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Towards Reclaiming the Symbol of the Family of God: Presentation on Identity and Sexuality

When we were given this topic, we were pretty confused as to what to discuss. Identity is part of sexuality and sexuality is part of identity — both are big topics. So Chris and Jim talked and faxed back in forth for a few days to help us focus. Jim told us that this topic was based on the concerns of those who felt that core parts of their identities, especially their gender or sexual orientation, had been devalued, denied or excluded within much of the Christian tradition. So rather than talk about gender roles, gay and lesbian issues, etc., we decided to talk about what we saw as the basic concern in all of this – belonging, i.e., can I belong in a community and have my identity and sexuality supported and upheld? In our brief comments, we hope to give you a few building blocks on which to focus further discussion.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Terrorism and the Democratization of War

At the end of the Cold War, the United States, for the first time in history, had the only remaining first-rate military capability left in the world. We had the mightiest Navy ever to roam the seas, a supreme Air Force, the ever-prepared Marines, and the world’s largest and most mobile land army, all of which were equipped with pinpoint missiles and atomic weapons of mass destruction. No nation would dare to challenge such an arsenal. That was the hope and the dream. From our vantage point 10 years later, one can only wonder what happened to that dream. Welcome to the world of terrorism and suicide bombers.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Telling the Story: A Sermon for Evangelism Sunday

In the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. this Sunday has been designated “Evangelism Sunday,” so I’ll make evangelism the focus of this sermon. In another sermon about evangelism, I noted that that word has become an embarrassment for some Christians, because the public has come to associate evangelism with smooth talking T.V. and radio hucksters who present an intolerant and anti-intellectual version of Christianity. I’ve said before that mainstream Christians need to take back the word, “evangelism,” from fundamentalists who have tarnished it in the public’s eye. But, to take back the word, we must have a viable alternative, and that’s a big order. It’s a big order, because if we hope to succeed in presenting the good news of Jesus to modern people we cannot simply reiterate ancient phrases. Evangelism could be done that way in Christendom, but Christendom is passing away in America, and religious diversity is increasing. We cannot take it for granted anymore that John Doe knows the Bible, so “telling the old, old story about Jesus and his love” requires much more creative communication these days.

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Resource Types: Articles and Interfaith.

The Road that Leads through the Bible

I am honored to have been asked to lead the Bible study at this gathering, although it is not without some trepidation I accepted. I am well aware there are many here who could do this equally well or better than I. l: also know there are some who would say that asking Romney to lead a Bible study is a bit risky, since he often interprets it to suit himself or will rewrite it if necessary. Actually, I don’t know anyone, fundamentalist or liberal, who doesn’t do that. We all have our own interpretations. We also have our favorite passages, and if we are honest we will admit that even though the Bible is the most important book of our faith, much of it is dull and irrelevant to this century.

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Resource Types: Articles.

The Resurrection Story

That very same day, the day of the Resurrection, two of his disciples were on their way to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking together about all that had happened. As they talked this over, Jesus himself came and walked by their side. But something prevented them from recognizing him.

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Resource Types: Articles.

The Exodus Story

You’ve called me here. You’ve called me here to tell the story of the journey, what it takes to set out on that road and to travel from slavery to freedom. From entrenchment to enchantment. Now if you are faithful to the road, it will lead you, lead you right up to the brink of the unknown. And each of you must dive into the sea of the unknown, into the waters of chaos and rebirth. And you must be moved by the God of power that surges within you and around you. And you must let yourself be delivered onto dry ground.

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Resource Types: Articles.

The Eight Points By Which Progressive Christianity Has Been Defined

I am happy and privileged to have been invited by Gordon to respond here to the Eight Points. I want to say thank you, Gordon, for continually taking risks for the sake of the kingdom! I also want to welcome Jim [Adams] to Ireland, and hope it will be the beginning of much fruitful bridge-building.

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Resource Types: Articles.

The Christian Church: Engaging the Future

I believe the Church stands at a critical time in its life. The world is in the throes of incredible, fundamental changes. Cultural diversity is growing in some places; attempts to maintain ethnic purity lead to battles in others. Economies are more and more interdependent and undergoing massive dislocation. Witness the transitions to market economies in Russia and Eastern Europe, for example, as well as the rapid development of technology in the United States and the enormous impact of corporate downsizing and restructuring. Democratization is spreading around the world. Social changes continue a rapid rate, both at home and abroad. And there is a new emphasis on the discovery of a relevant and sustainable spirituality. How will the church engage this changing world?

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Resource Types: Articles.
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