The four gospels divide Jesus’ followers into three groups. The Greek word “ochloi” refers to the crowds who gathered when Jesus preached; “Mathetes” refers to the followers who stuck around for more teaching; and “Apostolos” refers to the disciples, those chosen by Jesus as his inner circle.read more
Every December, there is much debate over the “War on Christmas.” And while many barbs are passed back and forth over “happy holidays” and “the reason for the season,” one of the more popular notions is that when Xmas is used in place of Christmas, it is an attempt to remove Christ from the holiday.read more
Although they’d be horrified to hear it, militant atheists and Christian fundamentalists share one thing in common. They both read the Bible badly. Their interpretive reading skills, at least when it comes to scripture, are stuck in what psychologist James Fowler calls the mythic-literal stage, a cognitive level appropriate for youngsters but not for adults.read more
What does the New Testament tell us about Mary? Mark, the earliest gospel, did not include a birth narrative, so his mentions of Mary are vague and not very flattering. He says Jesus’ family (the family isn’t specified; does he mean Mary and Joseph or Mary and Jesus’ brothers?) attempted to restrain him because people were claiming he was out of his mind (Mark 3:21). If Mary was present, it seems strange that other gospel verses say she was visited by an angel who told her that she would conceive a special child or to whom Luke says shepherds came in wonder to visit her newborn child or to whom Matthew says wise men journeyed to bring gifts to welcome her wondrous child’s birth.read more
I have made a decision. I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone. I will no longer engage the biblical ignorance that emanates from so many right-wing Christians about how the Bible condemns homosexuality, as if that point of view still has any credibility. I will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell me how homosexuality is “an abomination to God,” about how homosexuality is a “chosen lifestyle,” or about how through prayer and “spiritual counseling” homosexual persons can be “cured.” Those arguments are no longer worthy of my time or energy. I will no longer dignify by listening to the thoughts of those who advocate “reparative therapy,” as if homosexual persons are somehow broken and need to be repaired. I will no longer talk to those who believe that the unity of the church can or should be achieved by rejecting the presence of, or at least at the expense of, gay and lesbian people. I will no longer take the time to refute the unlearned and undocumentable claims of certain world religious leaders who call homosexuality “deviant.” I will no longer listen to that pious sentimentality that certain Christian leaders continue to employ, which suggests some version of that strange and overtly dishonest phrase that “we love the sinner but hate the sin.” That statement is, I have concluded, nothing more than a self-serving lie designed to cover the fact that these people hate homosexual persons and fear homosexuality itself, but somehow know that hatred is incompatible with the Christ they claim to profess, so they adopt this face-saving and absolutely false statement.read more
We have developed a liturgy for use on Christmas Eve, drawing upon the inclusive and scriptural images/metaphors of light and wisdom.read more
Video about the new book: Zealot- The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, by Reza Aslanread more
From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that calls into question everything we thought we knew about Jesus of Nazareth. Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the “Kingdom of God.” The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal.read more
Download the PDF of A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson #34 – “Experiencing God as Light” right into your digital device. God can be experienced as light, visible to the physical eyes and as a universal inner reality.read more
American retailers have essentially pre-announced that the annual Thanksgiving observance — when we presumably pause to gratefully remember everything we have — has been cancelled so bargain shoppers can get an even earlier jump-start on their holiday shopping for all the things we don’t have yet.
Meanwhile, halfway around the world a typhoon of record proportion hit landfall only a few weeks ago; nearly wiping an island nation off the face of the earth, and leaving those who survived with virtually nothing. Then last week an unseasonable swarm of twisters flattened whole towns across the Midwest. By comparison, it all makes the plight of those first pilgrims facing the harsh realities of their first Thanksgiving in a brave new world look like a walk in the park.
And, all the while, the airwaves and media have been filled with docu-dramas and documentaries commemorating the half-century mark of those events that shattered an age of relative innocence for those of us old enough to remember it; ushering in an age of extraordinary upheaval and anxiety, starting with what social critics and historians alike attribute to the assassination of JFK. Juxtaposed and taken together, these events represent a seeming un-reality that hasn’t really abated much in the last fifty years. We live in an age of anxiety.
Jesus masterfully taught in the philosophical tradition known as Jewish cynicism, with such parabolic tales and quaint-sounding imagery as the “lilies of the field.” And he did so at a time and age that – while seemingly ancient to our modern way of thinking – may not have been all that different from our own anxious age. Consider then our fretful, misbegotten ways, and the wild lilies of the fields.read more
Francis Macnab has been teaching the place of Faith in psychology and theology, in health and growth for decades. He claims that the churches have lost vast numbers of people because their Old Faith has lost empathy and relevance in the 21st Century. He advocates the need for a New Faith.read more
THE DAY OF DIALOGUE BETWEEN DR ALAN WALLACE AND LAURENCE FREEMAN OSB EXPLORED THE THEME “SALVATION OR ENLIGHTENMENT’read more
This paper addresses recent discoveries of previously unknown Christian scriptures which predate the orthodox canonical gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Surprisingly, these earlier writings reveal a totally different kind of Christianity – one which could very well speak to the needs of the lost Christians of today.read more
I offer that the literal interpretation of this story, being a myth, represents an interpretation of a truth that constitutes one of the most powerful paradigms in history since it is the foundation of the entire Muslim and Judeo-Christian religions. And Paul’s allegorical interpretation (another myth) obliterates God’s justification for the existence of the Muslim religion – a monumental feat. So, which myth deserves to exist? Only the one that serves as a long-term bond to a civilization, which both do. Yet Paul’s myth interpretation of the Muslim faith did not take, while the Muslim myth did.read more
I find it exciting to read Burton Mack’s book, “The Lost Gospel Q*, I find his account of the early days of Christianity fascinating, when, as a result of Jesus’ life and teaching, the discovery of God as being within was so vividly first articulated in the near-western world. And it is just as exciting to observe how this wonderful teaching almost immediately went awry – how it was so soon abandoned when early (and later) Christians returned to a largely external search for God. It would appear that in those early times there were not enough people devoted to moving forward in this search within to build and sustain an inner-searching Christian religion.read more
Available for Pre-Order An appreciation for the voices of biblical women that contrast long-held beliefs about their role and value, this book provides a framework for women to use their life experiences, intellect, and faith to question …read more
Sunshine Cathedral MCC Sermon
Jesus: Veteran of the Heresy Hunters War
Sharing the Light is an Internet talk show of The Sunshine Cathedral where Rev. Drs. Durrell Watkins and Robert Griffin discuss theological questions of interest to our community.read more