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Unarmed and Dangerous

A Gospel of Non-violence in a Violent World

We wrestle with the stark reality of the culture of gun violence in which we find ourselves, and a gospel message for the progressive Christian that is inherently non-violent. Advocates for one side of a heated debate insist the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun; which is only true if the good guy is faster on the draw and a better aim. To assert the good guy always wins is, of course, a lie. There are plenty of examples of murder and mayhem in that compendium of stories we call the Bible. In some stories the good guy wins. In others, they lose; particularly those who choose the way of non-violent resistance unequivocally taught and demonstrated in the words and deeds of the Galilean sage and healer. It’s not a matter of a showdown to see who wins with a more forceful argument. Far from naïve, impractical and unrealistic, a non-violent response may be the only thing to break the perpetual cycle of violence. But how?

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The Spiritual Power of Nonviolence: Interfaith Understanding for a Future Without War

Religion and violence—the two concepts seem incompatible given the emphasis in religion on virtue, love, forgiveness and compassion. Yet many scriptures contain martial images and stories of god-inspired military conquest. The Spiritual Power of Nonviolence confronts this …

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We Live In a Violent World

It seems to me that we live in a violent culture in a violent world that appears to be becoming more violent with time. I admit that I grew up in what was an ideal era under …

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Non-Violent Communication- A Language of Life

Do you hunger for skills to improve the quality of your relationships, to deepen your sense of personal empowerment or to simply communicate more effectively? Unfortunately, for centuries our culture has taught us to think and speak …

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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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