Made On Earth – How the gospel writers created the Christ

NEW TITLE RELEASE 21st January 2016

In this book Lorraine Parkinson sets out compelling reasons why the gospels may be found to have been ‘made on earth’. She builds a strong argument that each gospel was written to make a distinct case for Jesus as the Christ. She presents detailed evidence that the Christ of the gospels is the creation of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, plus later editors. The sub-text of this book contends that by including teachings of Jesus alongside claims for him as Christ, gospel writers bequeathed to Christianity two contradictory gospels – the gospel of Jesus and the gospel about Jesus.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 14: Service

Through service we find love and truth in action. When we serve with love and compassion, those whom we serve become brothers and sisters, not the others.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 35: Experiencing God as Joy, A Christmas Lesson

We know true joy when we experience the reality of God’s presence within. The word joy is used at Christmastime so often that it is almost synonymous with the season. When we have an inner awareness of the presence of God, we experience joy. When we celebrate the birth of Christ, we celebrate that living presence born on earth. Joyful day! God’s presence can be experienced in every moment of our lives when we become aware that the reality of God never changes; it is not dependent on circumstance or season.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 36: Experiencing God as Love

Jesus taught that we should love everyone, even our enemies. In this age of multi-media information, we are made aware of all the reasons people can be difficult to love; loving everyone appears even more daunting than it must have two thousand years ago. However, if we remember that universal divine love exists within and flows throughout all creation, it becomes clear that our part is not to make ourselves love, but to allow love to flow through us at every opportunity. Every moment is an opportunity.
Jesus was a pure channel for universal love; love flowed through him without interruption or corruption. The power of that pure love could be felt by all who opened their heart to the experience, and we can experience it as well if we open our hearts to the possibility.

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Follow Jesus: a Hymn

I heard a contemporary hymn on Sunday morning during the Eucharist and fell in love with the melody. It was the “Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)” by Chris Rice. It reminded me of Randy Newman’s music—a soft …

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Worship Materials: Darkness and Light

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

THEME Two Faces of the One God –the One Life Force
THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION
1. Darkness is the womb of the light, nothingness the womb of all things.

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Finding Angels in Boulders and Divinity in Geodes

Progressive Christianity asserts that God is present in each one of us. God is not far off but moves within each of our lives, providing energy and possibility; God’s presence in us and not imperfection is our deepest nature. In contrast to sin-based theologies, accenting original sin and human depravity, progressive Christianity affirms original blessing and the inherent divinity of each creature.

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Progressive Christian Lent Course 2015

How do you account for / explain the different versions of the same event? To what extent does it matter in your understanding and experience of Jesus that the details that describe such a fundamental event in his life are not an agreed Gospel record across Mark, Matthew and Luke? Why did John ignore all the details of the baptism of Jesus?

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Transformation

Jesus called on people to change. Not just a little, but dramatically. The ‘kingdom of God’ is the term Jesus used to express his vision of a profound transformation of human beings and human institutions—social, political, economic and religious—to fully express the character and nature of God—a God of love. To accomplish this vision, Jesus worked toward the creation of a new kind of community dedicated to values of compassion, generosity, peace, and justice. He was creating a movement for change, a people engaged in a vast conspiracy of love.

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Light in the Midst of Darkness

When I am struggling, maybe with grief, or trying to sort out something difficult in my life, I often go to a special spot and quietly wait for the new sun to appear. It always makes a significant difference in my being when I do this. My load feels lighter. My fears often dissolve. My grief can be transformed into hope. Over the years I have thought of all kinds of metaphors that may explain this phenomenon. I am reminded that it is a new dawn, or a new day. No matter how painful or dark my situation seems to be, as that sun comes over the horizon everything in my life begins to look and feel different. The new sun symbolizes a new beginning for me. I feel I have gained a new perspective. My internal darkness has dissolved into new light and I am comforted.

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Affirmations and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – The Christian Church

The church as we know it came about when one group of believers was opposed by a dissenting group. Then it became necessary for each group to define their concepts of Christianity and to label all others heretics.

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Celebrating God’s Light: A Progressive Christian Solstice

This past year, at my congregation on Cape Cod, we began to celebrate the seasons of the year as part of our affirmation of this good Earth. Our congregation’s proximity to the ocean sensitizes us to the …

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John Shelby Spong: Separating the Fourth Gospel

John Shelby Spong gives an introduction and brief explication of his 5 day lecture series hosted by the Department of Religion, in the Hall of Philosophy.

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John Shelby Spong – The Mother of Jesus: A Symbol of Judaism

John Shelby Spong explains how the 4th Gospel creates a symbol from the presence of Christ’s mother. This is the fourth lecture of a five lecture series.

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John Shelby Spong – Johannian Characters: Literary Creatures

John Shelby Spong continues his 5 day lecture series. He explains the colorful characters who hold dual purpose in the fourth Gospel.

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John Shelby Spong: The Cross in John: Not Tragedy But Triumph

John Shelby Spong concludes his five day lecture series by explaining the Crucifixion in the fourth Gospel. This event was hosted by the department of religion and took place on June 27, 2014.

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John Shelby Spong: Fourth Gospel Warns Against Literal Reading

John Shelby Spong explains the importance of reading the 4th Gospel with out being a literal. Hosted by the Department of Religion, this event is part 2 of 5 and was held on June 24, 2014.

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Affirmations and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – Grace and Salvation

For Christians grace is God’s gift of pardon. According to William Barclay the Greek word for grace was originally a military term. When an emperor came to the throne or celebrated a birthday, he would give his troops a donatirim (donation), which was a free gift that they had not earned; it was given out of the goodness of the emperor’s heart. This idea was picked up by the Christian scripture writers when they wrote about the grace of God. Grace is something that is unearned and undeserved – unmerited pardon.

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