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An Anointing For and By the Historical Jesus: Part One

What really happened when Jesus was anointed by a woman?

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Resource Types: Articles.

The Truth about the Historical Jesus? — Part 3

This article seeks to learn about the political message of Jesus. Please send comments to gm.jm@sympatico.ca

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Resource Types: Articles.

The Truth about the Historical Jesus? Part 2

This short article suggests Jesus did think of himself as Isaiah’s Suffering Servant, who would be killed. Send comments to gm.jm@sympatico.ca

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Topics: Jesus Studies. Resource Types: Articles.

Easter is the Celebration of the Justice and Compassion of God

Most Christians are familiar with the stories in the Gospels and many verses in the Epistles declaring that the Lord is risen. Many people believe the stories of the resurrection of Jesus are historically true. Others have difficulty believing they are true in that sense but understand them as metaphors pointing to the truth. Either way, whether you believe or understand, the issue is what do these stories mean? We can begin our search for the meaning of the stories by knowing that New Testament scholar John Dominic Crossan has stressed: "Never, ever separate the life from the death and resurrection of Jesus. Ever. Not the life from the death, not the death from the resurrection."

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Reflections on Creating Open and Welcoming Communities

Reflections from one of the TCPC national forums about creating welcoming churches. Poses questions for congreagations to consider.

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Topics: Church Growth and Gender and Sexuality. Ages: Adult. Resource Types: Articles.

The Great Awakening on the Right and Left

Washington Post, On Faith Tuesday, February 12, 2008 The Great Awakening speaks of two great hungers in our world today-the hunger for spirituality and the hunger for social justice. I believe that the connection between the two is one the world, and especially a new generation, is waiting for. The Great Awakening makes that vital connection and shows how spiritual renewal will likely be a necessary part of social change, and how perhaps only genuine spiritual revival can spark social and political transformation.

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Christian Laauve (Love)

It is not too difficult to imagine that this existential awareness is related to the Realm of God that Jesus described to his followers with so many positive metaphors. It not only discovering the interconnectedness of all life that is so exciting but it is seeing and hearing from a whole new perspective that can fundamentally change our understanding of reality.

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8 Points: Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Resource Types: Articles.

Compassion and the God Between

One of the central symbols of the Christian tradition is the cross. When we move beyond the notion that Jesus died to appease God’s wrath at our sins and begin to see the symbol of Jesus as a human being holding in his body the suffering of the world, then we get closer to the essence of the origins of our Christian tradition. Just as Jesus was a human being holding in a bodily way the suffering of the world, so you have our own Christ consciousness, and in a sense you hold the pain of the world.

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8 Points: Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Resource Types: Articles.

Time To Break For Lunch

I attended a conference a few years ago that was devoted to exploring the virtues of interfaith dialogue. . .The four keynote speakers were made up of a conservative Jewish scholar, a well respected Muslim scholar, a Buddhist author and a traditionalist Christian. . .Later, I realized how ironic it was, as we ambled off to our respective lunch gatherings, that so much of what we have reconstructed about Jesus was about the table commensality as a way of practicing radical egalitarianism, as John Dominic Crossan referred to it . I tried to imagine the Jesus of my faith, having lunch with the unique kind people who seemed to gather around him. Did he worry about their religious affiliations? Did he care if they had it right? Did he believe his religion was the only way to connect with the Ultimate Reality? When he said, "Do not judge another" did he mean don't judge except for their religion? Or did he look directly into the hearts and souls of others without religious, tribal, ethnic, or gender concerns or thoughts? Was he able to transcend all of those things that tend to separate us into divisive groups that so often turn into violent differences?

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Topics: Interfaith Issues & Dialogue. Resource Types: Articles and Interfaith.

