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No Ordinary Time

A New Book from Author Jan Phillips A Book of Hours for a Prophetic Age Jan Phillips’ Book of Hours is a tapestry of threads from the arts, science, sacred texts and her own mystical poetry. It …

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On Being Spiritual, Not Religious

The Holy Ordinary

The kinds of stories the Galilean spirit/sage spins become sacred stories, but not because they have been canonized by any religious authority. Rather, they are extra-ordinarily spiritual tales because they are stories about the sacredness of the ordinary life as revealed to us by the one who taught with a different kind of inner authority. It’s what makes ordinary life so undeniably, unavoidably, deeply, and essentially spiritual. And It is also why ordinary people are as reluctant to relinquish their claim to be “spiritual,” in the most profound sense of the word; just as adamantly as they disavow being “religious,” in the worst sense of that word.

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A Call for Transformation. My Occupy Seattle Port Arrest.

Yesterday evening, I was brutally beaten by my brothers on the Seattle Police force as I stood before an entrance to Pier 18 of the Seattle Port in my clergy garb bellowing, “Keep the Peace! Keep the Peace!”  An officer pulled me down from behind and threw me to the asphalt.  Between my cries of pain and shouts of “I’m a man of peace!” he pressed a knee to my spine and immobilized my arms behind my back, crushing me against the ground.  With the right side of my face pressed to the street, he repeatedly punched the left side of my face for long enough that I had time to pray that the crunching sounds I heard were not damaging my brain.  I was cuffed and pulled off the ground by a different officer who seemed genuinely appalled when he saw my face and clerical collar. He asked who I was and why I was here, to which I replied, “I’m a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I believe another world is possible.”  He led me shaking to a police van where began a 12-hour journey of incarcerated misery. 

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Shared Sacrifice, Shared Reward

“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics,” said Plutarch, the 1st century Roman historian. Our country may not be on its deathbed, but surely we are now experiencing the pain of a serious sickness in our democracy.

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The Real War on Christmas

So let’s take a moment to remember what Christmas is really about: Christmas celebrates the story of God coming among us in the most humble of circumstances.

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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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My Five Lessons from “On Faith”

It was five years ago this month that we launched On Faith. The idea was to inform and educate about all faiths (and no faith) and to initiate an on-going discussion about the role of religion, values and ethics in our daily lives.

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Spiritual But Not Religious? Come Talk to Me

As a professor of religious studies I can relate to some degree. I, too, have found myself an unwitting listener to the personal and sometimes bizarre reflections of total strangers on airplanes, who seem to believe that the word “religious” in my job title means I am someone good to talk to.

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Getting Romney

The public may learn something important about Romney by understanding more about Mormonism, or it may learn nothing relevant to its decision about his candidacy. But that is a decision voters can make only when they have the information.

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Romney Answers Religion Question Only So Far As Republican Tolerance Will Allow

When will candidates learn that the cover-up is always worse than the deed itself? Buried in the middle of Mitt Romney’s religious mea culpa was a twist of logic that would take a knotssmith (like me) to untangle. He asserts that there are some questions about faith that a candidate should answer. Then he carefully chooses the one question that allows him to sound the most like an evangelical Christian. “What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the savior of mankind.”

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Paul Among the People: The Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in His Own Time

Paul was a Hellenistic Jew, originally named Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, who made a living from tent making or leatherworking. He called himself the “Apostle to the Gentiles” and was the most important of the early Christian evangelists.

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Out in Suburbia

Special Price for Fans of Out in Suburbia!

Out in Suburbia has just been re-released on DVD
and is still selling to colleges, universities, and libraries.
To  celebrate, we’d like to offer our fans a home video price.

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What Kind of Christian? – Part I

Part I

Shortly before his deadly rampage in Norway in July, Anders Behring Breivik posted a rambling Christian jihadist manifesto on his Facebook page.  Within days, a self-professed Christian fundamentalist who blogs online claimed the mass murderer was no Christian because he  “supports Darwinism and human logic, demonstrating a rationalist worldview rather than a Christian one.” Uh-oh. While I would also identify myself as some kind of “Christian,” I couldn’t resemble either of these two characters less. So what kinds of beliefs and behaviors do I accept and refute to describe my own “Christian” identity?  What kind of a “Christian” am I? … 

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Ayn Rand and Satanism

Ayn Rand was a proponent of egotistical self interest and laissez faire capitalism…To the members of the Church of Satan, this would all sound very familiar.   

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