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Free, New Progressive Hymns

William Flanders makes his progressive hymns available for free on his website.

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Progressive Baptismal Liturgy

At the request of parents from different faith traditions who express a progressive religious faith, Evangelical United Church of Christ (Webster Grove, MO) revisited the questions and promises of their infant baptism ceremony.

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Josh’s Confessions

The dangers for Jews and Christians of believing in being divinely chosen.

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What Does a Progressive Christian Church Do With Its Children?

That question is at the heart of a project begun by several members of New Covenant Community (NCC), a TCPC congregation in Normal, Illinois. NCC is a union congregation affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), …

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What Can Progressive Christians Say About Resurrection?

[An excerpt from James Adams’ new book, From Literal to Literary.] Each year, when Easter roles around, many people outside the church experience a kind of wistfulness. They love the festival, but they don’t think that they …

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Reflections on The Da Vinci Code

An Anglican priest reflects on some fascinating and important questions raised in Dan Brown’s book  The Da Vinci Code.

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Honest to Jesus: Giving the Historical Jesus a Say in Our Future

Introduction: Historical Jesus Studies as a "School of Honesty" In 1906 Albert Schweitzer commented:"The critical study of the life of Jesus has been for theology a school of honesty."(The Quest for the Historical Jesus) That is a …

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Who We Are and How We Got Here

TCPC Founder, James Adams, talks about the origins of TCPC.

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Uncovering Your Church’s Hidden Spirit

More people are coming to church saying they want to know God. They are on a spiritual search. And church leaders are wondering, "How can we respond
to these searchers?"

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Ministry with Teenagers Who are Allergic to Organized Religion

I want to tell you about a ministry of spiritual exploration I am beginning here in midcoast Maine with unchurched youth. I know a lot of teenagers who have a kind of allergic reaction to anything smacking …

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It’s All In the Name

News & Events President’s ReportBy James R. Adams Faith Identity on Campuses: The Lutheran and Episcopal Campus Ministries in Northern California invited me to help facilitate the fi rst of a planned series of conferences designed to …

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The Creation Story

And God stepped out on space. And God looked around on space. And God said, "I am lonely. I’ll make me a world!" And as far as the eye of God could see, darkness covered everything. Blacker …

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Journey Toward Faith: A Lenten Sermon on John 3:16

Readings: Genesis 12:1-4a John 3:1-17  We have before us this morning what I would consider one of the most misused, misunderstood texts in the entire Scripture. One single verse has provided motivation for some of the most …

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Gateway into God’s Realm

Text: John 10:1-10  During World War II the famous American pilot, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, was flying on a special mission to the Pacific Islands. The plane crashed, and Rickenbacker and his crew were lost at sea for …

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Sacrificial Lamb or Enemy of the State?

Text – Matthew 21:1-11   Six months ago, on the morning of September 11, 2001, aerial assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon killed thousands of innocent men and women and left even more innocent children, …

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You Don’t Need Points: The Creation

Well, that is one way to look at it all. But there is another way. I am telling you that in the beginning, God created not one or two but a whole bunch of us. Lots of …

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The Eight Pointed Star

THERE IS A TABLE WITH A VARIETY OF BREADS AND CHALICES ON IT IN THE CENTER OF THE CATHEDRAL. AT EIGHT POINTS AROUND THE TABLE, THERE ARE SMALL TABLES WITH CANDLES ON THEM. Opening Litany Leader: As …

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Truer Than Fact: A Sermon on the Nature of Biblical Truth

Texts: Dt. 11:18-21. You shall…lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul’ and you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. …

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The Eucharist

The author describes this as a “liturgical form known as a ‘bibliodramatic sermon,’ a technique… developed out of my study of psychodrama…it is a great way to actively involve the entire congregation in the creation/experience of a …

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Reflections on Sexual Diversity

Reflections from a workshop at one of TCPC’s national forums about sexual diversity and the Christian church.

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Building Community With Our Differences

One of features marking the renaissance of Jesus studies is the centrality of the social world of Jesus. Because meanings are embedded in a social world, if we are to understand and appreciate what Jesus said and did, his message and activity need to be located in his social world.

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Reflections on Building a Network for Progressive Christians

Reflections from a workshop on networking at TCPC’s 3rd national forum.

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Why Bother to take God Seriously?

