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    • Cassandra Farrin
    • Cassandra Farrin is a poet, writer and editor of nonfiction books on the history of religion. She recently launched the blog Ginger & Sage on religion, culture, and the land. Her writing can be found on the Westar Institute and Ploughshares websites, along with a poetic retelling of “On the Origin of the World” forthcoming in Gender Violence, Rape Culture, and Religion (Palgrave Macmillan). A US-UK Fulbright scholar, she has more than ten years' experience with cross-cultural and interfaith engagement.

God as manifestation or separate from Creation

Buddhists tend to think of God as a manifestation of creation; Christians think of God as separate from creation. Do you understand that distinction?

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Keeping Our Beloved Hymns

it is the responsibility of each generation to create new works of art that reflect our realities and our values and, let’s be honest, our foibles. If our message is not more compelling than “Amazing Grace” and the “Old Rugged Cross,” how is anyone going to believe it is “good news” (gospel)? It’s hard work to convince people to accept new songs to love, but the effort is worth the challenge.

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The Substitutionary Doctrine of the Atonement

How does the death of Jesus 2000 years ago save me? What is the substitutionary doctrine of the atonement?

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What distinguishes you as a Christian?

Do you believe in Christ’s Resurrection? If not, what distinguishes you as a Christian vs. something else?

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Desmond Tutu’s Advice on Forgiving Our Enemies

“Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing.” —Desmond Tutu

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Reconciliation as Vocation

In Christian circles the work of peace and reconciliation is put forward as a something to which all Christians should aspire. That is, to be Christian is to be called to make peace with one another and the world.

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30 Days of Paul Reading Challenge

  Have you been meaning to read (or re-read) Paul’s letters? Join us for the‪#‎30daysofPaul‬ challenge! Earlier this week on the Westar Institute Ethics & Early Christianity blog, we posted a 30-day plan for how to read …

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Finding Our Way from Here to There

All human effort is navigation. Human striving—confronted by the wreckage of the past moment, the state of the soil, the demands of both—finds orientation from a compass with two arrows: moral and physical. I was always interested in ethics, but it took a while for me to notice that the moral spins out from the physical more often than the reverse. “Each of us is made by—or, one might better say, made as—a set of unique associations with unique persons, places, and things,” writes farmer-poet Wendell Berry. “The world of love does not admit the principle of the interchangeability of parts.”

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