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Uncertainty is Trust’s Shadow

Catholics and other Christians misunderstand and misrepresent Jesus, as will be explained, if they believe he “happens to be God” and to be literally human and divine. They should renounce such ideas, because only in a mythological story can Christ be presented as divine. Such myths are not factual or historical, but were written to express convictions about the commitment of a transcendent God. ?

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What Is the Redemptive Meaning of Jesus’ Death?

Jesus became a scapegoat to put an end to all scapegoating; he became a sacrifice to put an end to that whole system of offering up the innocent victim. Spiritually, socially, and psychologically humans have always needed to find some way to deal with sin and guilt. Historically, humanity has employed sacrificial systems to that end. In ancient systems of religion human sacrifices were offered to placate the deity (such as the firstborn, the virgin, the only child, etc., but never the adult man; these were mostly, if not all, patriarchal cultures). In the evolution of religious consciousness animals took the place of humans.

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Disbelief or just different beliefs?

From The Washington Post- On Faith. Former president, Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars, Marcus Borg

Q:What should pastors do if they no longer hold the defining beliefs of their denomination? Do clergy have a moral obligation not to challenge the sincere faith of their parishioners? If this requires them to dissemble from the pulpit, doesn’t this create systematic hypocrisy at the center of religion? What would you want your pastor to do with his or her personal doubts or loss of faith?

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From History To Mystery, The Life And Teachings Of The Historical Jesus

This book explores the quest for the Historical Jesus and seeks to discover the original meanings of his teachings, in particular his kingdom of God teachings. You will learn about the last 200 years of Jesus research, including the Jesus Seminar. The author discusses Gnosticism, The Gospel of Thomas, The Secret Gospel of Mark, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene along with the four canonical gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The author spends much of her time investigating the Parables of Jesus. In the parables, Jesus preaches about “the kingdom of God.” This concept is taught by Jesus on two levels. One for the masses and one for his inner circle. The uncovering the “secret teachings” of the parables is very illuminating and inspirational. Whether you are a seminary student, pastor, educator, or layperson; this is a must read on the subject of the historical teachings of Jesus! The book was written by a respected scholar in Historical Christianity, Dr. Lisa Morris.

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The Bible and Homosexuality- A Faithful Look

Too many Christians blindly accept that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but rarely are the few verses that do so discussed in their textual and cultural settings. The author, a United Church of Christ minister, investigates the small print and finds no support for oppression and bigotry in the name of faith.  This article was prompted by protests against the ordination of openly gay clergy in her husband’s Lutheran congregation.

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The Path of Jesus Means Inclusion of All

Jesus, obviously, saw everyone as “being created in The Imagio Dei” (“The Image and Likeness of God”). He saw everyone as having worth and dignity before God.

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Christianity isn’t News

How Christianity not being news is actually a large portion of its very strength.The truth is… Christianity isn’t news. I don’t mean in modern terms either; I mean in ancient terms. Christianity isn’t news, and it never really was. When Christianity came along, it was literally nothing new. The amount of parallels between Christianity and various other religions around the world (the oldest of course dating back to Ancient Egypt or even earlier) is astonishing.;Nothing in the Bible was original. Almost every last item attributed exclusively to Jesus, for example, including the things he said or did (or anything that happened to him), can be readily traced back to another source far more ancient than Christianity or the birth of Christ.

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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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Two Kinds of Evangelism

There are two vastly different Christian approaches to evangelism being practiced today. One can be described as inclusive and invitational; the other is dualistic and confrontational.

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Charter for Compassion

A call to bring the world together…We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

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Drop The Stone

There is a kind of moral rigidity that is the province of youth. The less experience one has of the slings and arrows, the easier it is to see the world in primary colors; a sense of moral nuance, like an eye for tints and shades, takes time and experience to develop.

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What About Sin?

Obviously how we think about sin changes how we think about repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation.  If we understand sin to be primarily personal… the burden is on us individually to change our behavior. Change in personal behavior is always good when we identify behaviors and thoughts that we know we need to change.  But personal change does not adequately deal with destruction and hurt and evil that can come from the corporate, communal sin. For example: we might know that we have to change our attitudes toward homeless persons…and be more generous in our personal charity.  And it is good to do so.  But that still does not change the structural economic and political situations that will continue to result in more and more homeless people.  Or we might become aware that we personally need to be more open minded to those who are different from us.  So personal transformation is good.  But that does not change the systems of racism, sexism or homophobia. That infuses much of our cultural landscape.

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The Way Forward

There can be no peace, their can be no beloved community, the kingdom of God will not be realized on earth until we are all convinced that every person, whatever one’s faith or religious affiliation, whatever one’s ethnic origin, culture, or social state, whatever one’s mental or physical abilities or disabilities, is a child of God, precious and loved, and that every person—wherever they live, or whatever they believe—has access to God.

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From The Backporch Of The Church

A Jungian psychoanalyst and former Presbyterian minister offers a perspective on Christianity and the Church from Jungian psychological perspective.

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Children Praying a New Story – A Resource for Parents, Grandparents, and Teachers

Morwood’s books have been especially insightful and helpful to adults struggling with prayer and ritual while radically reconstructing their Christian faith.  This book is for adult Christians engaged in this shift, now asking the vital questions: How do we educate children into this new faith perspective?  How do we pray with them if prayer is not about addressing an external, listening Deity?

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