The Need for a Psychology of Spiritual Journeying

It was never fully hidden but now, for sure, the tendency of religious institutions to quash doubt and keep it under wraps has succumbed to an end-around play. People can connect cross-country and around the world, and do so anonymously if they want! This is a big, big help to many. It is only one expression of a broad and accelerating shift in the way religion and spiritual life are viewed and practiced.

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The Opportunity in Front of Us

The battle for growth is not just conceptual or “spiritual.” It is also practical – monetary, social, interpersonal, etc. “Culture wars” and the growth boundaries they often represent, are not separate from practical issues like making a living and social relationships but are intertwined with them. It is similar with religious and other belief systems.

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The Two Alberts: Pioneers for Science and Spirit (One You Know, One You May Not)

Second, both Albert’s sought a grand theory. Einstein, a “theory of everything” or the “unified field theory” of physics; Schweitzer the common, most basic ethic for all cultures and humanity. He felt he had discovered it while pondering and traveling (at the key point of insight, on a river amid a herd of hippopotamuses at sunset. One is again reminded of Einstein’s insights sometimes coming amid his imaginary “thought experiments”). The by-then double-doctor (PhD, MD), Schweitzer, reports he had been pondering and writing notes, “….struggling to find the elementary and universal concept of the ethical that I had not discovered in any philosophy…” Then, quite suddenly, “… there flashed upon my mind, unforeseen and unsought, the phrase : “Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben” [“Reverence for Life”]. The iron door had yielded. The path in the thicket had become visible.”

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Electing the Pope and Crises of Faith

If the new “Papa Francisco” (has a nice ring, huh?) can inspire us all, Catholic or not, to greater dedication to the Gospel of Jesus he will have bolstered our faith (in God and/or humanity) and created a better world. (In this I think the non-religious can be included as well, if they are willing…. I’m not at all far from them myself.)

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Religion and Politics, Then and Now

Paul endorsed the Roman status quo, politically. He made the real issue identification with a descended (divine) savior, spiritually raised and soon to return. The Jerusalem group shared the last point but emphatically not the first two of Jesus’ divinity nor acquiescence to Roman rule. Their expected Messiah (dramatically shifted after his death to a returning one) would establish peace with Jewish centrality and abolish the MILITARY dominance of other kingdoms but not the existence of other nations.

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Can We Measure Growth by Stages? Part 2

I believe there is great value in gaining some understanding of the leading developmental stage theories, and particularly how they relate to one another. This can be valuable for use for oneself as well as it is, often highly so, for working with other people who may have less insight into themselves and less knowledge of either social science findings or spiritual development than you or other “people helpers” do.

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Can We Measure Our Growth by Stages? Part 1

Sadly, some people do stop thinking in terms of their growth except as it relates to occupational skills or promotions perhaps. But I think most people are quite aware of their need for ongoing growth throughout life. Are there, then, some meaningful markers to see how we are doing? Can such markers be used by scholars or “people helpers” who want to size up anyone from individuals to entire societies in terms of development?

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Theology from Exile: Commentary on the Revised Common Lectionary for an Emerging Christianity: The Year of Luke

The Year of Luke is the first in a series of commentaries on biblical scripture found in the three-year cycle of Christian liturgical readings of the Revised Common Lectionary. Instead of interpreting these readings as a precursor …

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Religion in the World and Its Implications

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has just released an interesting report on religious groups around the world.  It is a compilation that is  ”… based on analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers…” covering …

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Conversion and the Idea of Salvation

To me, one of the most problematic, psychologically damaging things about Evangelical theology is the focus on salvation… what constitutes it, how it is obtained and held onto, etc.

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Understanding “The Gospel”: Why Authorship Claims Matter Dramatically – Part 2 B

But the loss of their key center and probably the main leadership and overall strength of the movement opened the way for Pauline Christian influence which is clear particularly in Luke (both his Gospel and Acts).

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Understanding “The Gospel”: Why Authorship Claims Matter Dramatically – Part 2

The great dividing line for two religions and the relationship between them is the period of 66-70 CE, which ended in the destruction of both Jerusalem and the great “Second Temple”. For Jews of the time this destroyed the political, economic and religious organization of Israel….

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A Tale of Two Cities

Jerusalem, Now and When?

Why would a Jewish American doctor risk serving the medical needs of Palestinian children in the occupied territories of the West Bank?

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Another Reason for Women in Church Leadership

It does mean that each gender should recognize that their opposite may have a naturally different way of perceiving and weighing things and not label it as either inferior or superior but as something to be understood and learned from. This, I believe, provides one of many good reasons for society and its institutions, including religions, to actively seek ways to include women at all levels of leadership and decision-making.

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Who Is God and How Do We Know?

God is persuasive love, containing but somehow still beyond all that we can grasp, and within whom “we live and move and have our being.”

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What Should Churches Be About?

Whatever paradigm a community may favor (or more than one among community members), the core of Christian faith and what Jesus emphasized — the centrality of love in action — can be the community emphasis as well.

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Dark Knights — How Spiritual Communities Could Help

The recent horrible shooting incident at a premier showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Colorado has focused attention, once again, on some aspects of what has gone wrong when a person takes such a violent and antisocial turn.

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The Evil We Do To Fit In – sermon video

The beheading of John the Baptist

“Take sides, because neutrality always serves the oppressor and never the oppressed. Your silence will always be interpreted as consent. There is no honor in remaining neutral in matters of ethical importance. Always taking the middle ground doesn’t make you smart, it doesn’t make you fair, it doesn’t make you balanced, and it certainly doesn’t make you innocent.”

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