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“God With Us” Is Not Just for Christmas Time

God is not a spectator in our suffering, but rather, an active participant in the ebb and flow of both the good and bad in our lives. Our experience, rapturously joyful or horrendously painful, or anywhere in between, becomes part of God’s experience.

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The Politics of Jesus

The Politics of Jesus is an illuminating, well-written exploration of key themes in the Gospel of Luke.

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A Magical Christmas

I share these familiar family stories because I wonder as we approach this Christmas “holy day,” if we have lost our ability as a society to look for, to wait for, to anticipate those magical moments in life. Have we become so materialistic, so rational, so cynical that we no longer see the magical, majestic, the mystical, the mystery?

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The Powers That Be

‘The Powers That Be’ is an unusually engaging, credible exploration of nonviolence as the most adequate depiction of what Jesus meant by being peacemakers and reconcilers. By nonviolence, is meant not submissiveness and passivity, but disciplined, effective struggle for justice and peace along the lines of what Gandhi, King, Day, Soelle, and others taught and modeled. Its effectiveness is hinted at by the fact that by far the majority of successful toppling of oppressive regimes in the 20th century were by nonviolent means. Walter Wink offers a new and eye-opening understanding of passages like ‘turn the other cheek, walk the second mile….’ I taught it in college course and was told that student evaluations named it the most popular text of the semester in any subject area.

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Myths Surrounding the Birth of Jesus

During the celebration of Christmas, familiar images are recalled in hymns and scripture about the birth of Jesus. In the popular mind, the appearance of herald angels, shepherds abiding in the fields, the star of Bethlehem, the virgin Mary giving birth in a stable, and the adoration of the Magi, have all been melded into one Christmas story. In reality, there are in the gospels, two distinct and at times contradictory stories of Jesus’ birth. A careful reading of the Bible itself reveals that so much about this celebrated birth is myth.

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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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