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The Birth Stories of Jesus in Matthew and Luke

Here’s another effort to help Christians better understand Bible stories do not conflict with science, as they are mostly metaphorical. They need not fear and disrespect science, as so many now do, creating havoc in our religious and political worlds.

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SIZE, God, and the Challenge of These Times

In our thinking about God, God has great size. However, it is a size that can never be fully grasped because it is always enlarging–eventually becoming more than anything we can conceptualize or imagine. 

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Back to the Garden: Nirvana Now

The fact, however, is that most of our life, indeed, the vast majority of it, is time between the moments. The question then becomes: what can I do to overcome my egocentricity and spend more time experiencing the truth of who I am? One answer is community. From what I can tell, community is important for the Buddha because we need support in our search.

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We Need to Listen to Care About Others

As we await a COVID-19 vaccine, I often wonder about a more important antidote for our time. Is there any potential for a shot or a pill for the divisive poison of hatred and discrimination? The recent political campaigns and presidential election illuminated our country’s charged and often violent polarization. We have degenerated into an “us and them” culture.

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Opt-In

Stop doing as you are accustomed to.
Get off your default setting and opt-in.
Do something, even as small as a longer breath of air, differently.

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Interfaith Discussion Starter

What has been your experience of other cultures and religions:

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Caesar and God

As long as everyday Christians avoid the marketplace of ideas, extremist Christians will seem the prevailing voice of Christianity and/or the church. As Bishop Spong has said, religion is like a public pool: all the noise comes from the shallow end.

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Retired pastor starts online ‘Doubter’s Parish’

Retired United Methodist pastor Martin Thielen reaches out to skeptics and struggling Christians, offering help and solidarity through his website, Doubter’s Parish. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Martin Thielen.

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Beyond Disavowing the Doctrine of Discovery

Steps for Christians to Dismantle It

Many Christians are ready to address what remains of the Doctrine of Discovery that continues to cause harm. Beyond simply disavowing or repudiating it, they want to help Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery, recognizing the ongoing harm that it does.

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A New Year, A New Beginning

Serendipity is my favorite word and speaks volumes to me about life as I have come to understand it. Serendipity is defined as, “The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.”

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The Transcendentals

The timeless and universal aspects of life are known as beauty, truth, and goodness. They are endowed properties of all beings, some more than others. In mortals, they are sprinkled in just enough quantity to preserve and leaven the whole, but not nearly enough to straighten the irregular timbers of humanity wholesale.

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The Shining Light of Hope

Most of us have gone quietly on saying how terrible it is and doing nothing. We (I) am all too comfortable in our (my) innocence and ignorance of the grim reality of the life of those oppressed. But the move is on. The age of innocence is over.

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Satan as Trickster in the Desert: An Experiment in Non-literal Interpretation

If one chooses to interpret the story of Jesus fasting in the desert symbolically, the story becomes an allegory of transformation.

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Where “The Hill We Climb” Can Take Us

How poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, lifted America

The inaugural poem of Amanda Gorman – at 22, the youngest inaugural poet laureate in U.S. history – lifted our spirits as it dazzled our imagination.  Indeed, as her lofty words filled the air at our nation’s capitol, hope was given a new face. 

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Salvation for All

Are we “saved” together, or “saved” separately? It is certainly a living question for Christians to ponder, but it is worth asking in the context of other religions – or in that of no religion at all.  Are we “all in the same boat”, or not? 

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Some Thoughts on Healing the Great National Divide

The one thing I never imagined was that fascism could come to the United States. Unfortunately, the myth of American exceptionalism has been totally discredited. Fascism came close to coming to our shores during the last four years. Let’s hope that we as a society can take the steps necessary to see that such a threat never happens again.

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The Myths We Deem to be True and Sacred

In this new year – just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse — something dark and revelatory already happened on that day. Thousands of insurrectionists stormed the Capitol; wielding clubs, and bats, and – in one instance – a Bible.

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Like a Bird: The Self-Delusion of White Supremacists

Since it is impossible to say with 100% accuracy what the man from Nazareth looked like, we all need to seriously question our own perception. Who is the Jesus we accept, or reject? Are we open to thinking new thoughts, or are we captivated by the past?

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