A Buddhist fascinated with Christianity and a Christian fascinated with Buddhism meet on the bonnie banks: a sermon on the Road to Emmaus

We were a strange lot, gathered together by chance. Each of us backpacking our way through Europe in search of adventure. “By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes, Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond.” We met on the train to Fort William and we were headed on foot to the Youth Hostel at Rowardennan on the shores of Loch Lomond.

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The Need for a Long-Overdue Racial Reconstruction

What has happened instead is that American society largely has done the absolute minimum to correct the wrongs it has done, and then it gets pretty darn angry when anyone complains that it should do more. As a result, many in the black community continue to feel like second-class citizens, and there is quite a bit of evidence to support this.

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Jesus, A New Adam

Jesus is the “new Adam”—not the innocent and perfect and beautiful Ken and Barbie doll of Adam and Eve.

For me as a progressive Christian, Jesus is the “new Adam”—not the innocent and perfect and beautiful (and initially sexless) Ken and Barbie doll of Adam and Eve; rather the tried and tested, unappealing and vulnerable and wounded one, acquainted with sorrows and grief, the bearer of the sins and injustices of the world—political, religious, and personal. Treasonous and blasphemous, betrayable and deniable, because compassion was all he held dear.

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On Being Cool

I want the coolness that comes from staring at what I call a juniper tree until it stops fitting my definitions and begins to reveal itself to me on its own terms. I want the coolness that comes from taking time to stare at a little desert flower crystallizing into existence out of volcanic sand. I want the kind of coolness that comes from taking the time to appreciate my cool siblings and my cool 88-year-old Dad here in Oregon. Letting them be who they are, as they are, and not just as I might categorize them based on our family history.

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How to experience a living relationship with God

The most enduring challenge faced by those who want to help others have the experience of a living relationship with God is our utter refusal to come up with a succinct definition of god that everyone will agree upon. Further complicating the challenge provided by the sheer number of ideas we are left with about the god we call God, is our assumption that everyone else shares the same idea we have. I think it was Peter Jennings, in a convocation address to Carleton University, who named our penchant for assuming that even people we know nothing about believe exactly the same way that we do, “the Vanna White Syndrome”.

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A Hatred of Science Is Killing the Church: Why Young Adults Leave or Never Show Up

By Kurt Willems for Patheos

One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that “Christianity is anti-science” (25%). And nearly the same proportion (23%) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.”

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Resistance

  Ok, first thing: would all the perfect people here please raise your hands – ok, you’re excused. You’ve earned your automatic A; and you certainly don’t need to sit here listening to someone try to explain …

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Aaron Hernandez’s Hail Mary Pass with John 3:16

Former Patriot tight-end Aaron Hernandez’s suicide leaves us with more questions than answer. Many wonder what were Hernandez’s last dying words expressed in the three handwritten notes to loved ones left next to a Bible in his cell. CBS Boston reports he conveyed “I love you and please don’t cry.”

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Resurrection as Change, Part II

The Emmaus Experience of Transformation

The Emmaus legend is about both the inevitability of change and the possibility of transformation. … In all the swift and varied changes of this world, the elusive goal of converting hearts and minds remains optional.

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“Evangelizing Marriage Equality Among Evangelicals” MSNBC Original Documentary

Documentary featuring Brandan Robertson and the work of Evangelicals for Marriage Equality.

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Days of Awe and Wonder: How to Be a Christian in the Twenty-first Century

Showcasing some of his most enduring and insightful writings, including many previously unpublished works, a concise and illuminating introduction to Marcus J. Borg, the late spokesman for progressive Christianity and one of the most revered and influential theologians of our time.

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Evolutionary Love Relationships: Passion, Authenticity and Activism

An uplifting and brilliant book that provides a template for more enheartened, authentic love relationships, AND invites couples, friends, and business colleagues to move their powerful relational energy into the world to effect change. Rather than limiting their gaze to each other, partners and pairings are invited to take their focus outward, channeling their energies toward those causes that both unite them and transform the world we live in. With love as the fuel for inspired action, the relationship becomes a homage to sacred purpose, finding its deeper meaning in its efforts to positively influence the planet.

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Top 5 Demands of Christian Hospitality

Discussions about refugees and immigrants almost invariably include people who strongly express the need to protect borders.

Pope Francis has a helpful perspective that hits the nail on the head:

A person who thinks only of building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not a Christian.

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“Peace! Be Still!”

The contemplative practices of those escaping “empire,” both politically and religiously…

  How easily my calm was shattered as I started to write this post! My mouse stopped working, and I had to figure out once again how to open it, and then find a fresh battery. Still, …

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Litany of Confusion and Wonder

  Darkness envelops our world and our lives. Shadows enshroud our spirits. We come to pay homage to one who tried to bring light to the darkness, whose brilliant compassion and loving-kindness left no shadows on those …

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Words Matter

  “There’s a time for everything… … a time for crying and a time for laughing, a time for mourning and a time for dancing… (Ecclesiastes 3:4) Words matter. I believe our president-elect speaks from the heart, …

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Hebrew Multifaith Golden Rule Poster

The Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel and the Scarboro Missions Interfaith Department (Toronto, Canada) are pleased to announce the publication of a Hebrew-language poster featuring texts of the Golden Rule in 13 religions.

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Robin Meyers Interview: “Faith Journey”

In this short interview, we asked progressive Christian leader, author and activist, Rev. Robin Meyers: “What theological shifts have shaped your story?”

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God is Alive, Magic is Afoot – Leonard Cohen

This is one of my favorite poems celebrating the unexpected splendor of new life out of anticipated death. Happy Easter, all you resurrection artists.

