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Born to Die?: Why the Cross Doesn’t Belong at Christmas

December 12, 2012 Yesterday, I passed a church sign that proclaimed Christmas was the story of a baby born to die. It seemed a macabre, odd way to wish passersby a merry Christmas. Apparently, though, quite a few …

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Christmas Eve: The Preacher’s Nightmare and Greatest Opportunity

Visit Bruce’s Site on Evolutionary Christianity This will be the first Christmas Eve in twenty-seven years that I’m not preaching. I confess to not feeling overwhelming grief. It’s a tough gig—almost impossible to pitch the message in …

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A Light in the Darkness

For reasons I cannot explain, I have often find myself as an adult mired in a bit of darkness during the Christmas holidays. This year has been no exception. I am a little surprised, since I have …

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Re-Thinking the “Wonders” of Christmas

A Christmas Requiem for Sandy Hook

Note:  this Christmas Commentary is written in the context of the holiday observance, and as a requiem for the slaughter of the innocents at a place now known to us all as Sandy Hook. A pdf version to …

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Teacher, Guide, Companion: rediscovering Jesus in a secular world

“Drawing from the personal experiences of a seasoned pastor, a team of modern liberal scholars, and the gospel accounts of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, Teacher, Guide, Companion challenges readers to reexamine their own relationship with …

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Understanding “The Gospel”: Why Authorship Claims Matter Dramatically – Part 2 B

But the loss of their key center and probably the main leadership and overall strength of the movement opened the way for Pauline Christian influence which is clear particularly in Luke (both his Gospel and Acts).

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Diana Butler Extended Interview- PBS

“I think that people who are leaving church, or people who call themselves spiritual but not religious, are raising really significant questions about faith, about community life and about the future of religion that religious leaders should pay more attention to,” says religion scholar Diana Butler Bass, author of Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening. Watch more of our interview with her about the religious implications of the rise of the religiously unaffiliated.

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Jesus and Identity: Reconstructing Judean Ethnicity in Q (Matrix: The Bible in Mediterranean Context)

A socio-cultural model of Judean ethnicity is developed, being a synthesis of (1) Sanders’ notion of covenantal nomism, (2) Berger and Luckmann’s theories on the sociology of knowledge, (3) Dunn’s “four pillars of Second Temple Judaism” and his “new perspective” on Paul, (4) cultural or social anthropology in the form of modern ethnicity theory, and, lastly, (5) Duling’s Socio-Cultural Model of Ethnicity.

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Walking in Their Sandals: A Guide to First-Century Israelite Ethnic Identity

This volume invites readers to walk in Israelite sandals, that is, to take a journey of the imagination, and to immerse themselves in the identity, values, and institutions of first-century CE Israelites with the help of contemporary social-scientific studies and theories.

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Bedrock Christianity and Bedrock Americana

A Precarious Reflection for the Thanksgiving Holiday, 2012

That bedrock of Jesus’ teaching did however have implications as to how we might order our lives in society; in closer alignment with what those scriptures depict as something more akin to what the divine had in mind. As well as how we ought to treat one another, without vacuous pretence or self-embellishment.

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