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Honest to Jesus: Giving the Historical Jesus a Say in Our Future

Introduction: Historical Jesus Studies as a "School of Honesty" In 1906 Albert Schweitzer commented:"The critical study of the life of Jesus has been for theology a school of honesty."(The Quest for the Historical Jesus) That is a …

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Ministry with Teenagers Who are Allergic to Organized Religion

I want to tell you about a ministry of spiritual exploration I am beginning here in midcoast Maine with unchurched youth. I know a lot of teenagers who have a kind of allergic reaction to anything smacking …

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Topics: The Younger Generation. Resource Types: Articles.

In Defense of

In the May 2002 issue of the TCPC newsletter, James R. Adams, our much admired former president, presented an article entitled, “In Defense of ‘Lord’ in Liturgy.” His arguments boil down to: Men have been comfortable with …

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Topics: Arts and Music and Worship & Liturgy. Resource Types: Articles.

It’s All In the Name

News & EventsPresident’s ReportBy James R. AdamsFaith Identity on Campuses: The Lutheran and Episcopal Campus Ministries in Northern California invited me to help facilitate the fi rst of a planned series of conferences designed to equip student …

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Reflections on Sexual Diversity

Reflections from a workshop at one of TCPC’s national forums about sexual diversity and the Christian church.

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Topics: Gender and Sexuality. Resource Types: Articles.

Building Community With Our Differences

One of features marking the renaissance of Jesus studies is the centrality of the social world of Jesus. Because meanings are embedded in a social world, if we are to understand and appreciate what Jesus said and did, his message and activity need to be located in his social world.

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Topics: Bibles and Bible Study and Jesus Studies. Ages: Adult and Young Adult. Texts: Luke, Mark, and Matthew. Resource Types: Articles.

Reflections on Building a Network for Progressive Christians

Reflections from a workshop on networking at TCPC’s 3rd national forum.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Why Bother to take God Seriously?

Most people haven’t any interest in religion – mainly because they haven’t any interest in God. If asked as part of a survey whether they “believed in God”, many would say that they did, but there be would few if any differences in their lives compared to those who deny the existence of God.

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“Abba:” A fair interpretation or a putdown of the Jews?

Abba, the word for “father” in the Aramaic language appears untranslated in the Greek Scriptures and in most English versions. Some people have tried to make a theological statement based on Jesus’s use of Abba, which appears to have a similarity to a toddler’s expression of intimacy with a father, such as “dada” and “papa”.

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What Can Progressive Christians Say About “Sin” and “Original Sin”?

Some of our detractors have suggested that in our attempt to include all people, we have abandoned the concept of sin. Not so. In both the Hebrew and Greek languages, the word translated “sin” is based on a metaphor taken from hunting. Both the Hebrew chatah’ and the Greek hamartia originally meant that the hunter missed what he was shooting at. The arrow fell short of the target.

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A Letter to a Friend… how to find a church.

I think you know where I stand on the church front. I have been a strong advocate of such things for a long time. Since you bring the topic up, let me sketch out what I see as the dimensions of the issue for someone who hasn’t experienced a persuasive altar call or revelatory “Road to Damascus” experience.

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

Why TCPC Advocates Equal Rights for Gay and Lesbian People

If you look through the eight points that define what we mean by “progressive”, you will see that omitting a concern for these people would leave us with a glaring inconsistency.

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Resource Types: Articles.

What’s In a Name?

More than one person took me to task for using the adjective “reactionary” to describe the point of view I found in the newsletter United Voice.

Although I thought that the description was accurate, I though I had best check up on myself by consulting with The Oxford English Dictionary. This is what I found: “reactionary, a. and n. [f. reaction (chiefly in sense 4). adj. 1. Of, pertaining to, or characterized by, reaction. 2. Inclined or favourable to reaction. Also, in Marxist use, unfavourably contrasted with revolutionary.” Under sense 4 of reaction, I found “A movement towards the reversal of an existing tendency or state of things, esp. in politics; a return, or desire to return, to a previous condition of affairs; a revulsion of feeling.”

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Resource Types: Articles.

What

All too often I have heard people attacking gays and lesbians, saying that they are an abomination to God. I wonder if such people have ever bothered to check their Bibles for the meaning of the word. I did, and this is what I found.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Tit for Tat

Even though 87 percent of Americans consider themselves Christians, few dogmas are as pervasive or have as much influence in our culture as the aphorism, “If you do this, you’ll get that,” where that may either be a reward or a punishment—a carrot or a stick. Popularized by psychologist B. F. Skinner, behavior modification can be traced back historically to the law of retaliation — “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” — which is a perversion of an ancient Hebrew commandment prohibiting unrestrained vengeance.

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Survey Results: TCPC

In October, the TCPC board asked me to work with it on ways in which to more effectively build awareness and usage of the various TCPC resources — books, discussion guides, annual Forums, newsletter, and the website. The board was also interested in starting a discussion about what additional tools and resources TCPC should consider developing as it moves ahead into this new year.

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Resource Types: Articles.
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