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We should be preaching a deeper knowledge of the Bible

In my studies of the ancient Israelites, I am learning that the Israelites were very possibly Canaanites broken away from the various sites of Canaanite cities and that the DNA test of Canaanites skeletons reveals that the Israelites did not kill off the Canaanites but rather the Canaanites moved to Lebanon.

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Salvation as a Mechanical Process: Do Christians Need to Believe that Jesus Died for their Sins?

This book demonstrates that there are alternatives for understanding Jesus’ execution that are consistent with the twentieth- and twenty-first-century understanding of our physical world. In fact, the early Christian writers (including the Bible itself) described these alternatives. “Sacrifice” was only one form of the early Christian narrative explaining the death of Jesus.

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Rediscovering the Authentic Paul

Paul and Jesus.  The life, mission, and writings of the Apostle Paul loom large over the Christian Church.  Whatever our personal opinion of Paul, after Jesus, he remains the major personality in the growth and shaping of the early church.  His contribution to Christianity is immeasurable by virtually any standard.

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Jesus Was Different

I have come to realize how different Jesus was and that his life before his baptism was the foundation for what became Christianity. Although his mission began suddenly when he was about 30, his previous experience must have provided the motivation for what he said and did.

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The Bible and Climate Change

Part One

It’s Part One of Salt Project’s two-part series, “The Bible and Climate Change” — rethinking scripture from the ground up in the face of the greatest global challenge in human history. In this episode, we start with Genesis, and uncover how “climate change” — though it’s never mentioned in the Bible — is on virtually every page.

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The term Son of God

I have a question about the relationship of Progressive Christianity and Jesus.

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I AM, You ARE, We ARE the Good Shepherd

Psalm 23 and John 10

“The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want” or,“A song for LOVE’s sake: When our LOVE’s the guide by-my-side, I want for nothing.”

The translations of this ancient Hebrew hymn may be separated by centuries, but both the English translators of King James and the American Rabbi Jamie Arnold seek to move us deeply into the inner workings of our being.

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Freeing Jesus From the Gospel Narrative

My faith journey has bypassed many traditional teachings and doctrines in recent years. While doing so has led to joy and freedom, it also involved pain in that one is leaving what was once thought to be true and satisfying. While some of my recent studies have enlightened me for my most recent understanding, I don’t recall reading any author expressing the same analysis, although I am sure others have.

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The Date of Mark’s Gospel

Mark wrote his gospel in Rome in about 52 AD. Such an early date is very much a minority view these days, but the more I investigated the matter the more convinced I became. The date is important because if Mark wrote only about twenty years after Jesus’ crucifixion it supports the essential truthfulness of his account.

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Choose Your Parade: The 8th Point of Progressive Christianity

On Palm Sunday, there were two parades: one representing oppressive Roman Imperial Theology and one representing the compassion and selfless love of the Reign of God. Join Co-Executive Director of ProgressiveChristianity.org Rev. Dr. Caleb J Lines as he talks about the 8th Point of Progressive Christianity in relation to Palm Sunday.

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Time to Vaccinate Ourselves Against the Infection of Atonement Theology

From within this pandemic wilderness of Lent, we must prepare ourselves to enter our second Holy Week in lockdown. At a time, when so much of our focus revolves around the hope generated by the arrival of vaccines, it occurs to me that we would do well to remember to vaccinate ourselves against more than just COVID.

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The Ending of Luke’s Gospel

I have been thinking about the ending of Luke’s gospel. Luke’s ending (24:1-53) is based on Mark’s ending (16:1-20) and is a modified and magnified version of it. When this is realized one can work out how Luke’s ending developed into its final form. Also one needs to understand that during this period of development a pro-Peter group had become powerful in Rome.

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Resurrection Logic: How Jesus’ First Followers Believed God Raised Him from the Dead

Death does not speak the final word. Resurrection does. Christianity stands or falls with this central confession: God raised Jesus from the dead.

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Resurrection: Conversations with Matthew Fox & Bruce Chilton

Listen to Matthew Fox and Bruce Chilton as they explore the meaning of Easter in a two-session event hosted by Cameron Trimble. These conversations were recorded and are available now for purchase.

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Faith and Free Will

While you can choose to believe in anything, I think faith requires a little more structure. Something more rigid. Something with tradition and maybe even ritual. Something with, God forbid, rules. For a while the faith we choose, or make up, is dependent on the limits of our knowledge, culture and experience, so that faith, definitively chosen, or made up, limits our expression of free will as it imposes on us rules not to be violated.

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Donkey Wisdom for Palm Sunday

Jesus may have been humble. But in the last couple of months, I’ve learned a thing or two about donkeys. And I can say this: Jesus wasn’t humble because he rode into town on a donkey. A donkey is as noble an animal as any horse.

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Jesus and Mary Magdalene

A close reading of the gospels, particularly the crucifixion and resurrection accounts, suggests that Mary Magdalene had a prominent role in the ministry of Jesus.  Indeed, she was often referred to as “the apostle to the apostles.”

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Understanding Easter

Even as we consider all the facts, the basic story that emerges is quite simple. The disciples were re-born while they lived with Jesus, and his death neither deterred nor discouraged them.  Instead, they turned to one another and embraced, fully aware in their hearts that he was not only still with them, but also that the newness he embodied embraced the universe. This was the bedrock of their faith and forms the foundation for the day we call Easter.

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