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Belief

I’ve been reading another smart and literate atheist arguing the absurdity of belief in God. Someone asked me once if I was threatened by the recent self-assertiveness of atheists and, surprisingly, I could offer a confident “no.” The fact is that I am heartened by the resurgence of atheism because I agree with almost all of it. The kind of shallow, or at least, immature systems of belief that atheism attacks, should be debunked and I feel like I play my own part in debunking them from the pulpit most Sunday mornings. But the arguments of the atheists never get to the real point or even address the heart of real faith.

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Ryan Bell’s Year Without God

I thought I’d pretty well covered the territory in a “musing” I wrote a few years ago called “The Varieties of God”, a listing of the many alternatives along the spectrum between traditional theism and atheism. But Ryan Bell has added a new one: provisional atheism. Godlessness for the time being. He’s gone public with this status, and I intend to follow his “Year Without God” blog to see how it goes for him.

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Topics: Atheism, Emerging/Emergent Church, and Theology & Religious Education. 8 Points: Point 3: Inclusive Community and Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Seasons & Special Events: Easter and Lent. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Rituals: Lent. Resource Types: Articles and Meditations.

The “Faith” in Clear Faith

The terms faith and beliefs are sometimes used interchangeably, but I think it is useful to make a distinction between them. Beliefs are things you think are true, like “I believe in God.” “I believe that there is life after death.” These are improvable opinions (or they would be accepted by all as “facts”). A list can be made of beliefs.

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Study Guide for the 8 Points of Progressive Christianity 2012- PDF Download

The background material and the questions of this Study Guide were designed to stimulate conversation and to raise issues that might not otherwise come up. None of these materials are intended to make a final theological, Christological, or canonical argument. The last thing we would want to do is to tell anyone how he or she should believe or approach their faith. We simply offer this as a starting point to the conversation and we look forward to the continual evolution of our faith.

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The God We Never Knew:

Beyond Dogmatic Religion To A More Authenthic Contemporary Faith

How to have faith––how to even think about God––without having to stifle modern rationality is one of the most vital challenges facing contemporary religion. In providing a much–needed solution to the problem of how to have a fully authentic yet fully contemporary understanding of God, Borg––author of the bestselling Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time––traces his personal journey.

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“Christian” A-theism, Part II: What Language Shall I Borrow?

Part One in this series considered the notion of “God,” or “gods,” as the single most elusive idea the human imagination has ever concocted or tried to fathom. But we typically constrain ourselves, thinking only in theistic terms; and fashion our notion of “God” in an anthropomorphic image so we can more easily relate to the idea. We ascribe to such a being all kinds of desirable characteristics that might comprise this composite character. The Christian then proceeds to incarnate that idea with a Christology in which Jesus is typically construed as mediator and chief negotiator; to the extent such a savior is willing to atone for all our wretchedness and secure our own immortality in another existence. It’s all pretty fanciful stuff. But for those progressives for whom such a construct is no longer viable or credible, it is not simply a question of what remains amidst the theological rubble, but what more, or other, might yet be discovered? As such, we ask how we might speak of such things. What language might we use?

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Bound: an Earth Walker’s Handbook

Are there any fun theology books written with today’s reader in mind? Contemporary Christian thought leader Phyllis Tickle says “imaginative theologically and charming as well as rigorous, Bound, an Earth Walker’s Handbook is the best example I have ever seen of riveting and holy fun.”

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“Christian” A-theism, Part I

The God I Don't Believe In

When it comes to religion, Atheism is as good as any, since religion is simply about how you put some order in your otherwise chaotic world, and come up with a list of things you believe or disbelieve. The atheist and the theist both want to ask the same basic question: Do you believe in God or not? Often they are not interested in going much deeper than that. The oft-repeated response a famous preacher once gave to a religious skeptic went, “Tell me about the God you don’t believe in. Chances are I don’t believe in that kind of God either.”

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Christian Unity

There’s a line in a popular Christian song that makes me cry every time: “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.” It makes me question my attachment to labeling myself a Christian Progressive or a Christian liberal.

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Unalienable Rights, and the Question of a “Christian” Conscience

A Commentary for the Annual Observance of Independence Day, 2013

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

These grand words are etched in the American consciousness, and serve as a preamble of sorts to the Constitution’s subsequent ideal goal of “a more perfect union.” With the recent split Supreme Court decisions over voting rights and marriage equality, along with and passage of an immigration reform bill in the Senate that naysayers declare is DOA in the House of Representatives, it would appear that while progress has been made, we clearly remain a work in progress, as well.

As we prepare to celebrate our Independence Day holiday this year the fireworks have been set off a little early with the debate over the intelligence surveillance practices of the so-called Patriot Act by a government that was established of, by and for the people. Call them heroes or traitors, whistleblowers or hack-tivists, there are also a growing number of anti-authoritarian tech geeks who claim to be motivated less by notoriety than a certain principled conscience to which they claim to have pledged a higher allegiance.

So, what is the nature of “natural” or “divinely-bestowed” rights? What of human conscience, earthly authority, and more? And – for those of us who might consider ourselves both a red-blooded American and Christian of one sort or other — what might constitute a “Christian” conscience, based on a Jesus life-ethic?

You can find the latest commentary Here.

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Clear Faith: Clearing Away Stumbling Blocks for a Faith that Makes Sense

Are you disillusioned by some aspects of Christianity, like having to believe the right things to “get saved”? Like the idea that an all-loving God would sentence anyone to hell? Like understanding an often contradictory Bible? Then meet CLEAR FAITH. Clear away those stumbling blocks to uncover a faith of your own that makes sense. Meet the Jesus we can truly call “brother.” By seeing with new eyes, through a clear lens, we can experience and live with a simple, straightforward faith that is globally inclusive, open, and compatible with a progressive, scientific worldview.

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So You Think You’re Not Religious? A Thinking Person’s Guide to the Church, 1st Edition

founder of ProgressiveChristianity.org (TCPC)

In So You Think You’re Not Religious, James Adams sets himself a formidable task: asserting the value of Christian faith and practice to skeptics, and overcoming their very reasonable objections. It’s perhaps in his favor that he’s an extremely reasonable man, and that many of these objections were his own, at other times in his life. A powerful and practical introduction to the church for newcomers and old-timers alike. Topics include belief, the creed, sacraments, prayer, and belonging.

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum, Year Two, Ages 6-10, FOR IN-HOME

In A Joyful Path, Year Two, we focused on some of the main tenets of Progressive Christianity and Spirituality, giving our children the foundation they need to understand the basics of this path, to clarify their own personal beliefs and be able to discuss those with others, while at the same time showing what it means to walk the path of Jesus in today’s world.

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum, Year Two, Ages 6-10, For SMALL GROUPS

In A Joyful Path, Year Two, we focused on some of the main tenets of Progressive Christianity and Spirituality, giving our children the foundation they need to understand the basics of this path, to clarify their own personal beliefs and be able to discuss those with others, while at the same time showing what it means to walk the path of Jesus in today’s world.

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It’s Time; Challenges to the Doctrine of the Faith

“The title says it all. Michael Morwood ‘s new book IT’ S TIME is a winner as he speaks to a wide spiritual audience while delivering a well written work that is easy to read and full of useful wisdom…This writer Tom has read all of Michael Morwood’s books and finds IT’S TIME to be his best. IT’S TIME has arrived amidst much crisis and offers intelligent information that can bring about peace of mind.”

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The problem with being an atheist

The problem with being an atheist
is the lack
of imagination.

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Topics: Atheism and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Seasons & Special Events: Ordinary Time. Resource Types: Poetry and Readings.
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