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Myth-Busting the Christian Right- page 2

We can never know with any certainty whether or not Jesus claimed to be divine, since he didn’t sit down and write on that topic, or any other.What we can know, from reading what evangelists recorded about his life and teachings, is that his ethic was not reducible to exterior rules of normative behaviour, but emphasized the intention of the agent over catalogues of right and wrong acts.

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Topics: Theology & Religious Education. Resource Types: Articles.

The Recombinant Imagination- From Westar’s Quarterly Publication

The work of Westar has never been done in a vacuum. From the outset the purpose of the Jesus Seminar was twofold: to detect the profile of the historical Jesus in his words and deeds and to report the Seminar’s findings to the public. The latter purpose brought with it severe criticism from the scholarly community, accustomed to its isolated (albeit comfortable) existence. But the Fellows of the Seminar pledged that the implications of their investigation would not be confined to the gated academic community.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Into the Future

We do not need to be the leader or number one. We just need to do what we apparently have been called to do and to do it better-that means finding more effective ways of sharing the progressive Christian message. You are going to see many changes over the next few months, so keep your eyes and ears open. We have spent the last six months developing a viable strategic plan and we are in the process of implementing it. You will see changes in the site and in the expansion of resources that we will be offering to churches, small groups and individuals.

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A God for the Gaps?

Many of our problems derive primarily from two outdated ideas: the Bible as the literal and inerrant Word of God, and the divinity of Jesus. If we could accept that both these ideas are no longer helpful, many of the theological problems of our faith would be resolved. An improvement in our relations with other faiths would also become possible.

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Barack Obama

Are we really supposed to believe that being black is an advantage for a man named Barack Hussein Obama? First he is accused of being a Muslim (as if something would be wrong with that). Then he is accused of being the recipient of the support of the leader of the Black Muslims, Minister Louis Farrakhan. Now that he has established himself as a bona fide Christian it is suddenly revealed that he is, oh my, a black Christian.

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Resource Types: Articles.

The Doctrine of God

Classical theism, the reigning doctrine of God in Christendom, affirms that God is void of body, parts, passions, even compassion, wholly simple, wholly immutable, independent, immaterial, the supreme cause and never the effect. What creatures have, God does not. I challenge this doctrine, on five grounds.

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Breakfast with the Dalai Lama

The Seeds of Compassion organization is a very interesting organization and I believe it has a lot to tell those of us that are still trying to grow Christian churches. The organization came through the collaboration of the Kirlin Foundation and the Venerable Tenzin Dhonden and many other religious, educational and spiritual people from the area. These dreamers wanted to bring concrete public awareness, public will, and an empowering call to action to address our local and global need for the social and emotional well-being of children…As an outcome, they seek to bring social and emotional learning into families, to caregivers, and to schools so that all who touch the lives of children have the tools and empowerment to provide the foundation for kinder and more compassionate children, communities, and society. (Quotes from their own brochure)

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The Truth about the Historical Jesus? — Part 4–Earth Day

This article quotes some of Jesus’ sayings in celebration of Earth Day, April 22nd, 2008. Please feel free to send comments to gm.jm@sympatico.ca

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Topics: Social & Environmental Ministry. Resource Types: Articles.

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.

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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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.

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.

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.

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.
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