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An Ass and a Bunch of Zombies: The Triumphal Entry and Occupy Wall Street

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.

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Occupied

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.”

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part IV – Believers & Ingrates

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.

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Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World

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.

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Christmas Theologies and Billboards

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.

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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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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part I – Signs and Wonders

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.

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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.

Occupy Christmas, or, What’s in a Word? – A Christmas Commentary on John’s Prologue

“The divine word and wisdom became human, and made itself at home among us.”  So begins the Prologue to John’s gospel, with a far loftier and esoteric version of Jesus’ nativity than any birth in a barnyard. But more so, John’s introduction to a good news gospel reaches across the ages to not only give new meanings to the words he uses to describe the incarnate word of God; but gives fresh insight into some of our own vernacular, and how we might even redefine Christ’s mass ourselves.

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Good News, Bad News: An Amnesty Gospel for Advent

There’s two sides to every story, and there’s often some good news and bad news. Is the Gospel all good news? That depends. This Advent commentary considers the implications of rethinking and retelling the Christmas story.

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