If There Were To Be A Bible Disclaimer

I am venturing to guess that very few theologically progressive Christians would say that all Bible passages are to be taken literally and viewed strictly as the inerrant and infallible word of God. Some Christians who are already experienced with scripture and those people reading the Bible for the first time may interpret all of what they read as literal concrete fact, ignoring literary nuances related to styles of ancient story telling, metaphor, symbolism, depth of meaning, etc.

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How to Lead a Mindful Christianity Group

Using the book as a text, you can form a Mindful Christianity group in your home, church, or other setting. I recommend that the group have a “host” – a person designated to convene the group and keep it on schedule. The “host” need not be a trained mindfulness teacher or highly experienced meditator. Hosting is not formal teaching. I recommend that your group have a limit of fifteen people in order to ensure that participants feel able and willing to share their experiences. I suggest that the group maintain confidentiality about what goes on within it. I suggest that the group agree that should anyone in the group experience acute distress as a result of experiences that well up in the course of practice, the group will urge the person to seek professional therapeutic help, and then be welcomed back to the group when the acute disturbance has passed. (This is not an unusual consequence of beginning mindful prayer practice.)

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Garden Table Apocalypse | Diana Butler-Bass

  Mike’s note: The following reflection from Diana Butler Bass – an excerpt from her book Grounded: Finding God in the World – is part of a special guest-post series anticipating this November’s Gospel of Peace Conference …

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KBOO Podcast with Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox is a theologian and activist who has written over 30 books. He has introduced millions of people to Creation Spirituality.

His latest book, published in 2016 is called A Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey. According to Fox, Merton was assassinated by the CIA. We will talk more about that as well as have a candid conversation about ecology, human rights, capitalism, and resistance.

– See more at: http://kboo.fm/media/53757-matthew-fox-way-god-thomas-mertons-creation-spirituality-journey#sthash.SLJTH8x5.dpuf

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KBOO Podcast with Bishop John Shelby Spong

A pioneer of the progressive Christian movement, John Shelby Spong, returns for the third time to Progressive Spirit. We discuss his 25th book, Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy.

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Resurrection as Change, Part III: Deleting “God”

The idea of “God” has been problematic for as long as the notion existed. As a result, “God” has admittedly been for me a direction; but neither a destination, nor even a companion along the way any longer. As the poet suggests, if the notion of “god” is directional movement from a former past to the present now, then perhaps it is the time to leave the “G” word behind. What does that mean?

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Social Activist, Religious Activist

While young people today are movers and shakers, reformers and influencers, seeking voice and empowerment through protest and organization, our activism is largely restricted to political and social spheres. We will boycott products from a company that exploits labor, hold signs and march in the streets for the rights of immigrants, but we generally do not seek to reform the religious institutions of which we are a part.

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Give the Chinese students their history back!

In memory of the massacre in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989

It is forbidden to mention the massacre in China, and each year fewer yet know what really happened. But all media articles, fliers etc. on ths subject have been collected by the democracy movement in Hong Kong, and can be downloaded for free here. I send you this mail and all the documents, so that you can help in giving the Chinese their story back.

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Jewish-Christian Dialogue – Biographies of 30 Key Figures

Fifteen of the individuals profiled here are Jewish and fifteen are Christian. The biographies feature “pioneers” who were highly active some decades ago as well those who are “contemporary voices.” You can view, download or print these biographies.

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Understanding the Scriptures

Yes, the idea the Jesus died for our sins, or sinful nature, is really one of the causes for so many people turning their backs on Christianity today.

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Robin Myers Interview – What is the most important Aspect of progressive Christianity?

Robin Myers Interview – What is the most important Aspect of progressive Christianity?

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The Divine Human

With our unprecedented longevity, aging has become a new developmental stage in the human life cycle. Conscious sacred aging now offers humanity profound opportunities for psychological, spiritual and mystical transformation, expanding not only our lifespan but our awareness of God as well. What if we discover in this awakening that we are already divine? What if this realization transforms our very nature and purpose in the world? The Divine Human answers these questions and more, revealing the ultimate meaning of the New Aging.

