Borg and Crossan describe the Christmas story as “a subversive parable.” Subversive stories help us see differently. They subvert the conventional ways of seeing. Similarly, parables are metaphors.read more
There were different types of protest, some more violent than others. But the vast majority of the people were simply there to make a statement. “We are not going to let you get away with this.”read more
Yesterday (October 4th, 2011), the protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement channeled Michael Jackson in “Thriller,” dressing up like zombies, complete with fake blood, stupefied stagger and an insatiable appetite for money.
It was blatant political theater of the absurd.
Until the 1870’s economics was an offshoot of moral philosophy. Adam Smith believed in a capitalist economy grounded in a non-capitalist morality. For him, “honesty, thrift, discipline, cooperation, and not consumption and unbridled self-interest were the keys to happiness and social cohesion.”read more
Rev. Madison Shockley II
A sermon on a topic ripped from the headlines.
Before any of this can speak to 21st century post-modern, post-enlightenment, post-Christian minds (if it can), first remember that John’s Gospel is an extended proof – an argument.read more
In this informal and accessible survey, Spong will move book by book through the Scriptures, introducing their themes and messages by examining the sweep of history in which these books were originally written. What has history taught us? How should we read these stories today? What does it mean for how we live our lives? And why do people tenaciously hold on to so many myths associated with the Bible? For the vast audience of people eager for a meaningful journey into the Bible, Spong leads the way.read more
Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong is used to being a lightning rod for religious debate. Known affectionately as “Jack” to his friends, Spong has been taking religious literalists to task for over 40 years.read more
Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are two other important winter holidays yet the history underlying these celebrations escapes most Christians. Here are brief lessons from History.com.read more
To make the news at Christmas it seems a priest just needs to question the literalness of a virgin giving birth. What progressive interpretations try to do however is remove the supernatural obfuscation and delve into the deeper spiritual truth of this festival.read more
“I have spoken to many Christian Americans who have no idea that we believe in Jesus and that we believe he is the savior. We believe will come back and unite everyone together…”read more
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.read more
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.read more
More than being a “human being” on this earth, John’s gospel calls for a transformed life: water into wine; a temple made of distributive justice-compassion, not gold and stone.read more
Jesus said part of the reason one has to pour New Wine into new wine skins was to preserve the old wine and old wine skins.read more
“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.read more
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.read more
This worship service combines the contemplative spirit of Taizé chant with the Celtic liturgy of the Iona Community.read more