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Pregnant with Possibility:  Was Mary a Virgin or Was Mary Raped?

Mary, this enigmatic woman has remained in the shadows for centuries. All too often the epithet “virgin” has been applied to the young woman who fell pregnant so long ago. As her Advent appearance approaches, I this re-post this sermon which I preached a couple of years ago in which I asked some questions about Mary. At the time I was reading Jane Schalberg’s “The Illegitimacy of Jesus”, John Shelby Spong’s “Born of a Woman” and “Jesus for the Non Religious” along with John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg’s “The First Christmas” and this sermon is laced with their scholarship.

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Who IS God? – Not One, Not Two – a sermon for Thanksgiving Sunday

YAHWEH: I AM WHO I AM. From backseat somewhere far away, we can be heard to cry, “Who is God?” A legitimate question. Big Bang. Stardust, DNA. Evolution. Expanding universes. Quantum leaps. Higgs Boson. Expanding consciousness. String theory. Black holes. 14 or 26 dimensions of space and time. Metaphysics. Metamorphosis. Meta-literal. YAHWEH: I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE. Who is this God? I AM the bread of life. Give us this bread.

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In A Country Well Governed – Sermon Video

As we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving this week in the USA we should not forget that our “well governed” nation has reason to be ashamed of our tolerance of poverty.

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Affirmations and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – Heaven

Hebrew Scripture’s View of Life after Death It wasn’t until after the Babylonian Exile that the Pharisees accepted the idea of heaven and the resurrection of the faithful, but the Sadducees, the Essenes, and the community of …

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Which Code Can Assist Us?

From the ‘Sing Young, Sing Joyfully’ collection

Which code can assist us
Uncover the fullness
Of living and loving
Which our spirits need?

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Affirmations and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – Mary Magdalene by Ed Taylor

Contrary to the custom of the period, Jesus accepted women among his followers. Although none of the women are ever identified as “disciples,” certain gospels passages indicate that some of them may have been equal to the disciples, particularly Mary Magdalene. Mark writes that women followed Jesus in Galilee and ministered to him (Mark 15:40-41). Like Mark, Matthew 17:55 refers to women who “followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him.” Luke 8:1-3 mentions that Jesus and the disciples were accompanied by women and he specifically mentions Mary Magdalene, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others, “who provided for them out of their own resources” (meaning that they must have had considerable wealth). Jesus’ death and the events accompanying it mention the presence of women and some of those women witnessed the crucifixion, Jesus’ burial and the discovery of the empty tomb. Pope Benedict XVI considered it an obvious fact that “many women were also chosen to number among the disciples.”

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What Questions Might Jesus Ask of Scripture?

Truth exists, but our experience of it is limited and fallible. Christians would do well to humbly acknowledge that our sacred texts are also limited and fallible. Jesus did.

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Gay Marriage and the First Amendment

There is much discussion in the public arena about homosexuality, access to birth control and access to abortion. I have not heard one person say anything about First Amendment Rights in connection with homosexuality or access to birth control.

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Epiphany: More than changing light bulbs

“Sin” is not about sex, or petty transgression. “Sin” is about the seduction of power-over others; of the gratification of having what others cannot have.

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Topics: Bibles and Bible Study, Early Christianity, Jesus Studies, and Progressive Christianity 101. 8 Points: Eight points. Seasons & Special Events: Epiphany. Ages: Adult. Texts: Amos, Deuteronomy, Luke, Mark, Matthew, Philippians, Psalms, and Romans. Resource Types: Articles.

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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Western Christianity Must Change or Remain Irrelevant

I believe that the current state of traditional western Christianity may be comparable to the state of first century Judaism (as it is depicted in the Gospels). And now, as then, critique, deconstruction, and renovation are needed. Jesus’ continuity and discontinuity within his faith tradition, his deconstruction for the purpose of reconstruction, are paradigmatic for emerging, progressive Christianity.

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The Bible and Homosexuality- A Faithful Look

Too many Christians blindly accept that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but rarely are the few verses that do so discussed in their textual and cultural settings. The author, a United Church of Christ minister, investigates the small print and finds no support for oppression and bigotry in the name of faith.  This article was prompted by protests against the ordination of openly gay clergy in her husband’s Lutheran congregation.

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