An Interview with Brian McLaren. What is the overarching storyline of the Bible? What does it mean to say the Bible has authority? Is God violent? Who is Jesus and why is he important? What is the gospel? What is the function of the Church? Can we find a way to address human sexuality without fighting about it? Can our view of the future actually shape it? How should followers of Jesus relate to people of other faiths? What should we do next?read more
What to do about the Emergent Church? Carol Howard Merritt gives us an honest critique of the ups-and-downs concerning the Emergent Church phenomena.read more
As one of the behind the scenes helpers of Big Tent Christianity, I can honestly say that I feel like last week’s Phoenix event was very successful.read more
Looking over a mountain toward an unknown future can be both exhilarating and scary. That’s where I’ve been for the past 72 hours in Phoenix at the Big Tent Christianity event: exhilarated and a little bit scared – but hopeful.read more
I’d like to make something clear upfront, here. I’m not completely orthodox. I have some beliefs that don’t mix well with older forms of Christian thought, even if they’re often times congruent with some of the oldest forms (for instance, I’m a universalist). I’m not saying this, however, in order to earn your accolades; I’m saying it because, generally, if I want much of today’s American church–at least Mainline and Emergent–to take me seriously, I feel I have to make such a profession of heresy. Heresy has become the new orthodoxy.read more
I share these familiar family stories because I wonder as we approach this Christmas “holy day,” if we have lost our ability as a society to look for, to wait for, to anticipate those magical moments in life. Have we become so materialistic, so rational, so cynical that we no longer see the magical, majestic, the mystical, the mystery?read more
Another year is drawing to a close! I find myself reflecting over this past year and am proud of what we have accomplished here at The Center for Progressive Christianity.read more
This article calls for the need for reformation of the Christian Church on many levels, to bridge the secular and religious worlds, and to once again align with the spirit of Jesus.read more
Yoga- a beneficial practice or the work of the devil? The increasing popularity of yoga in the United States has sparked controversy among evangelical Christians and fundamentalist Hindus. In this article, Jain reports the view points of several Christian and Hindu figures, who criticize the practice of yoga in America, and provides counter arguments to the monolithic views on the ancient practice.
From the Introduction to A Master Level Thesis: For the impatient, the world is a frustrating place. We see, with the clarity of youth, what is needed in a given situation and we express this need many …read more
This month I write with a sad and heavy heart. Five young men have died due to suicide. The common thread between them is that they were young, Gay and experiencing harsh harassment and devastating discrimination from their peers. Current statistics inform us that 9 out of 10 Gay/Lesbian/Bi-Sexual and Transgendered Young People experience such dehumanizing and demoralizing treatment every day. We are informed, also, that they are 30% more likely to commit suicide than their peers.read more
A collection of prayers offered on various occasions by religious leaders on campuses all across America. When something important happens and a diverse community gathers in response, when praying seems the natural thing to do, what can be said? Particularly on the private campuses, the task of finding just the right words falls to chaplains and deans of religious life. Here are one hundred prayers, offered by twenty-six college and university chaplains, which can be read for private devotions or studied as expressions of hope for the spiritual unity of the whole human family.read more
“Is God a Delusion?” addresses the philosophical underpinnings of the recent proliferation of popular books attacking religious beliefs. Focuses primarily on charges leveled by recent critics that belief in God is irrational and that its nature ferments violence Balances philosophical rigor and scholarly care with an engaging, accessible style Offers a direct response to the crop of recent anti-religion bestsellers currently generating considerable public discussion.read more
In these perilous times when the very survival of the human species is at stake, there is a desperate need for wisdom to provide guidance. The sacred literature of the world’s major religious traditions is a source for such wisdom, but it has largely been misinterpreted and misunderstood, and, thus, instead of being a source for wisdom, it has been a source for confusion and conflict. The ancient scriptures, for the most part, were written in a language which is quite different from ordinary language. It is a mythological language, which is symbolic, and therefore its meaning is hidden. In the Bible, for example, there are many narratives that appear to be historical, but they are history that has been mythologized, and therefore their surface meaning is not their real meaning. Clyde Edward Brown clearly illustrates that the correct interpretation of the world’s religious texts would lead to a different concept of religion. Instead of belief in the literal truth of texts that have been misinterpreted, the emphasis would be on having those religious values, such as social and economic justice, which are common to all religions.read more
It is time to challenge traditional understandings of God in order to create a twenty-first century faith. We have to say goodbye to the Sunday school God and find new ways of thinking about God.
This is not an exercise in theory, but an effort to take the practice of life seriously. In fact, a twenty-first century faith is an open, dynamic and courageous attitude toward life. It presumes that God is found not in the sky, but in the midst of life. It begins with experience, our shared experience. While experience is not everything, it is a good starting point. It is what we know.
At the recent Southern Baptist Convention which met in Orlando, a theme reiterated throughout the meeting was the “lostness” of the world. Consider the following quotes, taken from an article in the Western Recorder by Editor Todd Deaton titled: SBC takes ‘fresh look’ at nation’s lostness:
Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Seminary, declared: “We need to be looking forward with an aggressive agenda to penetrate lostness around the world and in North America.”read more
A son returning from college talks with his father about his course on Religion…read more