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Humpty Dumpty, Doubting Thomas, and Resurrection – John 20:19-31 – Easter 2A

Do I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life ever lasting? The truth is, that like Saint Thomas, I too have questions. Do I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life ever lasting? I have experienced the Risen Christ in the body of Christ that is the church. I believe that Christ has no hands but our hands, for we are the body of Christ. Christ lives through us, just as surely as Christ lived through those who first believed in things not yet seen. So, in the presence of such a great crowd of witnesses, with all the saints of every time and place, I can say, “Yes, I believe!”

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Pepsi ad failed its multicultural audience

With African Americans and Latinos markets viewed as providing soft drink companies a “lifetime of opportunity” these companies are disincentivized to create healthier beverages. And they don’t see it as exploitation, but rather as niche marketing.

“Do they owe these groups an apology? I don’t think so…. On many levels, the soft-drink industry is being demonized as if it were the new big tobacco.”

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World Water Day

Celebrating the recent announcements of the new legal personhood status of two rivers in India and one in New Zealand. Thomas Berry called for a new Earth Jurisprudence that would allow for the rights of nature, not just humans. His vision is coming to pass with these legal decisions. How wonderful to celebrate World Water Day with this special message sent out by Miriam MacGillis at Genesis Farm in New Jersey near the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

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The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene

  Mary Magdalene was the first person, male or female, to witness the empty tomb…the first to see angels who reported the resurrection…the first to hear the voice of, and see, the risen Christ…and the first to …

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Gatherings: A Manifesto

American democracy is not well. And the Trump presidency is as much a symptom as a cause of the disease.

Many Americans, especially young ones, distrust organized anything: religions, governments, and corporations. Relentless media exposure of scandalous behavior by public figures has discredited the organizations these leaders represent. People question whether any institution can be counted upon to serve the common good. Levels of voter participation, particularly in down-ballot races, is abysmally low. Fewer Americans identify with the political parties. The

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Blake Osborne Interview: Progressive Christianity

Blake Osborne Interview: Progressive Christianity

These interviews were conducted by ProgressiveChristianity.org at a Westar meeting as part of a series on Christianity, spirituality, religion, church, God, Jesus, sacred community, social justice, youth, and social transformation. More to come soon!

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Why still call yourself a Christian?

I enjoy what you have been saying about Jesus, and I am becoming much more progressive than I used to be, but still I have a hard time understanding why someone with your beliefs still remains a Christian? If the Jesus you still “believe” in is not the Jesus that resurrected and was God incarnate, then why do you still call yourself a Christian?

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Boston still struggles with its racial past

Lauded as one of the bluest states in the country with an activist court that has always been forward thinking I thought Boston would be one of the better cities for minorities like myself – LGBTQ, people of color, women, to call its second home.

But, I quickly learned Boston has an inglorious history, too.

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Resurrection is not a reality but it is a potential

Featuring “Purpose in the Pain” by David GreathouseToday’s Easter message consists of 4 vignettes coupled with 4 original musical compositions of David Greathouse.

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the Easter uprising

Jesus rises up whenever the conspiracy of love rises up, whenever compassionate and courageous acts of the kingdom of God are present, whenever the reign of love is made manifest in this life. Following Jesus is a response to his call to establish justice and peace in the world.

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Crucifying The Prairie: An ECO-Theology Of Resistance For Good Friday

By Jacob J. Erickson

Our pluralistic world invites multifaith and multispiritual perspectives. But, for me in this moment, in my own week of observations of Good Friday to Easter, I plan on resisting. I will not bear this cross of a carbon economy willingly. I will resist the crosses that ravage the beauty of the earth until my dying breath.

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Changing Hearts, Changing Minds

Here is a list of rules formulated decades ago by the legendary social psychologist and game theorist Anatol Rapoport, as abridged by the philosopher, Daniel Dennett:

“How to compose a successful critical commentary”

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Seasoning the Day with Sanity

Alan Wallace on the value of mindful moments throughout the day

  During his recent retreat at the Garrison Institute, we spoke with scholar and meditation teacher Alan Wallace about how to cultivate stillness, increase productivity, and determine whether an activity is worth doing. Many people have the …

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Anger, OK. Hatred, not so.

So, what to do instead of hate?

Take your anger, feel it. But, then find love and put it into action.

Let me conclude with words from Dr. Martin Luther King – who is celebrated today in the United States,
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

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The WHY of looking outward

The HOW of effective communications strategy can be figured out, maybe with outside help, and implemented without great expense.

The WHY, however, might be the hardest sell I have ever had to make as a church consultant. Church leaders find it difficult to imagine any audience beyond the members they know.

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Altars in the World

The contemplative life is about finding altars everywhere!

The contemplative life is about finding altars everywhere. Celtic “thin places” where heaven shows itself on earth. Creatures who, much like Meister Eckhart’s caterpillar, are so full of God a sermon is unnecessary. Leonard Cohen’s broken places that let the light shine in. Strangers who are angels unawares. The “least of these” who are Christ himself. People who, as in Thomas Merton’s epiphany at a city intersection, do not realize they are walking around “shining like the sun.” Maya Angelou’s “caged bird,”

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Resurrection Is Only Change: A Brief Reflection for the Observance of Good Friday and Easter

Recently I’ve become aware of some significant changes occurring in the personal lives of some of the folks that gather in our monthly Pathways circle. Some changes are welcome, while some are not. It’s a mixed bag. It all reminds me, once again, of the only constant thing in our lives. It is the progressive changes that continue unabated, with whatever number of days we are each randomly accorded. Me included.

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