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Affirmations and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – Faith

The Greek word for “faith” in the New Testament is pistis, which occurs 243 times. As a noun, pistis is used as a technical term for “forensic evidence.” In other words, faith is not blind; we must investigate to establish the facts. I agree with retired Episcopal bishop, John Shelby Spong, who writes, “My problem has never been my faith. It has always been the literal way that human beings have chosen to articulate that faith.” To many Christians, faith means believing highly suspect claims, which is a problem for me. Thinking isn’t a sin. God created our minds and I’m certain that we were intended to use them.

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Bishop Spong on God

“God is not a Christian. God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Buddhist. I honor my tradition. I walk through my tradition. But I don’t believe my tradition defines God. It only points me to God.”

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Being a Progressive Christian

Is Not for Dummies, Nor for Know-It-Alls

Chuck Queen explores the following themes from a distinctly progressive Christian viewpoint: Scripture, faith, Christianity, salvation, discipleship, and the Beatitudes. Each chapter consists of seven reflections; each reflection is followed by questions that probe deeper into the topic and facilitate group discussion.

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Not In My Name

An extremely small percentage of the world’s Muslim population recognizes ISIS as having any sort of authority over their lives. In other words, being Muslim does not equate with ISIS affiliation. We need to stop acting as if the two are interchangeable and start acting out of love, rather than from hate or fear. Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35). If there is no love, there is no Christianity. Period. There is just an empty label that leaves the world seeing us in ways that will make you cringe.

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Climate Change, A Vocabulary of Reverence and the Strength of Fragility

For those like me who see Jesus, not as the divine Son of God in our midst, but as a courageous sage and social prophet, and for those of us who see God as other than an all-powerful distant deity – the language of reverence is rooted in the story of existence and the universe itself. That becomes a religious story whispering of a larger meaning of our existence or in Bumbaugh’s words each of us is “a self present in the singularity that produced the emergent universe; a self present at the birth of the stars; a self related through time to every living thing on this planet; a self that contains within it the seeds of a future we cannot imagine in our wildest flights of fantasy.” That non-traditional evolutionary sacred story invites us to stand in awe; and it calls us to create a whole new vocabulary of reverence even as we commit to cherishing and caring for the earth.

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Follow the Planetary Gospel

We need to find new ways to talk about following Jesus’ way. The terms of our parents and grandparents don’t sing to those with ears under 40. What was at one time fresh and vital can ossify and become stale.

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The Progeny of the Koch Brothers

As it always has been with all species that defy planetary order, ours will soon be facing a painful adjustment and even the possibility of extinction. How did we – you and I – get to where we are today? Historically throughout human history we see a certain archetypal pattern repeating itself over and over again. Can this give us an answer? Yes, it can.

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The Debate That Should Be Taking Place

This problem began long before the late Middles Ages and the Enlightenment here referenced. It began with the Babylonians, Akkadians, Egyptians and others who lived at the beginning of the bronze, iron and agricultural age; what many now call the beginning of the first axial age. It was an age that tore us away from thousands of years of attachment to nature. Unlike earlier Homo sapiens going back to the beginning of our species who had a reverence toward nature and the delicate balance that needed to be maintained, in the mind of that first axial civilization the earth was turned into an inanimate object to do with as humans wished. Remnants of this contrast were seen when Europeans first met the American Indian. Along the way this contrast was also seen the life of certain spiritual leaders and their followers such as the Buddha and Jesus and Gandhi and in isolated communities. But for the bulk of humanity, we all went from homo sapiens in tune with nature to homo economicus in opposition to nature.

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A Defining Moment in Human History- David Anderson

In his presentation David Anderson will bring together a wide range of his interests, namely; theology, philosophy, geopolitics and current ecological trends threatening human survival on this planet. In the context of these interests he will be discussing the concluding paragraph of an essay he has just completed titled: “A Defining Moment in Human History”.

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Monthly eBulletin- As Progressive Christians, What Can We Do About Climate Change?

As I am sure you are aware, these are crucial times. Indeed, we have potentially reached the global warming tipping point that we have been warned about now for years. However, this is notthe time to sit around feeling powerless and defenseless. If you are like me, you are feeling angry and apprehensive about the state of our environment and the damage that we as humans have caused. Ideally, our anger is inspiring us toward action, rather than overwhelming us toward inactivity. Anger is a powerful tool that can be channeled toward action and passion. For those of you that are involved in communities, have you considered what you can do as a group? We are capable, intelligent, and adaptable beings and when we come together we are a force to be reckoned with. This is not the time to be complacent. This is the time to draw upon all our resources- emotional, financial and time- to do something…anything.

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Earth Talk: Matthew Fox – Recovering the Sacredness of the Earth – Video

Matthew Fox talks on the subject of “Recovering the Sacredness of the Earth and the Difference it Makes as the Next Stage of Human Evolution”.

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