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Should We Pray

Prayer can be an appealing concept to us humans. It’s an idea that there’s a Higher Power out there who we can talk with and make requests to. An entity more powerful than the President, who loves us more than our own parents, and who doesn’t charge us an hourly rate to sit on a couch and unload our problems. Who wouldn’t want to believe in that? But it’s not always that simple, as most of us have already figured out.

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The creators

Their relationship remains unclear. They may be unlikely brothers, or perhaps like Oscar and Felix, they are simply an odd couple sharing the same highrise apartment. But Elohim and Yahweh— the two gods of Genesis— have competing …

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Topics: Fiction and Poetry. 8 Points: Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Ages: Adult. Texts: Genesis. Resource Types: Poetry.

Abraham Had Stirring Dreams

From the ‘Sing Young, Sing Joyfully’ collection

Abraham had stirring dreams
That called for emigration.
Steadfast faith sustained his search
Despite its worst privation.

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We Need a Site

But what our guide told us next has stayed in my memory for the almost twenty years since my visit. With a shrug of his shoulders he explained, “Well, we need a site. An important event—we need to have a site. Do we know exactly where it happened? No. But we must have a site so that we can remember.”

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Affirmations and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – Judas Iscariot by Ed Taylor

Judas Iscariot, the anti-hero of the story of the crucifixion, has been heaped with scorn and ridicule over the centuries. “Judas” is not used as a child’s name because it became the synonym for betrayal, for being a back-stabber. In Christian art, he is portrayed in dark, sinister tones. Events in western Christian history from the Inquisition in the fourteenth century to the expulsion of the Jews from almost every country of Europe at one time or another, to Martin Luther’s call for the burning of synagogues, to the violence and killing frenzy of the Holocaust in the twentieth century are all rooted substantially in Judas and because he was a Jew, applied to all Jews. Even his name is identical with the name by which the entire Jewish nation was known… Judas is simply a Greek spelling of Judah.

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Syria, Obama, and the Mark of Cain

Genesis 4:1-16; Romans 2:1-24, 12:14-21; Mark 3:31-35. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has clearly stated that so far as the U.S. government is concerned, crimes against humanity were committed by the president of Syria and his agents….Is there a war?

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Adam & Eve-olution

One of the cool things about an evolutionary understanding of the Kosmos is that we need not rely on myth alone to make sense of the world; and, at the same time, we can look back with …

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Sara Kay: On The Way

Soulful music that combines elements of folk, blues, jazz, and gospel. Lyrics are spiritual yet progressive, philosophical yet earthy, and realistic yet hopeful. The topics include: enjoying the sacredness of daily life, finding hope in difficult times, …

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A Tower of Babble

Giving Voice to Intolerance in an Age of Pluralism

The back story to the Tower of Babel myth is that the orignial plans called for anything but babble. But where once humankind may have all spoken the same language with one unifying plan to build a place all could dwell and abide one another, it has long since ever been the case. “We live in a pluri-verse, not a uni-verse,” says Raimon Panikkar. Ours is a pluralistic age in which we have many different and opposing – even sometimes mutually incompatible — worldviews that threaten planetary human coexistence. In the midst of such chaos and confusion, how can we tolerate each other’s differences? Or, some might ask, should we even try? I consider myself a very tolerant person! The only people I cannot abide are ignorant and intolerant bigots! Does that make me intolerant as well, or merely principled? What would constitute a forbearance of principled intolerance, with a leniency of spirit? Here’s John Bennison’s latest Commentary from Words and Ways.

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Simultaneously Embracing the Magical, Mythical, Empirical, and Rational

‎Eric Elnes, Senior Pastor of Countryside Community Church (UCC), has begun thinking about what he sees as a “convergence” trajectory for post-evangelical Christians and postliberal Christians.  He thinks those two groups are moving toward one another from …

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Topics: Bibles and Bible Study and Emerging/Emergent Church. Texts: Genesis. Resource Types: Articles.

Hang-Gliding and Mudwrestling: The Spiritual Life

I believe it’s in the Bible that we find people and a God willing to wrestle with one another. The spirituality of the Bible is more mudwrestling than hang-gliding, from the depiction of a God who wrestles mud into human shapes in Jewish scriptures to the depiction of creation itself groaning in childbirth in Christian scriptures.

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How to Read the Bible

2) The Hebrew scriptures, or the Old Testament, represent a religious tradition that is independent of the later Christian faith. The Hebrew scriptures aren’t about Jesus, although the Christian scriptures include many references to the Hebrew scriptures. To honor the fundamental differences between the two sets of scriptures doubles the spiritual significance of the entire Bible.

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Lent: A 40 Day Fast

INTRODUCTION Who are we? Jesus responded to the Jews preparing to stone him: “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods?’” John 10:34 Jesus is quoting Psalm 82:6 … “I say, ‘You are …

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8 Points: Point 4: Act As We Believe, Point 7: Integrity of the Earth, and Point 8: Compassion and Selfless Love. Seasons & Special Events: Lent. Texts: Genesis, Matthew, and Psalms. Rituals: Lent. Resource Types: Meditations.

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

If we are honest, this parable of the wedding guests is perplexing and almost beyond understanding. It weaves here and there, turning expectations upside down and just when you think “I’ve got it!” – no you haven’t because it twists again.

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James and John and Their Impudent Request

What impudence of these two upstart fishermen to demand anything of God! These two brothers went to Jesus, not so much with a question or a petition or a prayer, but they went with a demand: “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

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I Love Richard Dawkins!

I love Richard Dawkins! I never met the man, but I still love him and I am glad that he continues to get the press he seems to generate. The funny thing is that I agree with much of what he says. Yes, I realize that he has set up a “straw man” god that most people, with some minimal theological training, would simply dismiss. But the truth is this “straw man” god is still represented, prayed to, bargained with, called up, blamed or thanked in the vast majority of our churches today.

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