Eric Alexander Interviews Hemant Mehta About Similarities and Differences Between Atheists and Progressive Christians

Hemant Mehta is one of the most well-known atheist bloggers (The Friendly Atheist) in America.

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Transformation by Touch – Reiki Healing Touch as a Spiritual Practice

The body is inspired, and the spirit is embodied. That affirmation describes the heart of today’s holistic spirituality. Long before dualism infected Christianity, the Christian movement believed in the healing energy of touch. Jesus touched people and transformed cells as well as souls and social position. A woman with a flow of blood touched Jesus, and energy flowed from Jesus to her that transformed her physical and spiritual health, and liberated her from social stigma. (Mark 5:24-34) A few decades later, the apostle Paul described the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, alive, holy, and transparent to divine inspiration. (1 Corinthians 6:12-20) The Christian movement saw the flow of divine energy from God to us and from one person to another as inherent in the natural processes of cause and effect, and not an external supernatural violation of the laws of nature. The early Christians believed that we lived in wonderful world and that the body was spirit-filled and reflective of divine wisdom.

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Eve, Adam, and Self Transformation

The theme for this month’s e-bulletin is transforming our lives. Probably the most famous statement of self transformation in western culture is the Yahwist narrative of Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden. The story describes what we might call a negative transformation- the pair “fell” from a state of childlike innocence and were banished from paradise. Understanding that transformation, however, can help us to reverse it. Here’s the story.

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Transformation

Jesus called on people to change. Not just a little, but dramatically. The ‘kingdom of God’ is the term Jesus used to express his vision of a profound transformation of human beings and human institutions—social, political, economic and religious—to fully express the character and nature of God—a God of love. To accomplish this vision, Jesus worked toward the creation of a new kind of community dedicated to values of compassion, generosity, peace, and justice. He was creating a movement for change, a people engaged in a vast conspiracy of love.

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The Need to Transform

I find it fascinating that an institution which at its very core is about transformation, does all it can to resist change. Ironically from its earliest manifestations, the Christian path has always been about transformation. The Jesus story is first and foremost about changing our perspective, our purpose and ultimately our lives. What else but transformation could the story of a poor peasant who becomes a respected rabbi, a teacher of a new way of living, mean? How else can we interpret the intent of Jesus’ actual teachings like breaking down social barriers, forgiving our enemies and loving abundantly without qualifications than with steps to an inner and social transformation? What could being spiritually born again mean other than transformation? What does the symbol of resurrection mean other than transformation?

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The Bible as Personal Transformation Guide

The Bible is, in my mind, the best witness the Western World had to the evolution of human consciousness. That is a story in itself – I’m working on the book. However, what is true on the grand scale of one tradition’s journey toward wholeness is also true as a map for our personal growth. We can see the ages and stages of our own lives against the background of the biblical story. I will touch on some main points.

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Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary

The focus of this book is to tell the story of Jesus that is “persuasive, compelling, inviting – and challenging” so that we can see his relevance today as the person in whom we see God’s character and passion.

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The Future is Calling Us to Greatness

A worldwide movement is emerging at the nexus of science, inspiration, and sustainability. Beliefs are secondary. What unites us is a pool of shared values and commitments—and the vision of a just and healthy future for humanity and the larger body of life. This historic series of 30-60 minute Skype interviews showcases the work of many of today’s leaders and luminaries regarding what to expect in the decades ahead, what’s being done—what still needs to be done—and how to be in action despite enormous challenges. These 55 experts represent a veritable Who’s Who of prophetic inspiration.

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Honoring Dr. Marcus Borg

We are sad to share that Marcus Borg passed away on January 21, 2015. He was a brave leader in the Progressive Christian movement and his work helped many people on their spiritual journey. He was an honorary advisor for ProgressiveChristianity.org for over 15 years, a dear friend and respected colleague. He will be greatly missed. Our loving thoughts and condolences go out to his friends, fans, and family. To honor his life and service to the movement, we created a short and simple tribute.

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“Kill your own child” God seemed to say (Abraham and Isaac)

From the Boundless Life collection

“Kill your own child” God seemed to say with firmness,
“For children satisfy a god’s desire.”
So Abraham brought Isaac in obedience
To sacrifice upon the altar’s fire.

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As Swimmers Dare

A poem by Denise Levertov

One of Marcus Borg’s favorite examples of how poetry enriches liturgy:

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Marcus J. Borg Quotes

Rather, the way of Jesus is the way of death and resurrection — the path of transition and transformation from an old way of being to a new way of being. To use the language of incarnation that is so central to John, Jesus incarnates the way. Incarnation means embodiment. Jesus is what the way embodied in a human life looks like.”

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