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Blinded by Belief

Humans are wondrous creatures. Even the very thought that we are conscious at all is enough to baffle the most intelligent of people. Yet it is even more amazing that this wondrous creature we call human, which has been mysteriously endowed with mind and reason, will voluntarily give up these faculties rather than use them. How? They give it up to have a book they can believe in that has all the answers spelled out for them. Then the attribute this book they know was written by humans, to the divine creator.

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A Word to the Spiritual Seekers- Hope for New Life in Churches

Unfortunately, many churches are slow to change and are out of sync with modern times. Often neither the theology nor the music speak to the souls of people of today.

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We Might Need the End of Progressive Christianity

In response to the roundtable on Rev. Braxton’s abrupt departure from Riverside and the crisis in Progressive Christianity, Rita Brock sees little hope in the Church as it stands.

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Sermon for Memorial Day 2009- “Service”

By: Richard N. Taliaferro, Jr.  In Chapter 4 of Luke's gospel, [pause] Luke quotes Jesus as saying, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free." And Jesus adds, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." Note what is being described here: actions, not just thoughts or principles. And note also the kind of actions these are: actions that serve others. Thus the theme of this Memorial Day sermon: service.

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Jesus: The Way That is Open to Other Ways

I am one of those Christians whose faith has been uncomfortably challenged by a reality that has been with us since the dawning of humanity but has become even clearer and more pressing over the last century: that there are many ways to be religious. There are many religions; there always have been; and, despite two millennia of Christian missionary work, it sure seems like there always will be. The manyness, the diversity, of religions is here to stay.

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Integral Life Presents: The Future of Christianity, featuring Ken Wilber and Father Thomas Keating

Here is an exciting new resource for churches and individuals that are trying to sort out where they are in relationship to their understanding of the Christian faith in a post-modern world.

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Perplexed–Discussion Between Fred Plumer and TCPC Reader Rev. R

This article is a summary of an email exchange between a TCPC reader and Fred Plumer. We are not certain why last month’s eBulletin, “Recovering Christians,”; generated so much email but we were surprised. It was a nice surprise because overall it was very supportive. We always get few responses after an eBulletin goes out.
After all, it does go out to close to 12,000 subscribers every month. But for some reason last month’s eBulletin stimulated nearly ten times the email, phone calls and even a couple of “snail mail” letters than we normally receive.

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A Word to the Spiritual Seekers

I believe that the Fundamentalists are fundamentally wrong in looking back and trying to keep alive a pre-scientific understanding of faith. We must embrace, and integrate into our thinking and living, the best available knowledge the world can provide.

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The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light

A provocative argument for a mystical, rather than historical, understanding of Jesus, leading to a radical rebirth of Christianity in our time.

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From the Third Floor of the Gargage- The Story of TheOOZE

I used to be a pastor. More than that, I was a pastor at Mariners Church in Irvine, California-a bona fide mega church with a 25-acre property and a $7.8 million dollar budget. For years, I played by the rules and tried hard not to think too much about the lingering questions in my soul. Doubt, after all, was dangerous. Who knew where it might lead?

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What Else Could I Have Done? A Maundy Thursday or Good Friday Reading

This is the Passion story. The story of Jesus' betrayal and his death. Come and walk with the people that were with him during that time.

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Engaging the Recovering Christians

So how do we progressive Christians share our perspective so recovering Christians can hear us and actually get excited about the progressive path of Jesus and what our churches have to offer?

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Mary and James Under the Cross, A Drama for Good Friday

A Play by RB Sperling with E. Lindsay and C. Toaspern. Drama Setting: After the crucifixion of Jesus, witnessed by Mary, his mother, and James, his brother, Mary approaches the empty cross; James discovers her there. Devastated by the death of her son, Mary seeks solace in the last place she saw him. James, fearful of encountering the centurions who crucified his brother, seeks temporary protection in his mother's arms. Together they try to understand what the future may hold for them.

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The Times They Are A-Changin

Two weeks ago I experienced a change I could not have imagined any time in the past. I attended the Earl Lectures at Pacific School of Religion. I have been doing this for over twenty-five years. The lectures were established in 1901 to bring prominent religious leaders to Berkeley's university community. These lectures have featured such internationally known figures as Theodore Roosevelt, Elie Wiesel, Howard Thurman, Maya Angelou, Paul Tillich, Walter Brueggemann, and Alice Walker.

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The Spirit of Life: Comments from the PSR Distinguished Alumnae

My ongoing, daily struggle is to be both utterly feral–undomesticatable by the forces in the world that would domesticate all of us, defang us, render us harmless to the powers and principalities-being utterly feral in that way, and also being utterly surrendered. You can't have one without the other. Being undomesticatable depends on moment-to-moment surrender to the Spirit of life and of love. The paradox is that we cannot simultaneously surrender fully AND be in opposition to any living being. Surrender demands love as breathing demands inhalation. At the same time, we DO have to be in opposition to every form of domination, oppression, exploitation, and violence-all of the forces that try to press down life.

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Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, The Psychiatrist of Christianity

The voice I miss in contemporary theological discourse is that of Dr. Carl Gustav Jung.Carl Jung has been called the psychiatrist of Christianity. It is as if he put Christianity on the couch and worked through to an authentic Christian reality that lays a foundation for a whole new understanding of religions in general and Christianity in particular. In the process he became one of the major influences in changing the way the western world thinks. In fact, for me, the two greatest minds of the western world in the twentieth century were Dr. Albert Einstein, who introduced a new understanding of the outer world (the universe) and Dr. Carl Jung, who created a pathway or map into the inner world of the collective unconscious or objective psyche.

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We Cannot Avoid God’s Questions

Since it’s almost entirely poetry and “true myth,” and since we live in one of the most literal-minded cultures of all time, it’s not sur­prising that the Bible largely remains a closed book. Those who make the loudest claims for its veracity often see its meaning less clearly than many they judge to be total outsiders. If you treat bibli­cal myths as history, you end up with either distortion or absurdity. Even worse. As Voltaire once said: “Those who believe absurdities end up committing atrocities”

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Jesus and His Friends of Little Faith

Je­sus says to them: “You of little faith, why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive?” He appears to be irritated because the disciples fail to understand that he is speaking in metaphors and not referring to the fact that they forgot bring any bread to eat on another boat trip. People of little faith need constant reminding that they are not to take religious teaching literally but to look for the symbolic meaning, but they can learn.

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