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Stepping out with the Sacred: Progressive Engaging the Divine, Part 2

Part 2 of the Presentation given by Val Webb at the Common Dreams 2, Melbourne Australia.  In progressive religious thinking, old images of God have been retired and new metaphors for the Divine within the universe, whether Energy, Presence, Spirit, Sacred, Ground of Being, Life, have become more authentic for a scientific world. Yet, in a multi-faith world, we cannot speak of the Sacred infusing the universe without recognizing It as that sought and described in all religions. How do we engage this Divine within the world, or the Divine engage us, if at all, in a multi-faith world? How do human beings step out with the Sacred in everyday life across countries, cultures, and religious persuasions?

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Thank God for Evolution

How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World

“The science vs. religion debate is over! A path forward emerges! Michael Dowd masterfully unites rationality and spirituality in a world view that celebrates the mysteries of existence and inspires each human being to achieve a higher purpose in life. A powerful book! A must read for all, including scientists.” – Craig Mello, 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine

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I Want to be Left Behind: Finding Rapture Here on Earth

A Memoir

In Brenda Peterson’s unusual memoir, fundamentalism meets deep ecology. The author’s childhood in the high Sierra with her forest ranger father led her to embrace the entire natural world, while her Southern Baptist relatives prepared eagerly and busily to leave this world. Peterson survived fierce sword drill competitions demanding total recall of the Scriptures and awkward dinner table questions (Will Rapture take the cat, too?) only to find that environmentalists with prophecies of doom can also be Endtimers. Peterson paints such a hilarious, loving portrait of each world that the reader, too, may want to be Left Behind. Her clever take on the “Left Behind” phenomenon in the book’s title isn’t just a gentle refutation of an escapist religious prophecy. It’s an appeal for something more inclusive than the idea that true believers will one day be swept up midair and whisked off to an eternal paradise, leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves.

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The Study of Life, Part 5. My Search for the Meaning of Life as I Walked in Darwin’s Footsteps

In the preparation required to write my new book on eternal life, I soon discovered that this subject raised all of the contemporary theological issues that threaten to destroy Christianity as we have known it. It was clear that I would have to turn the traditional religious approach around. I had to read the modern critics for whom the religious concepts of the past make no sense. I also had to come to a new understanding of what life itself means. Life after death cannot possibly be contemplated until one understands the wondrous and even mysterious dimensions of life before death.

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What is Evolutionary Christianity

Evolutionary Christianity values big history — the 14-billion-year epic of physical, biological, and cultural evolution — as divine revelation and as our common creation story. Here are four core tenets of Evolutionary Christianity

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Jesus: Magician or Liberator?

For 21st Century Christianity, the question is, which interpretation makes the most sense? Magic and miracle, or liberation from injustice? Scholars and commentators are often accused of reading 21st Century world views back into 1st Century writings.

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If Darwin Prayed- Poems

Poems from an upcoming book by Bruce Sanguin. Author of Emerging Church and Darwin, Divinity, and The Dance of the Cosmos.

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Evolution: The Next Step

As a Christian who is centred on the spiritual aspect rather than on literal doctrinal interpretations, I see no conflict between evolution and my faith. In fact a realisation about how humanity is evolving shows me an inspiring path ahead. I personally see the evolutionary process as an expression of God. (In saying this I am not assuming anything about the nature of God which I personally have come to understand in a mystical sense.) But before considering the moral and spiritual implications let us consider briefly how this evolutionary process has developed. There seems to be a large consensus on four distinctive steps.

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Awakening to the Sacred Dimension of Creation

We are facing a planetary crisis that is unparalleled in human history. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that we are at a tipping point. Species extinction is accelerating, global warming is melting the polar icecaps at a …

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Evolutionary Christianity

We are facing a planetary crisis that is unparalleled in human history. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that we are at a tipping point. Species extinction is accelerating, global warming is melting the polar icecaps at a rate that exceeds all scientific predictions, and our air, water, and soil is rapidly becoming a toxic soup that is ending up in our own bodies. We have only a few years to reorient ourselves and avert a disaster from which there may be no return.

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The Salvation of Religion: From Beliefs to Knowledge

Much has been written and countless discussions have ensued in recent years about the seemingly inevitable decline of Christianity and rise of secularism in America in the 21st century, which is along the lines of what happened in Europe in the mid 20th century.

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Four Historic Intellectual and Cultural Sensibilities-

Negotiating the Religious, Secular, Eclectic and Integral Perspectives

By: Rich Lang. It seems to me that one might find folks who have a dialectical relationship with any two, three or four of these historical sensibilities and value orientations within progressive Christianity. I’m going to guess that progressive Christianity can mean very different things to different people, depending upon whether they are primary engaged in the pre-modern/modern dialectic, the modern/post-modern dialectic, the post-modern/trans-modern dialectic, or are seeking to reconcile all four historical sensibilities (religious, secular, eclectic and integral) within a dialogical and paradoxical whole. I wonder if the future of Christianity (and other religions and ideologies) in the pluralist society and global age” is one of constructing a critically reflective and constructive dialogue between the pre-modern, modern, post-modern and trans-modern sensibilities, all of which make a powerful claim upon our common human nature and resonate with our richly diverse experience.

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Progressive Christians and God Talk

But we keep pruning away, and as we prune, domino after domino falls, whether it be connected with revelation, the person and role of Jesus, the meaning of salvation, doctrine, worship, prayer, death and afterlife.

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The Christmas Myth is the Story of the Human Family

From Living Waters: if one is to pass beyond the childish and the external to the core of what Christmas is all about, it’s an essential step. What one has to realize first of all is that the story of the birth of Jesus is a myth. No, not a fairy tale, not a legend, not a piece of fiction to be seen through and dropped at puberty or before, but a spiritual myth-in other words, a truth so vast and so important to our human condition that it can only be told in the most profound language of all, the language of symbolism, allegory and metaphor.

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Authenticity

The way to be all that you can be is to be more yourself. I mean you right now, not after some spiritual makeover; but as you are now, without any pretence and with the layers of conditioned thinking stripped bare. When you hear an inner voice say, “Yes, I am fully myself and authentic in this moment”, then follow that voice. I’m talking about the sort of moments when your skin tingles with the goodness of life and your place in it. sbnr.org

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November 6-8, 2009: TCPC President to Lead Regional Event in Lafayette, CA

Guiding your Church through Change in Our Changing Times:Guiding congregational change requires a healthy sensitivity to the various dimensions of change that are taking place within the life of your community. Fred Plumer, TCPC President, will share a multilayered approach to guiding change within the vibrant life of your congregation that harnesses current cultural trends and the emerging spirit of Progressive Christianity.

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