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Why I am a Progressive Christian (Part 2)

In my last column, I told briefly my story of being a progressive Christian by first describing why I am a Christian and why I continue to choose to be a Christian. The thing that has been my saving grace, that which has kept me from abandoning my faith, is that I have chosen to identify myself as a progressive Christian.

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Blinded by Belief

Humans are wondrous creatures. Even the very thought that we are conscious at all is enough to baffle the most intelligent of people. Yet it is even more amazing that this wondrous creature we call human, which has been mysteriously endowed with mind and reason, will voluntarily give up these faculties rather than use them. How? They give it up to have a book they can believe in that has all the answers spelled out for them. Then the attribute this book they know was written by humans, to the divine creator.

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Dimensions of Faith

Philip Sudworth considers the different dimensions of faith and the implications for how we respond to the faith of others.

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Ecology, Spirituality, and the Evolution of Consciousness

It is my task to speak on ecology, spirituality, and the evolution of consciousness. My intention is to describe the characteristics of an ecological spirituality be for the 21st century. Such a spirituality would transcend, yet include, all traditional religious expressions of spirituality. Each religious tradition, including my own – Christianity – is faced with the challenge of interpreting this ecological crisis through the lens of its tradition and mobilizing its constituency to take action. We either do this, or risk irrelevance. This is what I set out to do in my book, Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos: An Ecological Christianity. Yet there is a need to broaden the definition of spirituality in a way that speaks to that growing demographic – especially in Cascadia – that define themselves as "spiritual, but not religious".

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Environment in Relgion

written by Vladimir Tomek

Destruction of nature, whether quick and immediate, like the slash-and-burn agricultural practices, or gradual, such as the destruction of the ozone layer, dulls our sensitivity to the presence of God in the natural world.

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Always A Seeker

Certainly the most influential and helpful reading I had done over the years was in the various Buddhist traditions. It is true that on the surface there are significant differences from the teachings of Jesus and the Buddha. And it seems important to note that the historical Jesus had only three or four years to formulate and articulate his teachings, while the Buddha’s teachings evolved over several decades. And certainly these two great teachers were coming out of very different cultures and social settings.

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Jesus: The Way That is Open to Other Ways

I am one of those Christians whose faith has been uncomfortably challenged by a reality that has been with us since the dawning of humanity but has become even clearer and more pressing over the last century: that there are many ways to be religious. There are many religions; there always have been; and, despite two millennia of Christian missionary work, it sure seems like there always will be. The manyness, the diversity, of religions is here to stay.

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Confessions of a Cowboy Christian and Practicing Buddhist

Beyond miles and miles of Sonoran and Chihuahuan desertCriss-crossing the Southwest and Northern Mexico,Where local folks know how to stand "tall in the saddle" as they sayAcross a landscape that seems to go nigh on to foreverEven beyond the Boundlessness of you, O' God,Here imaginations may touch the beauty of all creationAnd horizons meet the very edge of eternity.

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Jesus and Buddha-Kindred Spirits

That is the core truth of Buddhism. We expect things to go well, and when they don’t, we suffer. The truth of Buddhism is that when we drop our desire for life to be different than what it is, at least a lot of our suffering will disappear as well. Drop the attachments, and the suffering will be dropped as well. That’s the way to enlightenment in Buddhism. You hear in the core teachings of Buddhism the bringing together of laughter and suffering, laughter as an image for accepting everything as it is, as perfect just now, and sorrow as an image for wanting it to be more hopeful. We hold those two things in balance all the time, and I believe the same is true in Christianity. Christianity also is an attempt to hold together laughing and sorrow. I want to suggest that as we move toward Easter that we might see this journey as that balance. You can’t have Good Friday without Easter Sunday. You can’t have Easter Sunday without Good Friday. Christianity at its essence brings together suffering and laughter.

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Integral Life Presents: The Future of Christianity, featuring Ken Wilber and Father Thomas Keating

Here is an exciting new resource for churches and individuals that are trying to sort out where they are in relationship to their understanding of the Christian faith in a post-modern world.

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Perplexed–Discussion Between Fred Plumer and TCPC Reader Rev. R

This article is a summary of an email exchange between a TCPC reader and Fred Plumer. We are not certain why last month’s eBulletin, “Recovering Christians,”; generated so much email but we were surprised. It was a nice surprise because overall it was very supportive. We always get few responses after an eBulletin goes out.
After all, it does go out to close to 12,000 subscribers every month. But for some reason last month’s eBulletin stimulated nearly ten times the email, phone calls and even a couple of “snail mail” letters than we normally receive.

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From the Third Floor of the Gargage- The Story of TheOOZE

I used to be a pastor. More than that, I was a pastor at Mariners Church in Irvine, California-a bona fide mega church with a 25-acre property and a $7.8 million dollar budget. For years, I played by the rules and tried hard not to think too much about the lingering questions in my soul. Doubt, after all, was dangerous. Who knew where it might lead?

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Engaging the Recovering Christians

So how do we progressive Christians share our perspective so recovering Christians can hear us and actually get excited about the progressive path of Jesus and what our churches have to offer?

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Remarks of President Barak Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast

But no matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know.

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Don’t Go There

if we dig deep enough, most of us seem to have a “don’t go there” spot in our beliefs and traditions – that place where we lose a little of our otherwise rational thinking. And I suspect that it is often our inability to get past those “don’t go there(s)” that holds back our personal growth and change.

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Prayer Given by the Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson at the Opening Inaugural Event

As many of you know, the Right Rev. Gene Robinson, the openly Gay Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire , gave the opening prayer at yesterday's Lincoln Memorial event. It was the first event in the inaugural festivities this year. HBO, which had paid for exclusive rights to the event chose not to broadcast Bishop Robinson's prayer. So if you watched there you wouldn't have caught it or even known that it occurred. NPR didn't air it either. There's no record of it in images placed on the sites of Getty Images, New York Times and the Washington Post. It's a complete erasure of his ever having delivered the prayer.  Such is the continuing policy of silence and erasure we have to live with from people who should know better. We are used to this. If you know your Gay history this has happened again and again. In fact this little list-serve is really about recovering the truth in our history and celebrating it. So we're going to celebrate it by providing here the full text of Bishop Robinson's prayer.

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Living the Questions 2.0

To order with a 10% discount, first visit this page for the TCPC code.  LtQ2 is the completely revised and expanded version of Living the Questions, the popular DVD & internet-based small group exploration of progressive Christianity featuring premier religion voices of our day.

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Imagining a Progressive Revolution

Imagination is your memory of the future, not like a fantasy imagining things there are not really there, but really seeing what was awaiting your attention all along. The soul of the universe is whispering to you through her mythic imagination, calling you to action. Symbols, dreams, myths and stories bubble up in you, often from beyond your conscious awareness, carefree in the face of reason's tight lipped caution. When we meet in this space, the doors of imagination flung wide, we imagine the possibilities for a world filled with peace and justice, and say with clarity and passion, "Why not?"

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