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In the Winter of Our Discontent: What Gift Shall I Offer?

A Reflection for Twelfth Night and the Epiphany Season

The journey of the magi, and their adoration on bended knee before a newborn peasant who presumably comes to subordinate the Herod’s of this world is a quaint and fanciful tale. But this year, the real exchange of gifts in the City of Angels was a modern day epiphany that suggest we might indeed still find for ourselves new, authentic life in such an otherwise arcane myth. Now the question is whether the meaning and message of Epiphany season will truly shed new light in the bleak midwinter of our discontent.

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Born to Die?: Why the Cross Doesn’t Belong at Christmas

December 12, 2012 Yesterday, I passed a church sign that proclaimed Christmas was the story of a baby born to die. It seemed a macabre, odd way to wish passersby a merry Christmas. Apparently, though, quite a few …

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Christmas Eve: The Preacher’s Nightmare and Greatest Opportunity

Visit Bruce’s Site on Evolutionary Christianity This will be the first Christmas Eve in twenty-seven years that I’m not preaching. I confess to not feeling overwhelming grief. It’s a tough gig—almost impossible to pitch the message in …

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Re-Thinking the “Wonders” of Christmas

A Christmas Requiem for Sandy Hook

Why — despite popular Christianity’s doctrinaire explanations — was a Galilean peasant child’s fate sealed even before he drew his first breath? Was the only reason for the birth of Mary and Joseph’s child simply so he …

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Re-Thinking the “Wonders” of Christmas

A Christmas Requiem for Sandy Hook

Note:  this Christmas Commentary is written in the context of the holiday observance, and as a requiem for the slaughter of the innocents at a place now known to us all as Sandy Hook. A pdf version to …

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Teacher, Guide, Companion: rediscovering Jesus in a secular world

“Drawing from the personal experiences of a seasoned pastor, a team of modern liberal scholars, and the gospel accounts of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, Teacher, Guide, Companion challenges readers to reexamine their own relationship with …

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Awakened World 2012: Learning to See in a “Wholly holy Way.”

Awakened World 2012, http://www.agnt.org/awakened2012.html was recently convened and hosted in Italy by three American organizations. I learned about the conference through the Association of Global New Thought, one of the sponsoring organizations, http://www.agnt.org/charter/conveners.html.  240 participants came from more than 15 …

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Understanding “The Gospel”: Why Authorship Claims Matter Dramatically – Part 2 B

But the loss of their key center and probably the main leadership and overall strength of the movement opened the way for Pauline Christian influence which is clear particularly in Luke (both his Gospel and Acts).

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Diana Butler Extended Interview- PBS

“I think that people who are leaving church, or people who call themselves spiritual but not religious, are raising really significant questions about faith, about community life and about the future of religion that religious leaders should pay more attention to,” says religion scholar Diana Butler Bass, author of Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening. Watch more of our interview with her about the religious implications of the rise of the religiously unaffiliated.

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Jesus and Identity: Reconstructing Judean Ethnicity in Q (Matrix: The Bible in Mediterranean Context)

A socio-cultural model of Judean ethnicity is developed, being a synthesis of (1) Sanders’ notion of covenantal nomism, (2) Berger and Luckmann’s theories on the sociology of knowledge, (3) Dunn’s “four pillars of Second Temple Judaism” and his “new perspective” on Paul, (4) cultural or social anthropology in the form of modern ethnicity theory, and, lastly, (5) Duling’s Socio-Cultural Model of Ethnicity.

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Bedrock Christianity and Bedrock Americana

A Precarious Reflection for the Thanksgiving Holiday, 2012

That bedrock of Jesus’ teaching did however have implications as to how we might order our lives in society; in closer alignment with what those scriptures depict as something more akin to what the divine had in mind. As well as how we ought to treat one another, without vacuous pretence or self-embellishment.

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Understanding “The Gospel”: Why Authorship Claims Matter Dramatically – Part 2

The great dividing line for two religions and the relationship between them is the period of 66-70 CE, which ended in the destruction of both Jerusalem and the great “Second Temple”. For Jews of the time this destroyed the political, economic and religious organization of Israel….

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Peter Laarman to Samuel Rodriguez: Theocratic Agendas and Aging White Men

At Religion Dispatches, Peter Laarman writes a heartfelt open letter, ordained pastor to ordained pastor, to Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the “Hispanic Karl Rove,” as Greg Metzger characterizes him.

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Understanding “The Gospel”: Why Authorship Claims Matter Dramatically – Part 1

Now there are at least two major types of people who do take seriously what is said in the New Testament (NT), which I’m summarizing here as “the Gospel.” Here are the two types, for our purposes in this very brief summary of NT understanding as it relates to who wrote the books…

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Joerg Rieger on Empire and Christianity

Indeed the Jesus Movement began as a resistance movement to the empire. While Christianity began as a counterpoint and an alternative to Empire, with Constantine it became wedded to the empire and shaped by empire with the purpose of unifying the realm.

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The Affliction of Affluence

Reconciling Gratitude, Generosity & Greed

The common dream most people have of one day having more than they already have seems to have remained as fleeting and elusive as ever. Meanwhile, the gross disparity and widening gap in this country between the haves and the have-nots has reached a point where an oligarchy of corporate interests posing as individuals shape public opinion and outspend each other as never before in partisan attempts to buy an election.

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