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Sermon: The Peasants are Revolting

Rev. Roger Ray

Noam Chomsky has recently described the Republican Party as being the most dangerous organization in the history of the world. While there are (especially in the environmental arena) reasons for this outrageous statement, it does not encourage dialogue. This sermon looks for facts that predate the Republican – Democrat divide that could be reason to bring these partisan factions together for the good of our society.

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Interpreting “The Great Commission”

The “whole world” is a big place (today we know our universe is made up of two trillion galaxies!) so there is plenty of space to roam in. While Matthew’s “Great Commission” talks about teaching the commandments Jesus has taught, at the heart of these are love of God and love of neighbor and vice versa. Our neighbor is not restricted to the two-legged ones, but all creation deserves to hear that humans are busy loving all creatures–not destroying other creatures in narcissistic fits of greed and violence that end whole species while endangering human generations that follow with a depleted earth.

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Cambridge Mayor’s Call to Action

“I want to make Cambridge a proactive city and not a reactive city. I know we can do better and we must do better. If anybody can get it right, Cambridge can. We have the ability. We just need to have the desire.”

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Complex Trauma and Spiritual Healing Power of Sufism

by Daliah Merzaban for Patheos

I’d long presumed the excessive lack of confidence that lurked just beneath the surface was an inherent flaw in me; until, that is, I became aware several months ago that I suffer from a condition known as Complex trauma.

Complex trauma is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, only rather than resulting from a one-off psychological shock, it arises due to repeated, prolonged exposure to different forms of abuse, usually beginning in childhood. In researching the condition, I’ve learned how common it is. Wounds are often inflicted unwittingly and it’s easy to be oblivious to the toll they’ve taken on our psychological and spiritual health.

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The 10-Day Spiritual Fitness Program

Want a richer spiritual practice?
Need some help getting more gratitude in your life?
Would you trade 20 minutes to get spiritually fit?

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Church, Inside Out: Tabor Space

Most churches invite people to their church programs in their buildings, and with the space and time they don’t use, they rent to outside groups.

The people of Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church in Portland decided to turn that model on its head – and they created a vibrant community in the process.

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Let’s not let Russia hyperventilation cloud the suffering of working class America

I am tired of the hyperventilation by the media and specifically Progressives over the likely collusion between Trump and Russia at the expense of all else. …

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The Academy of Holistic Theology & Spirituality

Offering quality progressive, inter-spiritual, and holistic higher education to ministers, para-ministers, church staff, and lay leaders.

  The Academy of Holistic Theology & Spirituality (AHTS) is a progressive, inter-spiritual, and holistic based center for higher learning that works to educate and assist in the development of forward-thinking leaders. Degree programs are designed to assist …

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What is the Bible?

How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything

New York Times bestselling author Rob Bell provides surprising insights and answers about how the Bible actually works as a source of inspiration, showcasing a brand new way of reading this sacred text.

Diving deep into scripture, Bell explains the worst question we can ask of a text (“Why did God…?”) and the best question to ask (“Why did people find this important to write down?”) to discover how the Good Book can best guide us today.

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A Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey

This unique reflection was prompted by an invitation Matthew Fox received to speak on the centennial of Thomas Merton’s birth. Fox says that much of the trouble he’s gotten into — such as being excommunicated in 1993 from the Dominican Order by Cardinal Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict) — was because of Thomas Merton, who sent Fox to Paris to complete a doctoral program in philosophy. Fox found that Merton’s journals, poetry, and religious writings revealed a deeply ecumenical philosophy and a contemplative life experience similar to that of Meister Eckhart, the fourteenth-century mystic/theologian who inspired Fox’s own “creation spirituality.” It is little surprise to find Fox and Merton to be kindred spirits, but the intersections Fox finds with Eckhart are intellectually profound, spiritually enlightening, and delightfully engaging.

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I’m Falling in Love—with John

John is complicated. He was part of a school whose members were Jewish. By the time we see John in the public arena, the Jesus movement had been expelled from Judaism. The gentiles had taken over, and, most of the time, they read the Gospels as literal truth. They did not, and still don’t, understand the Jewish way of telling their religious history, which is full of metaphors, cultural innuendos, secret sayings, and mysticism.

