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“God Is No Longer a Working Number”

Rethinking Christianity for the Twenty-first Century

For millions of people across the globe, God (as we have historically known God) is no longer a working number. Neither is traditional theology or the institutional church. In response, many of these spiritual skeptics have given up on religion altogether. However, plenty of them are still searching for a faith that can work in the modern world.

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“Let’s Be Better Humans”

is a humble reminder that we all belong to one human race.

“We all strive for purpose and understanding, to hear and to be heard, to see and to be seen, to leave this world a better place than we found it.”  – Jon Linton

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It’s the Money, Honey

It was the rich and powerful who had Jesus killed. His brand of socialism was not good for business or politics. To their chagrin, his death did not end the movement he had begun. In fact, it spread.

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Paul’s Radical Egalitarianism

For Paul, baptism is the pre-condition for equality.  Simply put, when we are baptized into Christ, there is no inequality.  This is true for all relationships, both inside and outside the assembly.  For Paul, this was a non-negotiable affirmation that he expected his churches to adhere to.

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The Way

This morning, I preached at Platte Woods United Methodist Church in Kansas City. They’ve been doing a sermon and education series on Freeing Jesus – and they asked me to come and finish up their study of the book.

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A Time For Reckoning: North American Christianity and Indigenous Cultural Genocide

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into Canadian society. Thousands of children died there of disease and other causes, with many never returned to their families.

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Vision, Hope and Courage in a Time of Crisis

Many of us wrestle with fear, despair, insecurity, and loneliness in this time of sustained global crisis. I worry for the future of the human family and life itself. But these times are also an invitation.

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When Will We Ever Learn?

When will we ever learn? It is time to get serious about studying current events and the history that has led up to them. So that we don’t make the mistakes we made in Afghanistan – and Iraq and Central America and Vietnam – ever again.

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Archbishop Carl Bean’s “I Was Born This Way”

Bean was the first black openly gay gospel singer to join Motown. However, his time at Motown was short-lived when he refused to croon heterosexual love songs. Bean eventually left Motown in the 1980s, abandoning his singing career. 

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Tributes to Bishop John Shelby Spong

Read some of the tributes that have been written on the occasion of the death of Bishop John Shelby Spong. 

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Bold Directions for Dangerous Times

In a recent article in progressivechristianity.org Jim Burklo wrote about the possibility, if not likelihood, that there will be a flood of disaffected folks leaving the evangelical churches and that progressive congregations should be ready “to attract them by making changes in our styles of worship and congregational life that are necessary to seize this remarkable moment.” 

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Silence and solidarity: mind the conceptual gap

We cannot be separate from God or from each other. Yet, we can spend much of our lives imagining that this is the case.

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On The Importance Of Jazz and the Blues for All of Life

In an opening address to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival, reprinted in its program, MLK profoundly related jazz and the blues to universal quests for happiness and the end of oppression, saying: “Jazz is exported to the world. For in the particular struggle of the Negro in America there is something akin to the universal struggle of modern man.

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Good Questions (can change the world)

What would happen if other faithful people began to ask questions instead of arguing with answers they don’t like?  What would happen if we followed St. Paul’s advice and stopped returning evil for evil?  What would happen if we asked serious questions instead of behaving defensively in response to religious or political bombast?

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Beliefs Versus the Efficacy of Faith

Periodically, it is helpful to remember that belief and faith are not the same thing.  Every group of mortals seems to inevitably gather around a particular set of beliefs; presumably based on the values they hold to be the most meaningful to them, or of greatest importance.

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Were the Gospels Influenced By Paul’s Letters?

Because the letters of Paul come after the gospels in the chronology of the New Testament canon, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that when Paul penned his letters, he had no knowledge of the gospel stories.  His letters/epistles were probably written around 51 to 62 CE (Common Era).  Meanwhile, the gospels were written from about 70-72 (Mark) to around the end of the first century (John).  Thus, to reiterate, Paul knew nothing of the gospels.

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America is Compassionately Working the Problem

In the face of enormous danger and spreading death that seems pointless, there is a tendency to ask: “Where is God? How could God let this happen?” This is the same spirit that fills up space on cable news channels with critics complaining about all the things that are going wrong.

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What They Are Saying About Us

Fundamentalist leaders used to describe progressive Christians as a shrinking heretical sect, if they noticed us at all.  Now they condemn us as an existential threat to the survival of evangelicalism.  Their rhetoric should inspire in us a healthy vigilance, as America drifts into deeper polarization and ominous threats of violence. 

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