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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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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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Religious “Mortal Combat”?

There is a war going on which need not be fought. It is the conflict between the God of traditional Christian thought and the theoretical/factual assumptions of science. This is conceptual mortal combat. Young spiritual seekers are often the collateral damage.

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Religious leaders respond to the rise of the “Nones”

As we noted yesterday, the number of Americans who have no religious affiliation has hit an all-time high, according to a new study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. One in five adults does not belong …

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