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Ancient Hospitality: A Lost Religious Practice

Hospitality to strangers was a very big deal throughout the ancient world. I am not sure if any of us in the modern era have any appreciation for just how important it was. There were no hotels, no GPS systems, few restaurants. Being in a tough spot away from home was a life or death situation!

Hospitality was not only a cultural practice, but it also had serious religious significance.

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Easter? It’s Up to You!

Think for a minute about what you admire most about the life of Jesus. He was a person of profound compassion, bringing good news to the poor and healing to the brokenhearted. He reached out to everyone who had been wounded by life, including those who had been wounded by organized religion. He transcended ethnicity, race, religion, gender and status in society. Instead of judgment, he brought understanding. Instead of revenge, he brought forgiveness. And in the face of power, he brought courage for justice and fairness and respect for all people. Most of all, he brought a profound sense of hope, believing that betrayal and violence do not have the last word. Nor do our personal disappointments and heartaches. As long as love beats inside the human heart, then a new humanity is possible. That’s the Easter message we celebrate today.

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What Is A Humanist, And What Do They Believe?

By Lauren Gilger for KJZZ

There is a rule in the Arizona House of Representatives that specifies that a prayer must invoke a higher power, one that was clarified last week by the House Majority Leader after Salman read her Humanist prayer.

But many secular and religious groups object to this rule, and they’re speaking out.

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Progressive Christianity on the concept of hell

That is an excellent question and we progressive Christians really would do well to have some thought out responses when our more evangelical friends ask us about these matters – as well as our agnostic, atheist, and spiritual but not religious friends ask us this same question. As with so many things, progressive Christianity doesn’t have any official stance about this, but it does seem to be the case that most progressive Christians do not have a concept of hell as part of their faith and practice. I cannot speak for all of progressive Christianity, but I can share how this progressive Christian understands things – hell isn’t even part of the Bible and shouldn’t be a part of Christianity. To be blunt about it, let me repeat, Hell isn’t Christian – or Jewish. It’s pagan.

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What Social Justice Issues Matter Most to You?

Interview with Blake Osborn

Diana Bell, Pastor of Presbyterian Church USA talks about the social justice.

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Sacred Activism

Andrew Harvey, Oxford scholar and visionary, believes that our survival depends on Sacred Activism, a fusion of profound mystical awareness, passion, clarity and sacred practice with wise, dedicated, radical action.

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Brandon Robertson “On Being Bisexual”

Author and activist Brandan Robertson talks about what it means to be bisexual and why he identifies as bisexual.

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Deportee (aka. “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos”)

Words by Woody Guthrie, Music by Martin Hoffman

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract’s out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

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4 strategies for breaking the hold of Sunday worship

Yet another change battle is under way in mainline Protestant churches: breaking the hold that Sunday worship has on staffing, budgeting, and overall priorities.

Below are four strategies for doing what needs to be done.

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New Voices

We must accept the fact that, for many people, the old categories of Catholic/ Protestant, Episcopal/Methodist, high church/low church, contemporary/traditional, etc. just do not matter. There are new voices contributing to the religious scene, although most of them would not like to be referred to as religious. But these voices deserve to be heard. They may have left or never been part of the church, but that does not mean that they do not have a lot to say about spirituality, the meaning of life and how to make a difference in the world.

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Radical Pluralism

I want to return now to process theologian John Cobb, who has written extensively on the subject of pluralism and the avoidance of relativism. Along with Complementary Pluralism (from the previous chapter), he has also written about Creative Transformation or Radical Pluralism. In this view, Christ is the Logos, the primordial nature of the Divine and the principle of creative transformation within all the religions.

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Venturing into Pluralism

As we move beyond the exclusive and inclusive view that God’s revelation in Jesus Christ is unique and normative, we find a complex array of options. As we begin to make our way into this labyrinth, we must first understand that pluralism is another one of those words that can have a variety of meanings.

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Pluralism 101

  We have barely begun to deal with the fundamental changes that must be effected within our Christian faith. – John Cobb(1) So here we go! Understand that this is by no means the only way that …

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