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Luke 1:39-56: Magnificat for a Broken World

Mary’s song promises that God brings about wondrous reversals in the world: showing favor to the uncredentialed and ignored (“the lowly”); rendering ineffectual the machinations of the arrogant (“scattering the proud in the thoughts of their hearts”); bringing down those who exploit positions of power; lifting up the poor. 

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part I – Signs and Wonders

More than being a “human being” on this earth, John’s gospel calls for a transformed life: water into wine; a temple made of distributive justice-compassion, not gold and stone.

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Talking About Trinity, Monotheism and Panenthism – sermon video

The god-of-the-gaps, that creation of superstition and magic, that combination of pre-science simplicity, is not what draws us here.
We’re not trying to get in touch with the god who helps us to find a parking place at the mall or make it rain on our vegetable garden. And yet, people are terribly afraid to give up on the institutional religious packaging that first introduced us to the god-of-the-gaps.

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Occupy Christmas, or, What’s in a Word? – A Christmas Commentary on John’s Prologue

“The divine word and wisdom became human, and made itself at home among us.”  So begins the Prologue to John’s gospel, with a far loftier and esoteric version of Jesus’ nativity than any birth in a barnyard. But more so, John’s introduction to a good news gospel reaches across the ages to not only give new meanings to the words he uses to describe the incarnate word of God; but gives fresh insight into some of our own vernacular, and how we might even redefine Christ’s mass ourselves.

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My Five Lessons from “On Faith”

It was five years ago this month that we launched On Faith. The idea was to inform and educate about all faiths (and no faith) and to initiate an on-going discussion about the role of religion, values and ethics in our daily lives.

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Good News, Bad News: An Amnesty Gospel for Advent

There’s two sides to every story, and there’s often some good news and bad news. Is the Gospel all good news? That depends. This Advent commentary considers the implications of rethinking and retelling the Christmas story.

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Toward a New Cosmology: Advent 2011

In a parody of the story of Caesar’s birth, Jesus of Nazareth was heralded by angels, and born of a virgin.  We can still hope for direct action against oppressive Empire and for distributive justice-compassion; against a greed world and for a share world; against zero-sum gaming of every system devised by humanity, and for a radical abandonment of self-interest.

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The Immutability of Change

From: Words and Ways

Wave after wave of natural disasters and eruptions of human conflict set our heads spinning. Despotic regimes are getting overthrown, one right after the other; while the Occupy Movement gains momentum, demanding change of one sort or another. If change is the one constant, why do we resist? If it might reflect the nature of a divine imperative, how might we become agents and co-participants of such change ourselves?

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Spiritual But Not Religious? Come Talk to Me

As a professor of religious studies I can relate to some degree. I, too, have found myself an unwitting listener to the personal and sometimes bizarre reflections of total strangers on airplanes, who seem to believe that the word “religious” in my job title means I am someone good to talk to.

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