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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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A Christian Without A Church Is Still A Christian

When my family stopped going to church a few years ago, quite a few Christians told me (with some Bible quotes thrown in for good measure) that Christians were supposed to spend time together. My family was …

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To simply bask in ignorance, a Hymn

To simply bask in ignorance, to shy away from facts, can masquerade as ‘simple faith’, or veil our foolish acts; and then the world will look at us, a church so old and stale, no longer worth …

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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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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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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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