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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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Why I am a Progressive Christian (Part 1)

Labels are interesting things. They are attempts to define what something, or someone, is. More often than not, we put labels on others as a way of trying to define them, even though we will inevitably misrepresent …

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Resource Types: Articles.

Trying to String Things Together

According to the best scientists in the world, our universe is composed entirely of vibrating strings of energy. Everything from the smallest measurable particle to the largest star in our universe is made from the same kind of ingredient. Just like the strings of a cello or viola can make a multitude of sounds, quantum strings of energy create a multitude of forms. In ways we cannot understand, at least at this point, all of these strings are inter-related and interdependent. In other words, the great spiritual teachers, including Jesus, were right. We are all one interconnected whole. The universe is like one grand symphony orchestra playing beautiful music. And we are part of that music.

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Seeing the Future: Can Religion Evolve and Survive in a Changing World?

Since the fall of Secularization Theory, which claimed that belief in God would slowly recede in the face of science and technology, we still must ask: Is there a future for formal, organized, institutionalized religion as we presently recognize it in rapidly globalizing, postindustrial and postmodern world? Here's what religion will have to do for humans to survive and flourish.

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Live Now

Savour the moments. Appreciate the day. We don't know what life will bring us. Sometimes we will be called to courage and endurance. Sometimes we will have to bear our own and others' pain. Being with a loved one through illness and death can be a trying yet profound experience. It is our experience of living that shapes us and calls from us the best that is in us

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A Progressive Christian Faces Death

Without an omnipotent God, and without a clear vision of an afterlife, what do I, as a progressive Christian, have for support when death draws near? The answer is simple: I find support in the same realities that have sustained me through life.

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A People’s History of Christianity- The Other Side of the Story

This is the book that progressives and liberals have been waiting for – a deeply researched history of Christianity that sheds new light on the under-reported personalities and movements of the faith. In the same spirit as Howard Zinn’s groundbreaking work The People’s History of the United States, Diana Butler Bass reveals the under-reported movements, personalities, and spiritual practices that continue to inform and ignite contemporary Christian worship, activism, and social justice reforms in the name of Jesus. The book will offer up a much-needed “other side of the story” for progressive Christians, drawing from examples of alternative practices in every period of Christian history

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