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The God I Don’t Believe In: Charting a New Course for Christianity

Dr. Wilburn leads us on a spiritual journey from the comfort of conventional Christianity into a new world of religious openness and inclusivity, where those of all faiths and none, and those of all sexual orientation and political persuasion are welcome as equals in God's Family. Gone are the days of exclusive privilege or expensive indulgences. Dr. Wilburn writes about Jesus' message in the language of Progressive Christianity in contrast to intolerant theological dogma; yet he does not lose Jesus' teachings in a swamp of situational ethics.

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Faith Talk

Summary~"It is by talking about our faith and how our faith impacts our lives that is the way that people come to their understanding of their own faith. It is by sharing our faith with others that others come to their faith. Traditionally evangelism has been that one person shares their faith with another so that they believe the same. There is demand and threat there. This practice has done much damage in our world and has turned so many people off from their faith. How can we talk about our faith in a way that communicates the hope that we have without being oppressive, without being offensive to the faith that someone else has?"

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The Gospel According to Jesus

Jesus proclaimed an astonishing Gospel! But, isn't it strange that his harshest criticisms were directed at those within the religious community? He said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut up the kingdom of heaven from men, for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in" (Matt. 23:13).

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Living the Questions 2.0

To order with a 10% discount, first visit this page for the TCPC code.  LtQ2 is the completely revised and expanded version of Living the Questions, the popular DVD & internet-based small group exploration of progressive Christianity featuring premier religion voices of our day.

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Imagining a Progressive Revolution

Imagination is your memory of the future, not like a fantasy imagining things there are not really there, but really seeing what was awaiting your attention all along. The soul of the universe is whispering to you through her mythic imagination, calling you to action. Symbols, dreams, myths and stories bubble up in you, often from beyond your conscious awareness, carefree in the face of reason's tight lipped caution. When we meet in this space, the doors of imagination flung wide, we imagine the possibilities for a world filled with peace and justice, and say with clarity and passion, "Why not?"

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Looking Around for God

Autry, writer and poet, business executive, and son and grandson of Mississippi Baptist ministers, thinks that the true message of the old spiritual is not just that God has an eye on the sparrow. It’s that God is demonstrating that if these details are worth God's attention, they are certainly worth ours. It may be that we will more readily find God in the details of this world, and of our own lives, than anywhere else. Looking Around for God, Autry’s tenth book, is in many ways his most personal, as he considers his unique life of faith and belief in a God often clouded by church convention. In assembling these personal essays, stories and poems, Autry shares how God has been revealed in many different circumstances of his life, and he offers a few ideas for how the Christian church might better serve in making God’s love and presence manifest in the world.

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Mercy and Truth Will Meet, What It Takes To Be a Movement That Matters

Bill Coffin said, Liberal Christianity, or what we today call progressive Christianity and what some call “seminar room Christianity” has until now had a really unhelpful taint of elitism around it. We need to change that. So let’s just agree to get the conversation started. Let’s begin to grow in faith. Find strength in one another. See the world more clearly. And in and through all this, liberate ourselves and liberate one another for the sake of social transformation. If we ourselves can become the first fruits of the change we seek, then change itself-real change-cannot be far behind.

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Speaking of My Religion

It is no secret that progressive, liberal, even moderate Christians are living in precarious times. Most of us are part of denominations that are losing members faster then we can count… Old-line, liberal churches are in a lot of hurt. We have been categorized, stratified, stigmatized and marginalized. We are in a tough market and no matter how many times we reorganize our denominational offices or how much money we spend on advertising, we will continue to have a tough time unless we are willing to make some significant changes in the way we do church and the way we talk about our faith

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Topics: Theology & Religious Education. Resource Types: Articles.

