Published on Sep 29, 2014
When you no longer believe that God is a cosmic puppeteer, why pray? An exploration of progressive Christian ideas about prayer. In the stories handed down to us from our ancestors, we hear the disciples of Jesus ask, “Lord teach us to pray!” For generations Christians have continued to seek ways to communicate with the ONE we call God. Progressive Christians seek new ways of understanding God and notions of God as a cosmic puppeteer who lives in the sky are being replaced with images which point toward the Reality which lies at the heart of all that is. As we begin to see God as the ONE who lives and breathes in, with, through, and beyond us, our understanding of prayer is evolving. This Keynote presentation includes youtube videos of John Shebly Spong – Honest Prayer Parts I and II, and Fred Plumer on Prayer and Progressive Christianity.
Though he lived in the thirteenth century, Meister Eckhart’s deeply ecumenical teachings were in many ways modern. He taught about what we call ecology, championed artistic creativity, and advocated for social, economic, and gender justice. All these elements have inspired spiritual maverick Matthew Fox and influenced his Creation Spirituality. Here, Fox creates metaphorical meetings between Eckhart and Teilhard de Chardin, Thich Nhat Hanh, Carl Jung, Black Elk, Rumi, Adrienne Rich, and other radical thinkers. The result is profoundly insightful, substantive, and inspiring.read more
Preaching is, first of all, an act of the heart. In the biblical tradition, the heart is center of experience and decision-making. It embraces the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. It is embodied and incarnational as well as intellectual. Good preaching moves the preacher and congregation alike. The pastor dances with the text through his or her bodily movements as well as lively ideas. The goal of the sermon is not to provide a final destination, but as philosopher Alfred North Whitehead says, to invite congregants to be part of an “adventure of the spirit.”read more
What can the prophet Jesus teach us?
Where shall the mystic Christ lead us?
His Way is wonder, the path compassion,
And through letting go we shall find life.
“Knock, knock, knock and the door will surely open, *
Seek, seek, seek and the questing heart will find,”
All that only seems to lie outside us
Also dwells within our heart and mind.
When we find beauty in our depths,
When we find love within our heart,
When we find dance within our toes,
God will form our sail and chart.
I shall argue in this essay that without the mind’s faculty of imagination there would be no philosophy, no art, no music, no mathematics, no science, no religions, and no freedom of choice; that the attempts of religions to limit its expression to habits of identity, aided by the atheistic belief, now common in secular societies, that it must be applied only to material discovery, is the cause of their conflict and religious terrorism; that the crisis in modern education is similarly caused and may be similarly resolved; that the natural function of this faculty is to find manifold ways for minds to communicate, as is demonstrated by its manifestations, as described above; finally, that it is not limited to human minds, for the history of philosophy, which is also the history of humankind, would not be as it is if this were true.read more
There’s a beautiful place in our minds,
Deeper than hatred or fear;
There’s a beautiful space in our hearts
Filled with God’s wisdom and care.
Marcus Borg, Brian McLaren, Diana Butler Bass and Others on Progressive Christianityread more
O God of sky and God of Earth,
We honor your presence
Within us and beyond.
God of sky and God of Earth
Your bright presence we explore
Deep within us and beyond
All our reason’s structured lore.
1. How liberated are those who have learnt to let go;
They shall experience the mystery of God.