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The Christmas Myth is the Story of the Human Family

A vast segment of humanity has been telling itself this same story of a baby born in a manger in Bethlehem for many centuries now; peace and goodwill towards all the clan of Homo sapiens. But nothing has changed. Bethlehem itself has become synonymous with violence. Just now, as the Christmas fervor is being driven towards its annual climax, once-Christian nations are waging war against other countries.  What is the deeper story that has somehow been twisted wholly out of shape and so layered over with trite or fraudulent wrappings that the real gift is rarely ever envisioned let alone observed and gratefully received? Is there, was there ever some precious thing of matchless beauty, power and grace at the very heart of Christmas- something with flaming potency to transform our lives, our world?

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Shimmers of Love

The God who has come to us in Christ, “only loves, and loves—and loves.” God is continually at work in non-coercive, creative ways, revealing to us the width and depth of unconditional divine love.

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Shimmers of Light: Spiritual Reflections for the Christmas Season

With scriptural wisdom, theological reflection, and pastoral insight, Chuck invites the reader to encounter Advent as a transformative experience. He utilizes film, literature, and contemporary experience to draw readers into spiritual reflection on the Christian’s sacred story, exploring the redemptive possibilities of the Christmas season.
Chuck writes in the introduction: “It is my hope that amide all the glitter, glamor, gladness, and grief of the Christmas season, you will find some shimmers of light in these spiritual reflections that will enlarge your vision of God’s kingdom, expand your love for all persons, and evoke your creative participation with God’s project to heal and transform our world.”

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Being on the Left Side of History: Same-Sex Marriage and the Church

This article discusses historical and current ways both constitutional laws and the Church have denied individuals of basic rights due to their race or sexual orientation. Ferris reminds us that all are one in Christ Jesus, and therefore equal rights for all should follow.

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Shimmers of Peace

In the Greek world, “peace” was often employed to describe an inner state of well-being, whereas in the Hebrew tradition, the word was used primarily for interpersonal or social relations, coming very close to meaning “justice.” Both of these perspectives are found in the New Testament, and though a particular context may emphasize one or the other, neither meaning should exclude the other.

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Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith

Bestselling author, Bible scholar, and theologian Marcus Borg (Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, The Last Week) uses his core teachings on faith and the Bible to demonstrate their transformative power and potential in Putting Away Childish Things: the moving, inspirational story of a college professor, her students, and a crisis of faith.

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The Pope’s Progress

Finally, Pope Benedict XVI has opened the theological door to affirming condom use to help stem the spread of HIV in the world. For decades the Roman Catholic popes and bishops have not only discouraged condom use to prevent the transmission of HIV but have suggested that the use of condoms actually spreads HIV.

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How Far Are We Willing to Go?

I had just walked out the gates of a Gay Pride festival when I saw the protestors.  In was in the late 1980’s and I had been invited to give a short address and to be honored …

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Resource Types: Articles.

Such is Life: A Close Encounter with Ecclesiastes

Though some twenty three centuries have passed since an anonymous Jewish sage calling himself the Proclaimer (Ecclesiastes) set down his thoughts about life, they are strangely in tune with todays secular age. Its surprising, therefore, that they ever found a place in Holy Scripture. Lloyd Geering has brought Ecclesiastes to life by ingeniously composing imaginative dialogues with the sage, which show that he was a free thinker, a humanist, and an existentialist. In fact, this biblical heretic essentially undermined the rest of the Hebrew Bible by finding no discernible thread of purpose in the universe or in human existence, and by proposing that though Nature operates in ever-repeating cycles, much of human life is determined by sheer chance. The role of the sage, as Ecclesiastes saw it, was not to pass on gems of eternal wisdom, but to goad us into thinking things out for ourselves in our search for meaning in life.

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Is God’s Future Kingdom a Real Possibility?

There is no doubt that humanity has evolved in its cumulative spiritual consciousness, inspiring visions of a more compassionate, inclusive, just, and egalitarian world. And yet there are powerfully destructive and evil forces set against the fulfillment of God’s new world. Is the vision of God’s new world on earth a real possibility? Or is it just a “wish upon a star” with little real hope of actuality?

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Risk-Shaped Discipleship: On Going Deeper into the Life of God

Change happens in this world, no matter how much we try to ignore it. This book presents a creative, practical theology of change, showing how change can be embraced by all Christians.

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Stones for Bread; Fishers of Men: Epiphany Sunday, Year A

In this article, the author dissects and inteprets story of the events in the life of Jesus, as described by some of his disciples.

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One Small Town’s Battle for Tolerance

SIDNEY CENTER, N.Y. — The cemetery lies beneath a grove of maples on a hill overlooking the farm. On a crisp November day in 2009, it received its first guest – a 28-year old stonemason killed in …

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Hail, O Favored One (Luke 1:26-38)

I think it is interesting that Mary’s first reaction to the angelic visitation is fear. For some reason most people’s first reaction to the Divine is fear. All through Scripture, whenever God appears or an angelic representative of God appears, the first reaction of those who experience the encounter is fear. So the first words typically spoken by God or the angel are, “Do not be afraid.”

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Resource Types: Sermons.

New Era, new god, says Paul Saffo

Saffo discusses how technology, innovations, and population growth create a pressing need for a new god.

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Projecting Power or Promoting Peace: The Prophetic Call for Justice, Kindness, Humility

In times of political and economic, cultural and ecological crisis, Jensen asks us to evaluate the risks we are willing to take to work for social justice and ecological sustainability. He discusses his personal experiences and view points of recent political events and presidential actions. Urging us to listen to our own hearts, he calls us speak our truth to defend against evils of established systems, and practice a balance of passion and humility in order to cope and promote positive change.

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