We come to the desert at least as much for what is not here as much as for what is. Monastics of every religion are drawn to it. Moses encountered God in a bush on a desert mountain. The first theologians of Christianity were known as the Desert Fathers. In wilderness they prayed, meditated, contemplated – uncluttering their hearts and minds in an uncluttered space. Mohammed went to a desert cave and there he waited until the Angel Gabriel dictated the Koran to him. Around the same time, Buddhist monks retreated to the mountainous deserts of Central Asia to meditate.read more
Marcus Borg, Brian McLaren, Diana Butler Bass and Others on Progressive Christianityread more
Through the lens of evolutionary Christianity, Sanguin works through moral, spiritual, and scientific issues raised in Mad Men, the writings of Richard Dawkins, tales from the Bible, and other stories that inform our views of the world. Sanguin’s reflections will revitalize your faith and leave you celebrating that you don’t need to sacrifice a rational, evidence-based worldview to be a person of faith in the twenty-first century.read more
Diana Butler Bass, one of contemporary Christianity’s leading trend-spotters, exposes how the failings of the church today are giving rise to a new “spiritual but not religious” movement. Using evidence from the latest national polls and from her own cutting-edge research, Bass, the visionary author of A People’s History of Christianity, continues the conversation began in books like Brian D. McLaren’s A New Kind of Christianity and Harvey Cox’s The Future of Faith, examining the connections—and the divisions—between theology, practice, and community that Christians experience today. Bass’s clearly worded, powerful, and probing Christianity After Religion is required reading for anyone invested in the future of Christianity.read more
There is nothing like that feeling of the heart soaring when music touches the soul. And knowing the deep place the music can descend into our psychology, isn’t it our responsibility to approach it with caution and a critical mind? Music teaches us about who we are and can evoke feelings in us we didn’t know were there. Doesn’t music in sacred community, then, need to also be sacred, relevant, and inspiring?read more
At 82, retired and enjoying life, Bishop John Shelby Spong doesn’t have to be the liberal enfant terrible whose pronouncements for gay rights and against traditional dogmas once scandalized Christendom.read more
We come in sorrow, confronting the fact that life ends. Yet we also know that there is a power stronger than death—the transformative power of love. Love has joined us together as husbands and wives, as fathers and mothers, as parents and children, as brothers and sisters, and as friends and neighbors. To be touched by love is to have experienced the transforming power of God on earth.read more
Combining the stories and meditation practices from the previous edition of A Pebble for your Pocket with those collected in Under the Rose Apple Tree and several new stories, this completely revised edition is comprised of Buddhist parables and stories from the author’s own childhood experiences. They elucidate principles of Buddhism and mindfulness practice, giving young readers and their parents concrete advise on handling difficult emotions like anger. Written in a highly accessible style that doesn’t rely on lot of jargon or difficult vocabulary, this collection emphasizes the importance of the present moment through vivid metaphors, original allegories, and colorful stories. Young readers learn about handling anger, living in the present moment, and “interbeing” — the interconnectedness of all things. Thich Nhat Hanh offers various practices that children can do on their own or with others that will help them to transform anger and unhappiness and reconnect to the wonders of nature and the joy of living in the present moment.read more
Jesus modeled for our class today,
naked in his open-palmed innocence.
We had never seen such a model before.
He even brought with him his own light.
If you can
tell me where
after I leave here,
I won’t be
P: We have gathered here today to give thanks for and honor Name’s life. You have come because you are family – close family or extended family; or because you are friends – old, long-trusted friends or newer friends; or because you knew Name through other connections in his life. We have gathered to mourn his death and to grieve for our loss.read more
I recently conducted the funeral for my father, who died after a long episode of declining health. It was a joy and a privilege to work with my family in preparing this service. But many of our family are not avowedly Christian so I wanted to respect their spiritual traditions as well as be faithful to my own. I also wanted the theology to reflect my own liberal/progressive Christian understanding.read more