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Women in Ministry—First Century and Today

Basically, the Church was developing within a strongly partiarchal and heirarchical society…. Despite the freshness and hopefulness we see in Jesus and Paul, it is not surprising that male domination would soon assert itself and claim exclusive leadership privileges. Maybe women could lead among women, of course… no real complication or threat there.

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Rigid and Relaxed Religion

Are you religious? Your answer will depend a lot on what your questioner meant by the concept of “religion” and how you view this concept.

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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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The Complete Gospels, 4th Edition

The Complete Gospels is the first publication ever to collect the canonical gospels and their extracanonical counterpoints under one cover. The selected extracanonical gospels date from the first and second centuries, are independent of the canonical gospels, and significantly contribute to our understanding of the developments in the Jesus tradition leading up to and surrounding the New Testament gospels.

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The Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13 (and Didache 8)

9. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name. 10. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11. Give us this day our daily bread; 12. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors; 13. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

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“The Golden Rule”

“The Golden Rule” from many different religious traditions

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8 Points: Point 2: Pluralism. Seasons & Special Events: Pluralism Sunday. Texts: Matthew. Resource Types: Readings.

The Capacity and Compunction for Compassion

Beyond any question of ethical and legal right or wrong, reason or rationale, human goodness or human evil, guilt and judgment, worthiness or worthlessness — when all is said and done — does there remain yet a response that is not only possible, but necessary, to acknowledge the dignity and worth of every human being? Do we have both the capacity and compunction to include in the mix some expression of compassion in such tragic stories of brokenness and estrangement, violence and vengeance.

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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.

Jesus and the 99 Percent

What has become clear among these liberal and progressive clergy is that although we do not know fully what the movement is or where it will wind up, we know that we are called to be there.

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Luke 1:39-56: Magnificat for a Broken World

Mary’s song promises that God brings about wondrous reversals in the world: showing favor to the uncredentialed and ignored (“the lowly”); rendering ineffectual the machinations of the arrogant (“scattering the proud in the thoughts of their hearts”); bringing down those who exploit positions of power; lifting up the poor. 

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The Trouble with Epiphany: Gift Giving as Genuflection, or the “Tebow” Factor

The trouble with an epiphany is that it often leads to enlightenment!  And enlightenment can alter the way one sees the world and one’s relationship to it.  As such, anyone who would bend the knee in praise and adoration might do well to consider it can also be a radically subversive act of obeisance and allegiance. 

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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.

When Gaspar Went Missing – A Commentary for Twelfth Night

It has long been a family tradition to mark the days of Advent and Christmastide seasons with the wood-carved characters appearing in our little crèche one by one, week after week, like unfolding scenes in a two-act drama. But the year one of the three wise men was nowhere to be found when it came for him to enter stage left not only got me wondering about his whereabouts, but what he could have possibly been up to.  Such speculation, I would suggest, may be no less credible than Matthew’s fanciful, retrospective tale.

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Topics: Bibles and Bible Study, Early Christianity, and Fiction and Poetry. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus and Point 6: Peace and Justice. Seasons & Special Events: Christmas. Ages: Adult. Texts: Matthew. Resource Types: Articles.

Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity

* How did monotheistic Jews of the early church come to see Jesus as a part of the unique identity of Israel’s God? Offering an alternative to “functional” and “ontic” Christology, Bauckham convincingly argues that the divine identity—who God truly is—can be witnessed in Jesus’ humiliation, suffering, death, and resurrection.

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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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It’s the Least We Can Do: End of Year A Commentary

What is seldom noticed by traditional Christians is that consignment to hell is not the payback for “sin”; it is the consequence of not believing that Jesus was the one Anointed by God to return the world to God’s covenantal rule.  If you don’t believe Jesus was the one – according to Matthew – you won’t follow Jesus’ teachings, and when the transformation comes, you will be found in the company of the goats.

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End Times – Apocalypse 101: Proper 18-19, Year A

The process the early followers of Jesus went through that resulted in the Church of Jesus Christ is fairly long, fairly obscure, and full of pitfalls for those who seek to recreate it.

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