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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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If I Were To Return To Christianity…

Former fundamentalist evangelical Christian Mark Andrew Alward discusses his religious journey and wishes he was aware of Progressive Christianity before “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”

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The Eight Points in Process: Point Three – Theology and Spirituality of Inclusiveness

A Theolgocial Vision of Process Theology and Progressive Christianity

Progressive Christianity aspires toward a lively inclusiveness that transforms opposites into contrasts as it looks for holiness everywhere. The postmodern project challenged all universal narratives, philosophical systems, and theological doctrines. Postmodernism affirms the importance of personal, communal, and tribal narratives as windows into understanding the universe. No story encompasses everyone but the sharing of many stories provides great insights into the nature of the human adventure and the ambient universe.

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Did Jesus Have A Wife? Newly Discovered Ancient Text Reignites Debate

An ancient piece of text is reviving an equally ancient debate: Was Jesus Christ married? Of course, most Christians believe that he wasn’t. But today, Harvard Professor of Divinity Karen King presented a scrap of papyrus that …

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Where Do ‘Liberal’ Bible Scholars Come From?

Biblical scholarship is an academic discipline, taught and studied at universities, colleges and divinity schools all around the world. So it should be no surprise that biblical scholars run in all shapes, sizes, colors and denominations. What would surprise many people, though, is that a very large number of us love Jesus and the church, and we spend hours upon hours communicating the love and wonder we experience with the Bible.

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Money, Technology, and the Silence of Churches: A Conversation with Susan Thistlethwaite

First, read the book, the whole Bible. I quote studies that show if you actually read the Bible outside of the church it turns you liberal. Also, get a New Revised Standard version. There is a conservative Bible project that is cutting out passages considered too liberal, so get a whole Bible.

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A God of Sensations

But there is another way I believe God and spirit may be experienced: kinesthetically. It is primal and pre-rational, our first encounter with something beyond ourselves. It begins in our mother’s womb, immersed in embryonic fluids, nourished and protected by our mother’s flesh. We feel the pulsing of her heart. On a men’s retreat, I heard the Franciscan Richard Rohr speculate that men’s love of drumming may come from that early memory of our mother’s heartbeat.

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Topics: Devotional, Health and Healing, and Jesus Studies. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus and Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Resource Types: Articles.

What Does Rabbi Gamaliel have To Do with New Testament Interpretation?

So in a round-about way, Gamaliel, as quoted by Luke, is giving us a powerful clue about what kind of literature the Gospels are — a unique mix of a few core historical events with lots of theological overlay, all blended with a good dose of the kinds of stories of miraculous signs that we know were common and sometimes persuasive in that day. And not surprisingly…. They still are today!

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A Tower of Babble

Giving Voice to Intolerance in an Age of Pluralism

The back story to the Tower of Babel myth is that the orignial plans called for anything but babble. But where once humankind may have all spoken the same language with one unifying plan to build a place all could dwell and abide one another, it has long since ever been the case. “We live in a pluri-verse, not a uni-verse,” says Raimon Panikkar. Ours is a pluralistic age in which we have many different and opposing – even sometimes mutually incompatible — worldviews that threaten planetary human coexistence. In the midst of such chaos and confusion, how can we tolerate each other’s differences? Or, some might ask, should we even try? I consider myself a very tolerant person! The only people I cannot abide are ignorant and intolerant bigots! Does that make me intolerant as well, or merely principled? What would constitute a forbearance of principled intolerance, with a leniency of spirit? Here’s John Bennison’s latest Commentary from Words and Ways.

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