What “exactly” is an atheist?

Just as the term “believer” means very different things to those who use it, so do to does the word “atheist” include a wide set of definitions.

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum, Year Two, Ages 6-10, FOR IN-HOME

In A Joyful Path, Year Two, we focused on some of the main tenets of Progressive Christianity and Spirituality, giving our children the foundation they need to understand the basics of this path, to clarify their own personal beliefs and be able to discuss those with others, while at the same time showing what it means to walk the path of Jesus in today’s world.

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum, Year Two, Ages 6-10, For SMALL GROUPS

In A Joyful Path, Year Two, we focused on some of the main tenets of Progressive Christianity and Spirituality, giving our children the foundation they need to understand the basics of this path, to clarify their own personal beliefs and be able to discuss those with others, while at the same time showing what it means to walk the path of Jesus in today’s world.

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum Year One – Full PDF

Are you searching for a way to connect children with an authentic spiritual experience that is inter-spiritual, creative and multi-layered? A Joyful Path is truly progressive Christian curriculum that is inclusive, joy-full, compassionate, and intelligent.

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Making The World A Better Place

Restoration of a Vision from the Christian Faith Tradition

What might constitute an adequate improvement to the world order? This commentary constitutes an exploration of this pesky, perennial question about “a better world” from the vantage point of one faith tradition, and in contemporary context. Its intention is not to offer novelty or any new revelatory insight, but rather to remember and restore a perspective that lies at the heart of a biblical gospel tradition; based on the teachings of a pre-Easter human Jesus.

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A Conversation With an Atheist Friend

When two people respond to each other in empathetic ways, love enters the relationship from a space that is between them.

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Perfecting Love

If God is love, then God is something we do, rather than somebody or something we try to believe in. If God is love, then God is a relationship, and not a Guy in the Sky or some other kind of supernatural entity. If God is love, God is nothing to fear. If God is love, when we really love someone – even of another religion, or of no religion at all – God is in that relationship, blessing it. So these three words wipe away all the theological debates about science and common sense versus religion. These three words sweep away the problem of evil, the perennial conundrum of how an all-powerful God could love people while allowing horrible things to happen to them. If God is love, then God is not in charge of the universe. Love is extremely powerful, but it is not directive. Love does not force anybody to do anything, nor to force anything to do anything to anybody. If God is love, then God is omni-attractive, not omni-potent.

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How does a progressive Christian exist with no Christian community?

How does a progressive Christian exist with no Christian community of support even from clergy who certainly do discuss modernized theology? It certainly is a lonely vigil. 

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Getting Started Suggested Reading List

We are often asked by readers for a reading list for those who want to learn more about Progressive Christianity. Below are some suggestions to get you started:

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God: The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World

In the modern age science has been winning its centuries—old battle with religion for the mind of man. The evidence has long seemed incontrovertible: Life was merely a product of blind chance—a cosmic roll of an infinite number of dice across an eternity of time. Slowly, methodically, scientists supplied answers to mysteries insufficiently explained by theologians. Reason pushed faith off into the shadows of mythology and superstition, while atheism became a badge of wisdom. Our culture, freed from moral obligation, explored the frontiers of secularism. God was dead.

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Building community around humanistic values.

Would it be fair for me to promote the notion that you – a self-declared atheist leading a United Church of Canada congregation – and your church are generally promoting humanist values as well as providing the community benefits that churches normally provide?

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Progressing Spirit

An inclusive and pioneering exploration of Theology, Spirituality and Current Events

With thousands of subscribers around the globe, Progressing Spirit is the world’s leading outlet for an intelligent, inclusive, and pioneering exploration of today’s theological, spiritual, and social advancements.

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My response to “Is Quakerism Becoming a Christianity Without Christ?”

By Cap Kaylor on March 16, 2018

In a recent post (3/16/18) on Progressive Christianity, Cap Kaylor asked: “Is Quakerism Becoming a Christianity Without Christ?” He is worried that Quakerism is in a serious decline and is in danger of withering away. He says, “I have come to share the now widely held conclusion that unless the current trajectory is reversed, liberal Quakerism is headed for extinction.” I should note that Kaylor is writing from the perspective of an unprogrammed (silent worship, no ministers) Quaker and not a programmed (speaking, music, and minsters) Quaker. Worldwide only 11% of Quaker Meetings are unprogrammed.

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Christians As Truth Seekers and Agnostics

Christianity should encourage and honor the ongoing search for truth. This requires tolerating absence of certainty and respect for emerging scientific knowledge, which leads to updated understanding of human rights and morality. Lessing’s statement about the true value of a person should reflect the view of all who follow the Judeo-Christian tradition, for it focuses on devotion to God through the unending quest for truth rather than holding to cultural idols.

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Playing Favorites

The Problem with Blessings and Curses

“Have a blest day?” What in this world does that mean? Better luck or good karma, instead of bad? In the ancient world, denoting someone as “blest” was a way of expressing a deity’s special favor towards that person. If that sounds quaint, there are still plenty of people today who believe they can curry favor or improve the odds of achieving more blessings than curses; while politicians routinely conclude their speeches by invoking the Almighty to bless the good ‘ol USA. There’s just one problem. It doesn’t work.

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Is the sense of self an illusion?

Would you comment from your Christian perspective on the Buddhist assertion that we have no separate self or separate existence because we cannot understand who we are without understanding who we aren’t, and our separate existence is known only because of everything we are? Is the sense of self an illusion?

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Was Einstein a Theist?

…though linguistically, “being” an a-theist (atheist) should be the same thing as not being a theist, this clearly is not always the case. Indeed, even the renowned Unitarian Humanist John H. Dietrich made this very claim: that is, that because he considered himself open minded about the possibility of there being a god he was not an atheist. Though because he saw no evidence for a god, he was not a theist. Dietrich falls victim to the mental contortion of equating denial of existence with proof of non-existence, what he felt was the definition of atheist.

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Presence and Process

While the Christian church in 21st century North America is experiencing decline, interest in Buddhist-derived Mindfulness meditation is on the rise. Yet Christianity also has a rich meditative/contemplative tradition.

This book is an exploration of meditative/contemplative practices in both Christian and Buddhist contexts, emphasizing their areas of affinity. Common characteristics and effects of meditative/contemplative practices are defined.

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