Certainly the most influential and helpful reading I had done over the years was in the various Buddhist traditions. It is true that on the surface there are significant differences from the teachings of Jesus and the Buddha. And it seems important to note that the historical Jesus had only three or four years to formulate and articulate his teachings, while the Buddha’s teachings evolved over several decades. And certainly these two great teachers were coming out of very different cultures and social settings.read more
I am one of those Christians whose faith has been uncomfortably challenged by a reality that has been with us since the dawning of humanity but has become even clearer and more pressing over the last century: that there are many ways to be religious. There are many religions; there always have been; and, despite two millennia of Christian missionary work, it sure seems like there always will be. The manyness, the diversity, of religions is here to stay.read more
Beyond miles and miles of Sonoran and Chihuahuan desertCriss-crossing the Southwest and Northern Mexico,Where local folks know how to stand "tall in the saddle" as they sayAcross a landscape that seems to go nigh on to foreverEven beyond the Boundlessness of you, O' God,Here imaginations may touch the beauty of all creationAnd horizons meet the very edge of eternity.read more
That is the core truth of Buddhism. We expect things to go well, and when they don’t, we suffer. The truth of Buddhism is that when we drop our desire for life to be different than what it is, at least a lot of our suffering will disappear as well. Drop the attachments, and the suffering will be dropped as well. That’s the way to enlightenment in Buddhism. You hear in the core teachings of Buddhism the bringing together of laughter and suffering, laughter as an image for accepting everything as it is, as perfect just now, and sorrow as an image for wanting it to be more hopeful. We hold those two things in balance all the time, and I believe the same is true in Christianity. Christianity also is an attempt to hold together laughing and sorrow. I want to suggest that as we move toward Easter that we might see this journey as that balance. You can’t have Good Friday without Easter Sunday. You can’t have Easter Sunday without Good Friday. Christianity at its essence brings together suffering and laughter.read more
Religious progressives might be arguing now over whose voices are heard in Washington, but it takes more than an ability to gain an audience with national political elites to spawn a movement; it requires the concerted effort to build a following.read more
Here is an exciting new resource for churches and individuals that are trying to sort out where they are in relationship to their understanding of the Christian faith in a post-modern world.read more
Phoenix Affirmations full version from CrossWalk Americaread more
This article is a summary of an email exchange between a TCPC reader and Fred Plumer. We are not certain why last month’s eBulletin, “Recovering Christians,”; generated so much email but we were surprised. It was a nice surprise because overall it was very supportive. We always get few responses after an eBulletin goes out.
After all, it does go out to close to 12,000 subscribers every month. But for some reason last month’s eBulletin stimulated nearly ten times the email, phone calls and even a couple of “snail mail” letters than we normally receive.
I believe that the Fundamentalists are fundamentally wrong in looking back and trying to keep alive a pre-scientific understanding of faith. We must embrace, and integrate into our thinking and living, the best available knowledge the world can provide.read more
I remember feeling that what happened to Jesus was unfair as (so I thought) he just wanted people to be good and to love each other. So he had my support. This was basically my attitude until my late teens. Very simplistic, and not so far particularly damaging! What I believed in from the start and what attracted me to Christianity was a message of love. It was the desire for this that was primal and would become the driving force that took me out later.read more
I used to be a pastor. More than that, I was a pastor at Mariners Church in Irvine, California-a bona fide mega church with a 25-acre property and a $7.8 million dollar budget. For years, I played by the rules and tried hard not to think too much about the lingering questions in my soul. Doubt, after all, was dangerous. Who knew where it might lead?read more
A provocative argument for a mystical, rather than historical, understanding of Jesus, leading to a radical rebirth of Christianity in our time.read more