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Show Us God

By: Gary Wiburn.  Last week I spoke of our defining identity here at First Presbyterian as being four things:  a Christ-Centered faith, a place of Creative Celebration, of Compassionate Caring, and Inclusive Community.  These are some of the primary ways in which we understand ourselves as a Center for Progressive Christianity, which means nothing less than trying to embrace the essential teachings of Jesus.

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Fraying Claims: Challenging Progressives beyond Their Chosen Response to the Burning of the Koran

The truth of the matter is that the scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are filled with violence, divisiveness, condemnation. So, too, are they filled with passages that condone the destruction of property and persons of other belief systems and nationalities. True, too, is the reality that such content can, and as Jones has reminded us, will be used for appalling purposes. The pastor in Florida is only doing what he believes his God expects him to do. It’s a God he would deny for no one. Not for his president, Barak Obama, who pleaded with him on behalf of Americans around the world, not to go ahead with his plan. Not for his evangelical brother in the faith, Rick Warren, who has called it a “cowardly act”. Not for any “progressive” Christian like me or Diana Butler Bass who drives a car with a COEXIST bumper sticker on it, each of the letters formed from the symbol of a different religion

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A Conversation with Rev. Fred Plumer of the Center for Progressive Christianity

Today, we speak with Rev. Fred Plumer, Executive Director of the Center for Progressive Christianity in Gig Harbor, Washington. Rev. Plumer will be leading a day-long workshop here in Tulsa on Saturday the 25th at Fellowship Congregational Church

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Topics: Progressive Christianity 101. 8 Points: Eight points. Resource Types: Audio Programs and Interfaith.

Call For Progressive Christian Evangelism

The possibility that Jesus’s message was one of radical fairness, and that following Jesus means creating and living in a world based on non-violent covenant instead of desperate selfishness, has certainly been hidden from view since before Luke decided to tell the story.  It’s time to give the presidents and prime ministers of today the chance to see and hear the alternatives to imperial, retributive, business-as-usual.  It’s time to offer viable alternatives to the feel-good, prosperity-based, exclusive, self-righteousness that passes for evangelism on the right.  As liberal pundit Keith Olbermann has suggested, it’s time for some non-violent democratic action.

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Walk the Talk, Talk the Walk

At some point life began to tip the scale and what I lived began to impact the way I believed. Two events were weighty in the tipping: the death of a neighbor boy because of child abuse and a young woman who had lived with us showing up at our doorstep after being beaten by her new husband. These experiences led me into becoming an advocate for women and children who had been abused. Sometimes people I worked with wanted to know where I went to church. When I invited them it seemed nothing in the liturgy touched anything in their reality.

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Anything Under the Sun: Shaping Contemporary ‘Sunday Morning’ Experiences

Only when our liturgies have about them the flavour of story can we expect them to have the resonance we would like them to have. The challenge of our liturgies is to retell our personal experiences in the light of our Australian experience of the natural seasons. Our preaching should be intellectually and theologically honest – keeping what we know and what we believe, together – delivered in conversational or ordinary language.

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The Hidden POWER of the Gospels

This is NOT just another book about the gospels! With a perfect blend of historical context mixed with contemporary insights, Dr. Shaia opens up the gospels in a whole new way.

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Uncommon Gratitude Alleluia For All That is

‘This book… is an alleluia view of every present moment, a view that welcomes its complexity and subjects it to the more lasting view, the long view, of life. To that, alleluia (p. x1).’?

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Glenn Beck

Beck’s DC rally offers a new kind of conservative religious politics.

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Topics: Progressive Christianity 101. Resource Types: Articles.

Christianity, What’s in A Name

This is being Christian in the true sense of the word as a verb. This is the kind of Christianity I can believe in and live with, and this is the Christianity I pray can be restored to our nation and our world. Amen

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Correcting Jesus: 2000 Years of Changing The Story

In Correcting Jesus, Brian Griffith patiently and clearly untangles the many strands of the story of Christianity, and the many changes made over the centuries to the original story of Jesus and his message. For any reader who’s wondered, “Where did that rule come from?” and “Was it always this way?” Brian’s book is the one you’ve waited for. He’s always passionate but direct in his thesis that the original words of Jesus were meant as a basis for a society based on partnership and equity, not the one of domination and hierarchy they’re used so often to justify.

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Sound Mapping the New Testament

In the Hellenistic world, writings were read aloud, heard and remembered. But modern exegesis assumes a silent text. The disjuncture between ancient…

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What Do We Mean When We Say, “I am Christian?”

Over the last fifteen years I listened to a growing number of troubled clergy who are in conflicted and or dying churches. (I believe there is a connection.) Sometimes the battles are over “LBGT” issues and other times it may be about politics. But far more often, the conflict is rooted in theology, Christology and ideology. Frankly, with rare exceptions, clergy cannot freely teach what they learned in seminary or more importantly, what they have come to believe about their own understanding of the Christian religion, the Bible or their faith. The resultant message is often mixed or muddled and almost always without passion.

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Two Kinds of Christianity

There are some major differences between belief-centered Christianity that focuses on creeds and doctrine, and the kind that puts a priority on following in the way of Jesus.

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Resource Types: Articles.

How my view of Bible stories evolved as I grew up

This is the introductory chapter of a collection of Bible stories I have gotten published recently with the title, A God with a Wider Heart. A preview is available here. It says how I understood those Bible stories when I heard them first as a child, and how my understanding evolved as I grew up.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Anne Rice Quits Christianity

Ironically, author Anne Rice may have been more of a Christian yesterday than she ever was, when she announced, on Facebook, that she was quitting Christianity and renouncing any claim to the title “Christian.”

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Are the New Atheists Wrong to Suggest Religious Moderates Justify the Extremes?

Should I abandon my tradition because liberal and moderate religion serves to justify the extremes? Is my participation in this religious institution providing legitimacy and credibility for fundamentalism, violence, oppression and bigotry done in the name of religion? I’m studying to be a minister in this tradition. It’s called Unitarian Universalism. Am I guilty by association? Should I jump ship? What do you think?

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Hear the Rumble of Christian Hypocrisy

Hear the rumble of Christian hypocrisy. The evangelist who says the Haiti earthquake is retribution for sin is at least true to his religion.

We know what caused the catastrophe in Haiti. It was the bumping and grinding of the Caribbean Plate rubbing up against the North American Plate:

a force of nature, sin-free and indifferent to sin, unpremeditated, unmotivated, supremely unconcerned with human affairs or human misery.

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