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Some musical tips for a religious season

Music is, to my mind, the purest form of artistic expression, even when, as in most of these religious works I am examing, it is wedded to Biblical texts and thus tied implicitly to the doctrinal expressions of faith they proclaim.

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The Temple of God’s Wounds

Every Holy Week for many years I have travelled to The Temple of God’s Wounds, a small book written in 1951 by the Anglican Bishop of Bombay, ‘Will Quinlan’ nee William Quinlan Lash, a mystic.

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Conclusion – That they may all be one

Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox worked out a theology that makes sense for post-modern, 21st century mystics who want to honor the Christ of John’s Gospel without forcing the text into impossible literalism. Fox’s “Cosmic Christ” evokes responsibility for the condition of all forms of life on Planet Earth, and confers the power to carry out the work that arises from that responsibility.

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part XII – In Vino Veritas

Paul is not talking about life after death. Paul is talking about embracing the challenge of distributive justice-compassion –“the great work” – here and now. John’s Jesus assures us that “the spirit of truth will testify on my behalf,” not about the insane claim that he was God, nor about the resuscitation of a corpse.

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part IX – Beginning of the End

The message is that God’s intention – the order of the universe – is distributive justice-compassion. To live in the light is to transform water to wine: to bring healing to everyone, whether they are the children of collaborators with oppression, or ingrates that game the system.

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part VIII – Lazarus

Further, if John Dominic Crossan’s interpretation of Paul’s letters is correct – or at least on the track – the dry bones raised by Ezekiel become a metaphor for those who died in the service of God’s justice; those who died working to restore God’s distributive justice-compassion to God’s earth, and who themselves never saw the transformed earth.

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part VII – Blind Sheep

A connection that is not usually made with John’s Gospel in the context of the festivals of Tabernacles and especially of Lights (Hanukah) is the apocalyptic story told in Daniel. This story is set in the time of the Exile; but it was written during the Maccabean uprising and defeat of the Syrian-Greek invaders of the 160s bce.

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part VI – Fire and Water

With chapter 7 the anti-Semitism that has haunted Christianity for centuries seems to become unavoidable.

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part V – Bread of Life

For 21st century activists, from Occupy Wall Street regulars to poets such as Drew Dellinger,theologians such as Spong, Crossan, Borg, and Fox, the way to distributive justice-compassion for all beings on the Planet is our own flesh and blood.

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New Report: More Sex in the Pulpit

From Tiger Woods’ marital infidelity to same-sex marriage to the ‘Octomom,’ when sexuality issues dominate the headlines, there never seems to be a shortage of religious commentary—most of it from the right. While conservative pastors preach against …

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Earth’s Heartbeat

(on a hike at Devil's Punchbowl near Pearblossom, CA)

Mountain-shaped silhouettes
Mark the the tall pale stalk
Of a spent yucca:
Are these its last lines of praise
For the land where it stands?

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part IV – Believers & Ingrates

Before any of this can speak to 21st century post-modern, post-enlightenment, post-Christian minds (if it can), first remember that John’s Gospel is an extended proof – an argument.

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The Practice of Prophetic Imagination: Preaching an Emancipating Word

The necessary context of prophetic preaching, Walter Brueggemann argues, is “a contestation between narratives.” The dominant narrative of our time promotes self-sufficiency at the national level (through militarism) and the personal level (through consumerism).

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Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World

In this informal and accessible survey, Spong will move book by book through the Scriptures, introducing their themes and messages by examining the sweep of history in which these books were originally written. What has history taught us? How should we read these stories today? What does it mean for how we live our lives? And why do people tenaciously hold on to so many myths associated with the Bible? For the vast audience of people eager for a meaningful journey into the Bible, Spong leads the way.

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