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.”read more
I love Richard Dawkins! I never met the man, but I still love him and I am glad that he continues to get the press he seems to generate. The funny thing is that I agree with much of what he says. Yes, I realize that he has set up a “straw man” god that most people, with some minimal theological training, would simply dismiss. But the truth is this “straw man” god is still represented, prayed to, bargained with, called up, blamed or thanked in the vast majority of our churches today.read more
Famed evolutionary scientist Richard Dawkins is one of those atheists who inspire faith in me even while dissin’ it. I found a recent New York Times interview of him by Michael Powell more uplifting than that week’s religious articles. Of course that’s because most media coverage of religion highlights faults more than insights.read more
In our “adolescence” as a species (which was a threshold crossed as the modern era swept the globe), we began to question the beliefs, interpretations, and meanings we had inherited. The birth of this new form of collective intelligence, global collective intelligence, occurred when access to powerful new technologies (beginning with the telescope) ramped up our ability to discern how things are.read more
Honest and unflinching, Without Buddha I Could not be a Christian narrates how esteemed theologian, Paul F. Knitter overcame a crisis of faith by looking to Buddhism for inspiration.read more
Regarding Heaven and Hell; Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for? – Robert Browning. An evangelical pastor of a mega-church, Rob Bell, creates a stir when he writes a little book, suggesting when it comes to a place called heaven, there’s room for everyone. What the hell?read more
Ehrman’s Forged delivers a stunning explication of one of the most substantial yet least discussed problems confronting the world of biblical scholarship.read more
[The book] elucidates and examines assumptions about history writing that current historians of ancient Israel and Judah employ. It is undertaken in the context of the conflict between so-called “minimalists” and “maximalists” within the discipline todayread more
The growth of a progressive Christian congregation may not lie in its ability to make believers out of skeptics or to talk conventional Christians into switching their loyalties. Rather, the increase in membership is most likely to be the result of evangelism, that is, letting secular discover what others have found of value in the life of the church.read more
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? …read more
The diversity inherent to ancient Israelite religion is often overlooked—particularly within university lecture halls and classrooms. This textbook draws together specialists in the field to explain, illustrate and analyze this religious diversity.read more
We have much to be excited about here at ProgressiveChristianity.org- new staff, new projects, new website, new liturgy. Here is a summer’s end update from the President.read more
I had the opportunity to do some extra reading this summer and I want to recommend three books that I found uniquely helpful and interesting. Two of these are big picture kinds of books and the other is a more scholarly but still a relatively easy read and simply fascinating.read more
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.read more
In 1907, a physician name Duncan MacDougall from Haverhill, Massachusetts, set out to not only prove the existence of the human soul, but that it had a physical presence and substance, much like the heart and lungs, flesh, bone and blood. With the use of a large scale he recorded the weight of terminally ill patients at the moment of death, and discerned a drop of ¾ of an ounce. He deduced the fleeting soul not only existed, but left the body for who knows where, weighing a mere 21 grams.
The human heart has always longed to believe little ‘ol me is made up of something more than the dust of the earth, to which all mortal flesh returns. It has been part of the stuff of religious thinking since the beginning of human thought. For all its persuasive power to drive human beings to believe what cannot be known, and behave in the most radically extreme ways sometimes, the promise of an afterlife and immortality often remains void of much critical examination.
This commentary build on the earlier article, “Moving Heaven and Hell,” which can be found in the Center’s Library.
A god who favors me and people who are like me is just too small.read more
Religion is being bombarded from every quarter—by scientists, spiritualists, agnostics, ex-believers, non-believers and even those who had never bothered with it in the first place.read more
The world has grown too small and the stakes for mankind have grown too high for any of us to engage our faithas if our understanding of God represents the only way God s presence may be known in the world.read more