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Looking Around for God

Autry, writer and poet, business executive, and son and grandson of Mississippi Baptist ministers, thinks that the true message of the old spiritual is not just that God has an eye on the sparrow. It’s that God is demonstrating that if these details are worth God's attention, they are certainly worth ours. It may be that we will more readily find God in the details of this world, and of our own lives, than anywhere else. Looking Around for God, Autry’s tenth book, is in many ways his most personal, as he considers his unique life of faith and belief in a God often clouded by church convention. In assembling these personal essays, stories and poems, Autry shares how God has been revealed in many different circumstances of his life, and he offers a few ideas for how the Christian church might better serve in making God’s love and presence manifest in the world.

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Mercy and Truth Will Meet, What It Takes To Be a Movement That Matters

Bill Coffin said, Liberal Christianity, or what we today call progressive Christianity and what some call “seminar room Christianity” has until now had a really unhelpful taint of elitism around it. We need to change that. So let’s just agree to get the conversation started. Let’s begin to grow in faith. Find strength in one another. See the world more clearly. And in and through all this, liberate ourselves and liberate one another for the sake of social transformation. If we ourselves can become the first fruits of the change we seek, then change itself-real change-cannot be far behind.

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A Spirituality that Transforms

All of those for whom authentic transformation has deeply unseated their souls must, I believe, wrestle with the profound moral obligation to shout from the heart-perhaps quietly and gently, with tears of reluctance; perhaps with fierce fire and angry wisdom; perhaps with slow and careful analysis; perhaps by unshakable public example-but authenticity always and absolutely carries a demand and duty: you must speak out, to the best of your ability, and shake the spiritual tree, and shine your headlights into the eyes of the complacent. You must let that radical realization rumble through your veins and rattle those around you.

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When Less Affiliation is Good News

What is the least religious state in America? Oregon. The most religious? Mississippi. Oregon, not Mississippi, reflects the emerging trend of the western world; cynicism about institutional religion and little desire to affiliate with any particular religion or denomination.

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Eckhart Tolle and the Christian Tradition

Although Tolle is not a Christian teacher, we must not assume that makes him an anti-Christian teacher. Today we need whatever methods or help we can receive to allow the Christian message to take us to a deeper level of transformation. Our history, and our guidance of Western history, shows this has clearly not been happening on any broad scale. This is an opportunity for us to understand our own message at deeper levels. It would be a shame if we required him to speak our language and vocabulary before we could critically hear what he is saying-that is true and helpful to our own message.

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Faith Statement from a 9th Grader

Confirmation Class, First Presbyterian Church, New Canaan, CT. God is in the form of everything and everyone. Everyone has God inside himself or herself. Therefore we are all equal and our enemies are just as divine as us. I feel God’s presence when I am doing good for others or when I make a connection with someone.

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I Learned About God There

After a couple of weeks of this thrashing, I finally calmed down enough to begin to ask myself what could I learn from this young man. What was missing in our approach to Christian teaching? What were we really teaching our children? What did this young man want that he did not find at our progressive church? What was the pedagogical model we had created, or more importantly what model did we need to create?

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Progressive Christianity Values Life and Liberty

Briefly this morning I want to explore a progressive Christian notion of God, the Bible, and the after life.  I often speak about God within, between and beyond. I want to re-visit that idea for a few moments. Within you, resides the Inexpressible that is beyond words, concept, and thought. An exquisite bliss resides within you. Within you is the Inexpressible, Indescribable, Ineffable peace that passes all understanding.Most of us only have glimpses of this peace, but at moments of meaning or clarity or self growth or compassion, or a sense of higher purpose, you realize God within.

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The Emerging Church

This book presents the biological principle of emergence and applies it to culture shifting in congregations. The universe knows how to do life from the inside-out. By moving away from cultures of command and control to a more natural organic model, congregations discover the key to their power and the secret to sustained vitality.

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The Doctrine of God

Classical theism, the reigning doctrine of God in Christendom, affirms that God is void of body, parts, passions, even compassion, wholly simple, wholly immutable, independent, immaterial, the supreme cause and never the effect. What creatures have, God does not. I challenge this doctrine, on five grounds.

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Breakfast with the Dalai Lama

The Seeds of Compassion organization is a very interesting organization and I believe it has a lot to tell those of us that are still trying to grow Christian churches. The organization came through the collaboration of the Kirlin Foundation and the Venerable Tenzin Dhonden and many other religious, educational and spiritual people from the area. These dreamers wanted to bring concrete public awareness, public will, and an empowering call to action to address our local and global need for the social and emotional well-being of children…As an outcome, they seek to bring social and emotional learning into families, to caregivers, and to schools so that all who touch the lives of children have the tools and empowerment to provide the foundation for kinder and more compassionate children, communities, and society. (Quotes from their own brochure)

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It Must Be True (Easter)

Easter has always held a special place in my life and spiritual journey as it holds promise for rebirth, change, growth, and yes, resurection. It is a challenge for many to let go of the belief of a physically resurcted Jesus, but once we recognize the beauty of a spiritual resurection, we can unravel the incredible miracle of having the potential, each day, to re-birth our spirit, to lift it up out of the darkness of despair, fear, and lonliness and merge it with the luminous light of the universal spirit.

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