Offering direction and hope to individuals and churches, Christianity After Religion is Bass’s call to approach faith with a newfound freedom that is both life-giving and service driven. And it is a hope-filled plea to see and participate in creating a fresh, vital, contemporary way of faith that stays true to the real message of Jesus.read more
Who are “the Christians”?
This beguilingly simple question was provoked by a Morning Edition report in which host David Greene referred to an anti-abortion movie, “October Baby”, as a “Christian film.” Many Christians objected. They didn’t identify with the movie or its message.read more
First Presbyterian Church Elizabethton, Tennessee April 6, 2012 Good Friday Mark 15:1-47 A few years ago a poster advertising Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion, featured an image of Christ wearing a crown of thorns. The caption read: Dying …read more
I went in search of other ways to understand the atonement. This book is what I found. It’s an easy read, written in a way that anyone can understand. I hope it will be helpful to you, as it has been to me, to understand the power of the crucifixion and resurrection.read more
Paul is not talking about life after death. Paul is talking about embracing the challenge of distributive justice-compassion –“the great work” – here and now. John’s Jesus assures us that “the spirit of truth will testify on my behalf,” not about the insane claim that he was God, nor about the resuscitation of a corpse.read more
But, if we want to follow our Savior through Holy Week, if we want to experience Holy Week in a way that reflects our Savior’s own experiences during that first holy week, then we won’t find ourselves in a pew, in a church, in a service. We would find ourselves in the streets. In anger. In protest. In search of justice.read more
Now I’m not opposed to ideologies and religions. They can inform and inspire. But when beliefs are held dogmatically, they make reasoned discourse nearly impossible. I think we can have beliefs and convictions without considering them to be absolute….We are living in difficult times, and I hope readers will find my essays relevant and thought-provoking both for individual reflection and group discussion…….Let the discussions begin.read more
In The Authentic Letters of Paul, the scholars define “sin” (Greek: hamartia) as “the corrupting seduction of power,” or the “seductive power of corruption.” Paul is not talking about rotting corpses. He is talking about the kind of corruption that arises between people, and in government or economic empires that leads to systems of injustice.read more
So what do I mean by God, Spirit, the Higher Self? Two things. First, God is the Ground of Being, the absolute, unqualifiable emptiness-in-form. That’s what the mystics in every religion and culture have told us for thousands of years. I believe this because that’s what the evidence tells me – those independent, cross-cultural reports of mystics, and the few glimpses I’ve experienced myself.read more
The chapters following the last meal contain the heart of John’s argument that Jesus was the Anointed One sent by God to fulfill the longing of the Jewish people for deliverance from injustice, foretold for first century Jews in the book of Daniel.read more
When I was a young Evangelical Christian coming of age back in the early 1970s, I remember feeling that there were two paths before me. One was legalistic, anti-intellectual, combative and rigid. The other was missional rather …read more
Recorded Sunday January 8, 2012 at Pilgrim UCC in Carlsbad, CA.
Pilgrim UCC is an Open and Affirming member of the United Church of Christ.