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The Salvation of Religion: From Beliefs to Knowledge

Much has been written and countless discussions have ensued in recent years about the seemingly inevitable decline of Christianity and rise of secularism in America in the 21st century, which is along the lines of what happened in Europe in the mid 20th century.

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Mary and James Meet Joseph of Arimathea- A Drama

A Drama for Good Friday (Act II)*After the crucifixion of Jesus, Mary, his mother, and James, his brother, go in search of the tomb to see where they have laid him. They encounter Joseph under the now empty cross and ask if he knows where they should go. Joseph explains who he is and how he, too, knew Jesus.

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What Is the Redemptive Meaning of Jesus’ Death?

Jesus became a scapegoat to put an end to all scapegoating; he became a sacrifice to put an end to that whole system of offering up the innocent victim. Spiritually, socially, and psychologically humans have always needed to find some way to deal with sin and guilt. Historically, humanity has employed sacrificial systems to that end. In ancient systems of religion human sacrifices were offered to placate the deity (such as the firstborn, the virgin, the only child, etc., but never the adult man; these were mostly, if not all, patriarchal cultures). In the evolution of religious consciousness animals took the place of humans.

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Uncertainty is Trust’s Shadow

Catholics and other Christians misunderstand and misrepresent Jesus, as will be explained, if they believe he “happens to be God” and to be literally human and divine. They should renounce such ideas, because only in a mythological story can Christ be presented as divine. Such myths are not factual or historical, but were written to express convictions about the commitment of a transcendent God. ?

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The Path to the New Creation (2 Cor. 5:14-21): An Easter Sermon

The power of the new creation, the power of forgiveness and restoring love, the power to redeem and atone for all the evil that is at work in our lives and in our world is available to us if we will by faith claim it and live it.  

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A Progressive Easter Sermon

The following is a message by Rev. Roger Wolsey of Wesley Chapel in Boulder, CO is inspired by the resurrection stories in Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John; the book The Powers that Be by Walter Wink; and the book The Last Week by Marcus Borg & John Dominic Crossan. A few paragraphs are adapted from the last chapter of Jim Wallis’ The Call to Conversion. 
 

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Texts: John, Luke, Mark, and Matthew. Resource Types: Sermons.

Disbelief or just different beliefs?

From The Washington Post- On Faith. Former president, Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars, Marcus Borg

Q:What should pastors do if they no longer hold the defining beliefs of their denomination? Do clergy have a moral obligation not to challenge the sincere faith of their parishioners? If this requires them to dissemble from the pulpit, doesn’t this create systematic hypocrisy at the center of religion? What would you want your pastor to do with his or her personal doubts or loss of faith?

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Finding Our Way Home (Luke 15:11-23)

God is so connected to creation, so much a part of our lives that God feels the pain we bring on ourselves when we pursue our selfish desires and cling to our false attachments. The father in the story does not say: “I am through with you. Go your own way.” This father will never abandon the one who abandoned him. And so he looks and longs and waits for the son’s return.

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Topics: Devotional and Progressive Christianity 101. Texts: Luke. Resource Types: Sermons.

Why I write…

Reflections on continued writings of progressive thoughts…

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Topics: Devotional and Progressive Christianity 101. Resource Types: Articles.

From History To Mystery, The Life And Teachings Of The Historical Jesus

This book explores the quest for the Historical Jesus and seeks to discover the original meanings of his teachings, in particular his kingdom of God teachings. You will learn about the last 200 years of Jesus research, including the Jesus Seminar. The author discusses Gnosticism, The Gospel of Thomas, The Secret Gospel of Mark, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene along with the four canonical gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The author spends much of her time investigating the Parables of Jesus. In the parables, Jesus preaches about “the kingdom of God.” This concept is taught by Jesus on two levels. One for the masses and one for his inner circle. The uncovering the “secret teachings” of the parables is very illuminating and inspirational. Whether you are a seminary student, pastor, educator, or layperson; this is a must read on the subject of the historical teachings of Jesus! The book was written by a respected scholar in Historical Christianity, Dr. Lisa Morris.

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The Bible and Homosexuality- A Faithful Look

Too many Christians blindly accept that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but rarely are the few verses that do so discussed in their textual and cultural settings. The author, a United Church of Christ minister, investigates the small print and finds no support for oppression and bigotry in the name of faith.  This article was prompted by protests against the ordination of openly gay clergy in her husband’s Lutheran congregation.

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Proposition 8 and Christianity

“When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.” The epitaph on Leonard Matlovich’s tombstone. He served for 12 years in the U.S. Air Force, received exemplary ratings for his service in Vietnam, won a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. After revealing his homosexual orientation, he was dishonorably discharged.

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The Focus of Prayer

Unique thoughts on the focus and purpose of prayer.

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Topics: Devotional. Resource Types: Articles.

Affirming Acceptance

There was Jay, welcoming people with a smile and exuding a joie de vivre that spread throughout the group gathering for worship at St. Andrew’s United Church last Sunday (May 10). This was a special Sunday. Not only was it Mother’s Day, it was the day they were voting on whether to become an Affirming Congregation.

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The Path of Jesus Means Inclusion of All

Jesus, obviously, saw everyone as “being created in The Imagio Dei” (“The Image and Likeness of God”). He saw everyone as having worth and dignity before God.

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