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The Christmas Myth is the Story of the Human Family

From Living Waters: if one is to pass beyond the childish and the external to the core of what Christmas is all about, it’s an essential step. What one has to realize first of all is that the story of the birth of Jesus is a myth. No, not a fairy tale, not a legend, not a piece of fiction to be seen through and dropped at puberty or before, but a spiritual myth-in other words, a truth so vast and so important to our human condition that it can only be told in the most profound language of all, the language of symbolism, allegory and metaphor.

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What Gift Will You Give?

I trust it will come as news to very few that the canonical gospels offer us two Christmas stories, and to those who have actually read the accounts it is clear that the two bear little resemblance to one another.  To be sure, the names of the infant, his mother, his nominal father, and the place of birth are the same; but nearly all the other details stand in striking and irreconcilable conflict.  Does this mean that Matthew’s narrative or Luke’s—or both—are simply to be rejected as wildly unreliable? Not if we adopt the strategy of understanding the two tales not as failed attempts at history, but as brilliantly conceived and wonderfully effective parables.

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God Concepts

It seems to me we can best say what God is not and leave it at that which will leave that which God is but cannot be said remaining. Although God can not be proven in the physical sense alone to someone else, God can be and is subjectively experienced by being the substrate of existence/Life itself.

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8 Points: Eight points and Point 1: Teachings of Jesus. Resource Types: Articles.

In Search of Paradise

What is paradise like and how do we find it? Is it actually a place or a condition or is it the way we approach life?

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Topics: Spiritual Exploration & Practice. 8 Points: Eight points. Resource Types: Articles.

Spiritual Abuse

A layman’s perspective on the pursuit of damnation within the Christian faith. I feel the fundamentalist and/or conservative (and/or mainstream?) view of Hell and damnation is akin to an abusive marriage: If you don’t come to God, and do it in this precise way, you go to Hell and that’s that. Similarly, an abusive marriage works on the same principles if you think about it.

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8 Points: Eight points. Resource Types: Articles.

What is Interfaith?

What a powerful affirmation of Interfaith-God “takes anyone who does
what is right” and “it does not matter to what nation they belong”.

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Religion is Not about Belief: Karen Armstrong’s The Case for God

Until well into the modern period, Armstrong contends, Jews and Christians both insisted that it was neither possible nor desirable to read the Bible literally, that it gives us no single, orthodox message and demands constant reinterpretation. Myths were symbolic, often therapeutic, teaching stories and were never understood literally or historically. But that all changed with the advent of modernity.

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Love the Hell Out of Each Other

Hell is a religious myth intended to hold you captive to fear and the church’s teachings. Stand up to the myth and pull its beard. You will find that it comes off in your hand. You can not be denied. You are an adventurer, storming the gates of hell and fear.  The good news- There is no reason to believe there is an actual place of eternal suffering after life called hell.

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Myth and the Genesis Stories

It is impossible for us today to fathom the world view that the ancients who created these stories must have had. We really cannot grasp what it was like to look out in the stars, to travel, to watch the days get shorter with no obvious reason, to deal with the seasons, watch babies be born without an understanding of basic biology, science, without airplanes, space ships, Hubble telescopes, physicists, calendars, let alone computers and GPS. These were people, after all, who believed that the earth was flat and covered with a dome that had holes in it. For them, the stars were God’s or the god’s light shining through those holes.

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Authenticity

The way to be all that you can be is to be more yourself. I mean you right now, not after some spiritual makeover; but as you are now, without any pretence and with the layers of conditioned thinking stripped bare. When you hear an inner voice say, “Yes, I am fully myself and authentic in this moment”, then follow that voice. I’m talking about the sort of moments when your skin tingles with the goodness of life and your place in it. sbnr.org

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Review of ButterflyFish Music CD

After listening to it dozens (hundreds?) of times now, I’m pleased to report that this is the real deal: an album that kids adore, and that grownup folks will also continue to enjoy after countless hours of repeat listening. The album is musically vibrant, surprising and exciting: it blends styles as diverse as bluegrass, country, jazz and gospel, in a way that brings out that characteristic joy and lilt and humor of American folk music. And the lyrics (all written by Matt Boulton) are quite wonderful: linguistically inventive, poetically playful, and at times also theologically serious and reflective.

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Progressive Christianity – What is it?

From: wondercafe.ca/blogs.  I attend St. David’s United Church in Woodstock, Ontario. Our minister was away on July 6th and I was asked to take the service. I jokingly said “I should preach on Progressive Christianity”, and she said “Go for it!”.

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Topics: Progressive Christianity 101. 8 Points: Eight points. Resource Types: Sermons.

On Knowledge and Faith

It seems to me there are two kinds of knowledge. The most common being a knowledge ‘about’, which comes from study whether scientific or personal experimentation. With it one can spend a life time studying religion or even birds for that matter and know all there is recorded to know about God through religion or birds through study and observation of birds without really ever truly knowing either.

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On Using Religious Language in Public, Right and Left

That is why I’ve gone on at such length on the subject. It occurs to me that using religious language as a gloss to indicate moral seriousness doesn’t take faith seriously. For that matter, it doesn’t take seriously the idea that there are competing worldviews at work in our political discourse, let alone offer a meaningful alternative.

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Will The Real Progressive Christians Please Speak Up?

We began with determining what we aren’t. We are not fundamentals, we are not exclusive, we are not dogmatic, we are not bible thumpers, we are not ignorant, we are not brainwashed, we are not afraid, we are not haters, we are not closed minded. Slowly, we are letting go of the comparison and becoming, birthing, and re-birthing who we are separate from that negative association. We are compassionate, we are inclusive, we are educated, we are open, we are searchers, we are peaceful, we are earth friendly, we are social justice supporters, we are Jesus’ students, we are walkers…but NOT, at least not yet, talkers.

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Why I am a Progressive Christian (Part 2)

In my last column, I told briefly my story of being a progressive Christian by first describing why I am a Christian and why I continue to choose to be a Christian. The thing that has been my saving grace, that which has kept me from abandoning my faith, is that I have chosen to identify myself as a progressive Christian.

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Are Labels really Necessary?

This short article was written as a post on the TCPC forum by Derek Ward who goes by the name Tariki on our discussion board concerning labels.

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