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Prepared for National Radio of New Zealand

You have become the most widely known person in the world. And this in spite of the fact that, as my six-year old granddaughter said a few years ago, ‘You don’t hear much about Jesus these days!’

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Prophecy and the Book of Revelation: A Case for Preterism

The events and characters that are described in Revelation are infused with a certain fundamental archetypal significance that can be applied to a wide array of individuals and situations—including ones in the present-day.

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Living by Faith (Hab. 3:15-19; Luke 18:1-8)

Faith is not about getting our doctrines right. Nobody gets the doctrines right. It’s about doing the right things.

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One in the Spirit: Trinity Sunday

Matthew 16:13-28; Romans 6:5-11 This commentary is going directly through Matthew without regard for the traditional Christian liturgical year, so will not skip to the end of the gospel to Jesus’ “great commission” to “make followers of …

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Whatever Happened to “Love your Enemies”? 3rd Sunday in Eastertide Year A

Sea Raven juxtaposes recent military events with the Gospel to make an eye-opening point about the cost of retributive justice.

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Jesus Before Christianity

In 1976, Albert Nolan published a brilliant study of the man from Galilee. Thirty-five years on, Jesus Before Christianity still demands our attention.

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Reclaiming the Victory: Easter Sunday 2011

Jesus is seriously dead.  None of the rest of it makes any sense otherwise.

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Courage, Freedom and the Spring Holidays

Constituencies of two distinct religious traditions joined in and by their pasts have been engaged this week in observances honoring their shared mythology.

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The Secret Code: Revealed to Infants: 4th Sunday in Lent

The secret is, God’s covenantal justice is distributive.  No being in the great matrix of the universe is left out.  Matthew’s Jesus didn’t get it either.

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Counter the Culture: Palm Sunday 2011

Romans 12 and Matthew 10 are put to critical scrutiny to leave aside conventional notions of piety and sacrifice in favor of truly subversive ideas concerning grace and distributive justice.

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Think Globally, Act Locally: First Sunday in Lent

Creation liturgist Sea Raven juxtaposes the thinking of Matthew and Paul for her first article of the lenten season. 

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The New Orthodoxy

I’d like to make something clear upfront, here. I’m not completely orthodox. I have some beliefs that don’t mix well with older forms of Christian thought, even if they’re often times congruent with some of the oldest forms (for instance, I’m a universalist). I’m not saying this, however, in order to earn your accolades; I’m saying it because, generally, if I want much of today’s American church–at least Mainline and Emergent–to take me seriously, I feel I have to make such a profession of heresy. Heresy has become the new orthodoxy.

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Ask, Seek, Knock: Fifth Sunday in Epiphany

Sea Raven’s inspired historical-critical reading of Jesus’ thought welcomes us into the past and present struggle to bring about a divine commonwealth. 

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Does the Historical Jesus Matter? Testing good theology

This coming weekend will be marked by a 25th anniversary gathering and celebration for the important scholarly enterprise known as the Jesus Seminar. A good time to ask what difference it makes when the Jesus of history turns out to be considerably more interesting than the myth-encrusted Christ created by the church over the centuries. Or does it make any difference at all?

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Religionless Religion: Beyond Belief to Understanding

In these perilous times when the very survival of the human species is at stake, there is a desperate need for wisdom to provide guidance. The sacred literature of the world’s major religious traditions is a source for such wisdom, but it has largely been misinterpreted and misunderstood, and, thus, instead of being a source for wisdom, it has been a source for confusion and conflict. The ancient scriptures, for the most part, were written in a language which is quite different from ordinary language. It is a mythological language, which is symbolic, and therefore its meaning is hidden. In the Bible, for example, there are many narratives that appear to be historical, but they are history that has been mythologized, and therefore their surface meaning is not their real meaning. Clyde Edward Brown clearly illustrates that the correct interpretation of the world’s religious texts would lead to a different concept of religion. Instead of belief in the literal truth of texts that have been misinterpreted, the emphasis would be on having those religious values, such as social and economic justice, which are common to all religions.

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Women Healing Women: A Model of Hope for Oppressed Women Everywhere

Much has been written on the plight of women in Indian society, but this book presents an effective practical response to the appalling injustices – and a model of hope for agencies and programs for oppressed women around the world. This book recounts the true story of “Maher”, a remarkable project and centre for battered women and children located near Pune, India. Founded in 1997, the project has provided refuge to more than 1250 women, half of whom might otherwise have been murdered, committed suicide, or starved to death. Maher is an interfaith community that honours all religions and strongly repudiates caste distinctions – making it a rare beacon shining new hope upon some of the gravest problems in India and around the world. The book is rich with stories – poignant first-hand accounts by women and children whose lives have been transformed by the Maher project. Later chapters explore the larger implications of this pioneering work, with guidance for implementing similar projects elsewhere. Written in a concise narrative style, “Women Healing Women in India” is an easy and compelling read.

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Correcting Jesus: 2000 Years of Changing The Story

In Correcting Jesus, Brian Griffith patiently and clearly untangles the many strands of the story of Christianity, and the many changes made over the centuries to the original story of Jesus and his message. For any reader who’s wondered, “Where did that rule come from?” and “Was it always this way?” Brian’s book is the one you’ve waited for. He’s always passionate but direct in his thesis that the original words of Jesus were meant as a basis for a society based on partnership and equity, not the one of domination and hierarchy they’re used so often to justify.

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Questions for the Rabbi and the Pastor

A son returning from college talks with his father about his course on Religion…

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