A Spirituality that Transforms

All of those for whom authentic transformation has deeply unseated their souls must, I believe, wrestle with the profound moral obligation to shout from the heart-perhaps quietly and gently, with tears of reluctance; perhaps with fierce fire and angry wisdom; perhaps with slow and careful analysis; perhaps by unshakable public example-but authenticity always and absolutely carries a demand and duty: you must speak out, to the best of your ability, and shake the spiritual tree, and shine your headlights into the eyes of the complacent. You must let that radical realization rumble through your veins and rattle those around you.

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Missed Opportunities

I must admit that it seems strange, in a time when religion, beliefs, faith and spirituality are such a common subject on a regular basis in our mainline media, so many people feel uncomfortable going to church to have open discussions about these subjects. It certainly appears from our data that there is such an obvious hunger that most churches do not seem to be feeding.

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Reading the lectionary with Scientific Equivalents

Most churches follow the common lectonary. Here's an idea for your writers to pursue. Match every lectionary reading with an equivalent reading from scientific literature.

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Who Will Lead Us? Maybe Our Lay People

One characteristic that seems to get overlooked most in the data on what is working and not working in churches is the need to create an environment for open dialogue about theological and Christological conversation. I am not certain why, but I continue to see this vacuum in too many churches that I visit. I suspect the reason may be that clergy do not want to create any unnecessary conflict or nor do they want to risk the loss of any church members. But it seems strange to me that the latest thinking about the historical Jesus or about the sometimes twisted roots of the Christian church can be found on the front page of Time or Newsweek magazines and other national publications but these things are seldom being discussed in our churches. It is a more than ironic that even though scholars are producing more books and articles challenging us to rethink what it means to be a Christian today, one of the last places you will hear these topics being discussed is in our churches.

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When Less Affiliation is Good News

What is the least religious state in America? Oregon. The most religious? Mississippi. Oregon, not Mississippi, reflects the emerging trend of the western world; cynicism about institutional religion and little desire to affiliate with any particular religion or denomination.

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Where Two or More Are Gathered: Exploring Alternative Worship Strategies

How would it feel to participate in an extravagantly creative worship experience? Could a service be designed that mixes church tradition with original ideas? Does alternative worship enhance or alienate the church community? How does it effect outreach?

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Topics: The Arts & Culture and Worship & Liturgy. Resource Types: Articles.

Teaching Progressive Christianity Using the 8 Points, A Guide

I understand Progressive Christianity is for individuals who find Jesus intriguing but suspicious of institutional church. Like minimalist interior decorating that remove tchotchkes within a space, the Progressive Christian movement strips out the tchotchkes of church and tradition. The tchotchkes of ideas and practices out of date or uphold orthodoxy and exclusion. I offer to my congregation of about 120 people a 4 week plunge into the American Eight Points material honed by Fred Plumer and others.  I manage to engage those who would never sign up for Bible study in a church! This article explains the outline I use, bearing in mind several factors.

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Eclipsing Empire is a 12-session series on Paul, Rome, and the Kingdom of God.

TO ORDER: AFTER LOG IN, USE TCPC CODE tcpc0010 FOR 10% DISCOUNT.  Join preeminent New Testament scholars Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan on location in Turkey as they trace the Apostle Paul's footsteps throughout the Roman Empire. This 12-session DVD and web-based study explores fresh insights into Paul's message of the Kingdom of God, its challenge to Roman imperial theology, and the apostle's radical relevance for today.

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Resource Types: Books.

Abundance and a New Earth

Consider what it means to be rich towards God during a recession. What does it mean to live with abundance when so many people are feeling anxious and fearful about the future?

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Eckhart Tolle and the Christian Tradition

Although Tolle is not a Christian teacher, we must not assume that makes him an anti-Christian teacher. Today we need whatever methods or help we can receive to allow the Christian message to take us to a deeper level of transformation. Our history, and our guidance of Western history, shows this has clearly not been happening on any broad scale. This is an opportunity for us to understand our own message at deeper levels. It would be a shame if we required him to speak our language and vocabulary before we could critically hear what he is saying-that is true and helpful to our own message.

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