The New Atheists are to be commended for demanding that humanity update our maps of reality and that we begin to value and actually use our modern and much enhanced capacities to discern right relationship and to devise age-appropriate ways for psychologically and materially moving in those directions.
The New Atheists as God’s prophets: What a twist! How could we have arrived at such an absurd reversal of who speaks for God?
In Coming Back to Earth, Geering concludes that the most credible scenario for Christianity s future depends on accepting the Gaia concept as a powerful modern myth that will sustain individual humans spiritually, and our planetary home ecologically.read more
Jack Spong has attempted to rescue the Bible from fundamentalism and Marcus Borg has encouraged us to read the Bible again for the first time. However, the Bible remains a problematic text for religious progressives, including Christians and people from other faith traditions. This presentation will acknowledge the constraints on the capacity of the Bible to function in the post-Christian global era, but also imagine some ways in which the Bible may make a constructive contribution to progressive religious communities in the future.read more
The values of church in confronting a world in collapse.read more
Coming into right relationship with reality is the great challenge of our time because it encompasses all of humanity’s challenges. Traditionally, maps of reality—that is, maps of how things are and which things matter—were embedded in a people’s cosmology, or creation myth—their sacred story. This big picture perspective provided answers to life’s great questions and guidance regarding what was real and what was important.read more
Henry David Thoreau, tucked away in his Walden cabin, famously said that most of us lead lives of quiet desperation. That was in 1845. Today, things are not so quiet. Anxiety and depression are regular rites of passage from which millions never graduate. Civility meanwhile has long been dropped from our national discourse. It’s a sad indictment of a country where so many pride themselves in a Christian heritage. We have the highest levels of church attendance in the world. Almost eighty percent of us say that we believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet, where is our joy? Where is our vitality? Where is our peace of mind?read more
The Rev. Gary Wilburn, friend, leader and pastor died at around 2 p.m. Monday, June 28, after a battle with Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 67. Bev Wilburn, the late pastor’s wife, said the family will hold three services ; one at the Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, Calif., where he worked for 10 years; one in Baja California, Mexico, where he lived for the past two years, and one at his former church in New Canaan.read more
On Sunday morning at most churches, the quality of the music is more like Central High’s “Oklahoma” than the Met’s “Bohème,” and about as inspiring as the pasta was at Gino.read more
At the recent Southern Baptist Convention which met in Orlando, a theme reiterated throughout the meeting was the “lostness” of the world. Consider the following quotes, taken from an article in the Western Recorder by Editor Todd Deaton titled: SBC takes ‘fresh look’ at nation’s lostness:
Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Seminary, declared: “We need to be looking forward with an aggressive agenda to penetrate lostness around the world and in North America.”read more
This word, used for centuries to justify an anti-gay posture, has been badly translated and even more poorly understood.read more
There are different levels of reality, as it were, different ways of looking at the same phenomenon, and these are frequently neither incompatible with one another nor competing to provide answers the same sorts of questions.read more
A son returning from college talks with his father about his course on Religion…read more
We come to this moment in time, called by a very long list of voices, and it has been many, many years, decades, even centuries, that those voices have been calling us. Over the course of the next years, we must find again that inspiration that was the spark for what has been an incredible journey toward wholeness but one that has, ironically, continued to fragment and judge, to deny rights and oppress.read more
In progressive religious thinking, old images of God have been retired and new metaphors for the Divine within the universe, whether Energy, Presence, Spirit, Sacred, Ground of Being, Life, have become more authentic for a scientific world. Yet, in a multi-faith world, we cannot speak of the Sacred infusing the universe without recognizing It as that sought and described in all religions. How do we engage this Divine within the world, or the Divine engage us, if at all, in a multi-faith world? How do human beings step out with the Sacred in everyday life across countries, cultures, and religious persuasions?read more
I have hope that something very special is happening in our world and I would like the Christian tradition to be part of that positive, evolutionary change. But I believe there are things that progressive leaders, progressive teachers and progressive Churches, have to do immediately, if that we are going to have a chance to make it work.read more
Progressive Christianity has been seriously hampered by at least two illusions.
One is that the triumph of progressive ideas is pretty much inevitable. The other is that progressive ideas are inherently persuasively. Neither is true. The progressive Christian witness will not triumph inevitably triumph or under its own power. Convictions prevail when they are part of social movements. Progressive ideas may be intrinsically credible, but they are actually believed only when they are effectively stated and lived, and embedded in alliances of people who act together with informed intentionality.read more
Every Memorial Day, I remember how early Christians almost uniformly rejected any kind of military service–and how little we have learned from their witness to peacemaking.read more