be “saved.” (And such creeds are often the reason that people have no time for religion).

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Resurrection Reflections

Dogs Barking in the Distance

I still remember the existential gut wrenching I felt when I first read John Dominic Crossan’s assertion that underneath the resurrection story that cracks like holy thunder on Easter morning was the more likely scenario that the crucified body of Jesus was probably consumed by wild dogs.

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How to Read the Bible

2) The Hebrew scriptures, or the Old Testament, represent a religious tradition that is independent of the later Christian faith. The Hebrew scriptures aren’t about Jesus, although the Christian scriptures include many references to the Hebrew scriptures. To honor the fundamental differences between the two sets of scriptures doubles the spiritual significance of the entire Bible.

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Pentecost: Celebrating the Gifts of the Spirit

found at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Begin your meal by holding hands and saying to the person on your right: “You are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells within you.”

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The Forest v. The Faithful: A Born-Again Environmentalist Tells All

Brenda Peterson is a nature writer, born into a family that believed that we are living in the end times. We talk to her about her Southern Baptist background, what fundamentalists and environmentalists have in common, and about her new memoir, I Want to Be Left Behind.

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“Our Mother…”

Before it became common to avoid its gender specificity, I long ago changed the “Our Father” to “God, Mother and Father of us all…” in my daily recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. “Father” as a metaphor did not contain all of God’s attributes, in my experience. And, I must confess, the metaphor of “Mother” contained the divine attributes I found most positive.

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Gay Marriage and the First Amendment

There is much discussion in the public arena about homosexuality, access to birth control and access to abortion. I have not heard one person say anything about First Amendment Rights in connection with homosexuality or access to birth control.

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When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite

Prof. John Boswell, the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department, discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgical documents, there were also ceremonies called the “Office of Same-Sex Union” (10th and 11th century), and the “Order for Uniting Two Men” (11th and 12th century).

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