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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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The Good Samaritan: An example of the Distinctive Voice of Jesus?

By John Mitrosky. This article puts one of the most famous short stories ever told into a modern context that is easily understood.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Heart of Faith

A homily presented at Jacksonville State University's inaugural Interfaith Healing Service.

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Resource Types: Sermons.
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