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“Kill your own child” God seemed to say (Abraham and Isaac)

From the Boundless Life collection

“Kill your own child” God seemed to say with firmness,
“For children satisfy a god’s desire.”
So Abraham brought Isaac in obedience
To sacrifice upon the altar’s fire.

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Topics: Arts and Music, Bibles and Bible Study, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 8: Compassion and Selfless Love. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Texts: Genesis. Resource Types: Audio MP3, Hymns, and PDF Download.

Marcus J. Borg Quotes

Rather, the way of Jesus is the way of death and resurrection — the path of transition and transformation from an old way of being to a new way of being. To use the language of incarnation that is so central to John, Jesus incarnates the way. Incarnation means embodiment. Jesus is what the way embodied in a human life looks like.”
― Marcus J. Borg, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously but Not Literally

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Exclusive Interview with Ben Corey: Discussing The Wide Spectrum of Progressive Christianity, and more…

An insightful discussion with Eric Alexander of ProgressiveChristianity.org and popular progressive Christian blogger and author Benjamin Corey about the state of progressive Christianity, Jesus as the only way, how the Emergent Church movement fits into progressive Christianity, defining sin (and original sin), and what exactly Ben’s got strapped around his chest in his blog’s profile picture.

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An Excerpt from The Hidden Power of the Gospels: Four Questions, Four Paths, One Journey by Alexander J. Shaia with Michelle Gaugy

by Alexander J. Shaia with Michelle Gaugy

“The nine Beatitudes reflect diverse parts of a harmonious unity which I endlessly reflect and touch each other as we go through our lives. At the very heart of Jesus’s teachings, their practice opens us to compassion. If we are able to place these on our hearts, walk with them on our feet, hold them in our hands, and seal them in our thoughts, we will have more insight along our journey. They will become our walking staff and guide for the arduous times we will face.

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Is That Story True?

As Maggie listens to a story about a little girl who grew up on the prairies, about a ruler who cut a knot in two, about a shepherd who went looking for a lost sheep, about a king who made a foolish wish, and finally, about a giant who lived in a beautiful garden, she discovers that some stories are true because they actually happened. Other stories are true because they tell us something true about a real person, place, or event, even if what they describe did not happen. And some stories are true even if they are completely made up because they tell us something true about our own experiences.

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Taking the “Christ” Out of Christmas

The challenge for a progressive Christian who has moved beyond such notions as virgin births and gods disguised in human form come to save us from ourselves is to remember that it is as much a historical development, as it is a theological one. That is, the attribution of a “Christ” title accorded a very human Jesus constitutes the imaginations — if not machinations — of an early Church; consisting of very human, second-generation followers of a 1st century Galilean peasant sage and itinerant preacher. And who all but drowned out the authentic voice of the one who was once born and dwelt among humankind.

Such an assertion is simply based on the fact the historical Jesus never self-identified as the “anointed one,” the Christ.

As such, if one were to remove the Christ-title from the various birth narratives of those secondary traditions of this religious movement, what would remain of the “Christmas story” that has become as prevalently assumed, as it has been unexamined? If we took the Christ out of Christmas, what might remain of the voice of one who was born and dwelt among us?

You can read more here.

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Light in the Midst of Darkness

When I am struggling, maybe with grief, or trying to sort out something difficult in my life, I often go to a special spot and quietly wait for the new sun to appear. It always makes a significant difference in my being when I do this. My load feels lighter. My fears often dissolve. My grief can be transformed into hope. Over the years I have thought of all kinds of metaphors that may explain this phenomenon. I am reminded that it is a new dawn, or a new day. No matter how painful or dark my situation seems to be, as that sun comes over the horizon everything in my life begins to look and feel different. The new sun symbolizes a new beginning for me. I feel I have gained a new perspective. My internal darkness has dissolved into new light and I am comforted.

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The Greatest Birth Story Ever?

Luke 1:26-38, a sermon for Advent 4B

Imagine what it must have been like for the early followers of the man Jesus of Nazareth; a peasant, rabbi, radical, and disturber of the peace, executed as a political threat to the Pax Romana. Jesus of Nazareth went to his death insisting that peace through victory was no peace at all. Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed the radical notion that peace, true peace can only be established and maintained through justice.Peace, true peace, is the result of everyone having enough. Distributive justice which ensures that the poor and the powerless, the marginalized and the despised have all they need to live in peace.It was such a radically dangerous notion that the powers that be could not let it live.

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A Christmas Letter to my Community of Readers

I want to express my gratitude to you for being part of this effort. The idea that we could put online a serious adult Bible study and contemporary issue subscription service that would attempt to breach the gap between the Christian academy and the Christian pew and to help us all learn how to think theologically in a new way, was once nothing more than a dream. Each of you has helped to turn that dream into a reality.

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The Birth of Jesus – New Bishop Spong book!

While Luke’s narrative, the most detailed account of the birth of Jesus, is lyrical and inspiring, in the Birth of Jesus, Spong persuasively demonstrates it is allegory. Layer by layer, Spong weighs every element of the New Testament stories against Old Testament legends building a convincing case. Spong’s essays step backward and forward through the scriptures demonstrating why each element was chosen by the early CE writers to establish Jesus’ lineage and divinity. It is a fascinating and persuasive journey and a remarkable illustration of Biblical scholarship.

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Did Jesus and King David know “The Secret”?

A few years back a book called The Secret took the world by storm, and it is still prominently displayed on the shelves of most bookstores today. The message of the book was to invoke the laws of attraction and intention to attain a life and circumstances that we desired. And because of its popularity I was compelled to grab a copy to see what all the hype was about. I wondered how a book could really promise those kinds of results, and why so many people were swearing by its results. And then it hit me that the best selling book of all time really isn’t all that different. And this got me to wondering if Jesus and King David may have been teaching us this same “secret” thousands of years prior?

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