Tribal Religion, Transcendent Religion

There is a story about a Christian minister living abroad during World War II. His congregation sends him money so that he can return home for Christmas. When he doesn’t come back, they ask him why. He says that he used the money to help a group of Jews escape Hitler’s death camps and flee to safety.”But they’re not even Christian,” writes one member of his congregation.”Yes, I know,” the minister responds. “But I am.”

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Topics: Interfaith Issues & Dialogue. Resource Types: Articles.

What comes after Christianity?

If all religions are transient, then some day the religions of 21st century, including Christianity, will no longer be living religions. What might the religions of global citizens of future generations look like? Will such global citizens recognize that already there is a global resource of wisdom and spirituality to which religious and humanist traditions have contributed and which tomorrow’s global citizens can draw upon, critically, as well as adding judiciously to it?

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Resource Types: Articles.

Murder on the Subcontinent

Washington Post, On Faith. The essence of India is pluralism, the idea of different communities retaining their uniqueness while relating in a way that recognizes they share universal values. More than two thousand years ago, the Indian emperor Ashoka, a Buddhist, said, "Other sects should be duly honored in every way on all occasions." The great poet and contemporary of Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, wrote, that the "idea of India" itself militates "against the intense consciousness of the separateness of one's own people from others."

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Topics: Interfaith Issues & Dialogue. 8 Points: Point 2: Pluralism. Resource Types: Articles.

The Truth About the Historical Jesus? — Part 1

This article claims that Jesus started out his ministry as a wisdom sage. When John the Baptizer was murdered, Jesus’ self-understanding changed to that of an end-time prophet.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Did Wealthy Women Originally Found the Community Responsible for the “Fourth Gospel”?

Let us take seriously Luke’s account (Luke 8:2-3) of who the important women followers of Jesus were!

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Topics: Gender and Sexuality and Jesus Studies. Texts: John. Resource Types: Articles.

Who is the Beloved Disciple of the Fourth Gospel?

Was Mary Magdalene the first Christian, Gnostic-like women leader? Is she, in fact, the founder of Christian Gnosticism? This article explores more clues indicating that the Beloved Disciple was Mary Magdalene.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Did the Apostle Thomas Make an Independent Stand Becoming Jesus’ only Buddha-like Missionary?

This article asks Progressive Christians to read and reflect on the Gospel of Thomas found in 1945. Undoubtedly, one of the legends having the most historical truth to back it up is that Thomas was the first to scatter. It is said he was entrusted very early on with the mission to the East. First, he went north-east into Syria. Then he proceeded to Iraq. Next, he sailed out of the Persian Gulf arriving in India in 52 A.D. Along the way, he founded places of Buddhist-like study in Jesus’ name.Please send comments to gm.jm@sympatico.ca

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Topics: Jesus Studies. Resource Types: Articles.

The Magic of Christmas

Recently as my wife and I were having a quiet dinner with some friends and found ourselves going through something that seems to have become an annual ritual. It always starts with someone announcing, “Can you believe it? Christmas is only X days away!” And in chorus the rest of us go, “your kidding! How did that happen?” We have other little ditties that we sing like, “It seems like it was only a few months ago we were celebrating Easter.” Or, “But I just put the Christmas decorations away from last year” Then for the closing song we always sing rather sadly, “It comes faster and faster every year.” As the evening progressed someone wistfully asked, ” I wonder if we can every capture the magic of Christmas again?” I have thought a lot about that over the last few years. I wondered if there ever was “the magic of Christmas” that has been shared in common with others over the years…

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Topics: Spiritual Exploration & Practice. Resource Types: Articles.

I Have Lost the War

Yesterday, as I sometimes do when I need amusement, I went online to read my horoscope for today. The words leaped off the page at me, “The long, exhausting battle is over, and you have lost the war” I immediately burst into deep sobs of both sorrow and relief. Those words struck a chord of truth deep in me…I felt like a kid standing on the football field after the lights have gone out and his team has lost the big game. He still holds the football in his hand and believes he’s just one more touchdown away from a winning game.

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