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Why I am a Progressive Christian (Part 2)

In my last column, I told briefly my story of being a progressive Christian by first describing why I am a Christian and why I continue to choose to be a Christian. The thing that has been my saving grace, that which has kept me from abandoning my faith, is that I have chosen to identify myself as a progressive Christian.

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Trying to String Things Together

According to the best scientists in the world, our universe is composed entirely of vibrating strings of energy. Everything from the smallest measurable particle to the largest star in our universe is made from the same kind of ingredient. Just like the strings of a cello or viola can make a multitude of sounds, quantum strings of energy create a multitude of forms. In ways we cannot understand, at least at this point, all of these strings are inter-related and interdependent. In other words, the great spiritual teachers, including Jesus, were right. We are all one interconnected whole. The universe is like one grand symphony orchestra playing beautiful music. And we are part of that music.

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A Progressive Christian Faces Death

Without an omnipotent God, and without a clear vision of an afterlife, what do I, as a progressive Christian, have for support when death draws near? The answer is simple: I find support in the same realities that have sustained me through life.

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A People’s History of Christianity- The Other Side of the Story

This is the book that progressives and liberals have been waiting for – a deeply researched history of Christianity that sheds new light on the under-reported personalities and movements of the faith. In the same spirit as Howard Zinn’s groundbreaking work The People’s History of the United States, Diana Butler Bass reveals the under-reported movements, personalities, and spiritual practices that continue to inform and ignite contemporary Christian worship, activism, and social justice reforms in the name of Jesus. The book will offer up a much-needed “other side of the story” for progressive Christians, drawing from examples of alternative practices in every period of Christian history

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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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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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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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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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