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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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Liberal Mormons: A minority within a minority

ST. GEORGE, Utah (RNS) U.S. Mormons overwhelmingly share the party affiliation of Republican presidential nominee and fellow Mormon Mitt Romney, but there are liberal-leaning members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are finding …

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Jesus Through Pagan Eyes Press Release

PRESS RELEASE As we approach Christmas and the celebration of the birth of the most famous man ever to live, perhaps it’s time for a new spin on a very old story. Perhaps it’s time to look …

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It’s Hallowe’en 2012! How Will We Dress Jesus Up This Year?!

Many people still find a lot of value in being followers of Jesus. I am currently on a journey to discover anew who or what I think Jesus was. But he will not again be the person that makes me acceptable to God or who saves me from a doomed eternity. There are oh so many other intriguing options than for me having to throw myself at the feet of a man who we know so verifiably little about.

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Is a Bad God Better than No God at All?

The issue of the gods we believe in made headlines this week when Richard Mourdock, a Tea Party Republican candidate for US Senate in Indiana, stated that pregnancies stemming from rape, however horrible, are “something God intended to happen.”[1] While Mourdock has sought to soften the impact of his statement, I believe that his words reflected his – and many other Christians – understand of God’s presence in the world.

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The Apostles’ Creed & the Lord’s Prayer As I Hear Them

As an Episcopalian I regularly recite the Apostles’ Creed and pray the Lord’s Prayer. In doing so, I stand with Jesus’ early followers as they struggled to find words that could frame how their lives were being renewed beyond comprehension. My life also is being renewed beyond comprehension, or so I’m convinced, as I try to live out the self-giving embodied in the common life Jesus began. But I live in a vastly different time and place from those of Jesus’ early followers. My everyday assumptions about the world and how it works are vastly different, not final truths, mind you, but still different, and just as inescapable as people’s everyday assumptions back then.

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Progressive Christianity Isn’t Progressive Politics!

Yes, I’m a progressive Christian, but I’m not a Democrat. I happen to be registered as an Independent/Unaffiliated, and I’ve met quite a few people who are fellow progressive Christians but who are registered Republicans and/or are conservative politically. Just because someone’s equally okay with referring to God as “She,” “Father,” “Mother,” “Om,” “the Ground of All Being,” or “Allah” — or just because they believe that there’s no need to convert their Buddhist neighbors — doesn’t mean that they’ll be voting for Obama in November.

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ENInews suspends service, seeks further funding

 (ENInews). Ecumenical News International announced on 1 October that its ENInews service is suspending operations, effective immediately, as it seeks emergency funding in order to operate for the remainder of 2012. “We regret taking this step, but despite …

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‘Jesus wife’ Coptic papyrus is a fake, declares Vatican newspaper

Citing concerns about fragment’s authenticity and its origin, the paper also criticized Harvard, a Vatican newspaper declared the so-called “Jesus wife” papyrus a fake. Nine days after early Christianity scholar Karen King announced the discovery of an …

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We’re Never Alone;
“God”* is within us

*DiSSoLaL (Divine Spirit, Source of Life and Love)
RE-PACKAGING DIVINITY: Becoming Divinely Human

I am a quasi retired Spiritual Director and Church Consultant within the United Church of Christ (UCC). I am deeply concerned with the fetters of 4th Century “packaging” of Divinity related to the religious challenges of the 21st Century.

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Burke Lecture: John Shelby Spong

A pre-eminent voice for liberal Christianity, John Shelby Spong was the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2000. His admirers acclaim his making contemporary theology accessible to the ordinary lay person—he’s considered a champion of an inclusive faith by many both inside and outside the Christian church.

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Who Would Jesus Marry?

Newly discovered papyrus fragment is not historical evidence of Jesus’ marital status—but it reminds us that the status of women in the church has been subject to a lot of flim-flammery

Into that fraught landscape came the news earlier this week that Karen L. King, a Harvard Divinity School church historian and expert on the controversial biblical figure, Mary Magdalene, had been given access to a papyrus fragment held by a private collector.

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