Dark Knights — How Spiritual Communities Could Help

The recent horrible shooting incident at a premier showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Colorado has focused attention, once again, on some aspects of what has gone wrong when a person takes such a violent and antisocial turn.

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Our Images Of God: The Trinity, Judge, Abba, Spirit, Love

So, recently I have been finding myself praying substantially more than I used to, to the Source, the Divinity that is all around me and within me. I’ve even used the parental imagery that Christianity has used for such a long time, though I usually use Mother now (as if God has testicles). But there is no grovelling, no talk of being an awful sinner in need of forgiveness. It’s only a seeking of a greater understanding of Love, and for help during times of weakness.

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Win, Lose or Draw?

Jesus' Way of Confounding the Trophy-centric Ways of this World

The ancient Olympic games were a series of athletic competitions between city-states. The results determined who were the winners, and who were the losers. But during the games, any conflict between the warring states was forbidden. If ever there was a time when that Olympic torch should be lit and never be extinguished, perhaps this is it. But how? It seems international good sportsmanship inside the stadium can only be assured by heavy security on the outside; where unruly competing self-interests would seek to turn winning at all cost into a blood sport. The previous Words & Ways commentary explored a foolish kind of wisdom once espoused by a Galilean sage through his teaching, the parables he told, and even the seeming absurdity found in his miracles (see “The Foolishness of Jesus”). It is this same Jesus tradition that also proposes such counter-cultural notions that one can “win by losing,” and “the last shall be first.” Here’s John Bennison’s latest commentary from Words & Ways.

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Blinded by the Lite

Reflections on

Ehrenreich’s exploration of mind-over-matter thinking, the “prosperity gospel”, “The Secret”, and “positive psychology” led her into a study of American religious history. She concluded that this so-called New Thought movement appropriated one painful feature of the theology it meant to replace: guilt.

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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.’

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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.

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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