Most people haven’t any interest in religion – mainly because they haven’t any interest in God. If asked as part of a survey whether they “believed in God”, many would say that they did, but there be would few if any differences in their lives compared to those who deny the existence of God.

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“Abba:” A fair interpretation or a putdown of the Jews?

Abba, the word for “father” in the Aramaic language appears untranslated in the Greek Scriptures and in most English versions. Some people have tried to make a theological statement based on Jesus’s use of Abba, which appears to have a similarity to a toddler’s expression of intimacy with a father, such as “dada” and “papa”.

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What Can Progressive Christians Say About “Sin” and “Original Sin”?

Some of our detractors have suggested that in our attempt to include all people, we have abandoned the concept of sin. Not so. In both the Hebrew and Greek languages, the word translated “sin” is based on a metaphor taken from hunting. Both the Hebrew chatah’ and the Greek hamartia originally meant that the hunter missed what he was shooting at. The arrow fell short of the target.

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A Letter to a Friend… how to find a church.

I think you know where I stand on the church front. I have been a strong advocate of such things for a long time. Since you bring the topic up, let me sketch out what I see as the dimensions of the issue for someone who hasn’t experienced a persuasive altar call or revelatory “Road to Damascus” experience.

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Why TCPC Advocates Equal Rights for Gay and Lesbian People

If you look through the eight points that define what we mean by “progressive”, you will see that omitting a concern for these people would leave us with a glaring inconsistency.

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What’s In a Name?

More than one person took me to task for using the adjective “reactionary” to describe the point of view I found in the newsletter United Voice.

Although I thought that the description was accurate, I though I had best check up on myself by consulting with The Oxford English Dictionary. This is what I found: “reactionary, a. and n. [f. reaction (chiefly in sense 4). adj. 1. Of, pertaining to, or characterized by, reaction. 2. Inclined or favourable to reaction. Also, in Marxist use, unfavourably contrasted with revolutionary.” Under sense 4 of reaction, I found “A movement towards the reversal of an existing tendency or state of things, esp. in politics; a return, or desire to return, to a previous condition of affairs; a revulsion of feeling.”

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The State of Progressive Christianity in England

from a speech delivered at the 1998 TCPC Forum

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What

All too often I have heard people attacking gays and lesbians, saying that they are an abomination to God. I wonder if such people have ever bothered to check their Bibles for the meaning of the word. I did, and this is what I found.

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Tit for Tat

Even though 87 percent of Americans consider themselves Christians, few dogmas are as pervasive or have as much influence in our culture as the aphorism, “If you do this, you’ll get that,” where that may either be a reward or a punishment—a carrot or a stick. Popularized by psychologist B. F. Skinner, behavior modification can be traced back historically to the law of retaliation — “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” — which is a perversion of an ancient Hebrew commandment prohibiting unrestrained vengeance.

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Survey Results: TCPC

In October, the TCPC board asked me to work with it on ways in which to more effectively build awareness and usage of the various TCPC resources — books, discussion guides, annual Forums, newsletter, and the website. The board was also interested in starting a discussion about what additional tools and resources TCPC should consider developing as it moves ahead into this new year.

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What Every Progressive Christian Should Know About the Tobacco Industry

The tobacco industry likes to portray itself as just another American business, but the facts point to precisely the opposite conclusion. Evidence uncovered in the recent tobacco litigation demonstrates that the tobacco companies deliberately deceived the public into believing that their products were safe and non-addictive while conspiring to keep the industry’s knowledge to the contrary secret, manipulated the nicotine delivery of their products to better addict consumers, and targeted children in their advertising campaigns.

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The United Religions Initiative

I was invited to research and write what turned out to be a chapter entitled, “Anglican Attitudes and Behaviors Concerning War,” in an Anglican Ethics text book edited by Paul Elmen, The Anglican Moral Choice. The gist of it is that Anglicans are second to none in being for peace in peacetime, and for war in wartime. This illustrates the unfortunate tendency of religions to sanctify violence.

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Reimagining Ecumenism for the 21st Century

One of the questions we may rightly ask at the beginning of a new century is what is ahead for ecumenism and the ecumenical movement.

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No One is Disposable: The Fight Against Slavery in the New Global Economy

According to the Exodus story, the Egyptians had begun to fear that the Israelite people living in Egypt had grown more numerous and powerful than the Egyptians themselves. To prevent these Israelites from joining Egypt’s enemies, fighting against the Egyptians, and escaping from the land, the Egyptians

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