Adios, “Dios” – Part I

Saying Goodbye to “God” in Sacred Text

What good is “God?” We know well how much violence is committed in the name of “God.” If we were to delete both our traditional Western word and notion of “god” from both our speech and thinking, what are the implications for such things we ourselves know and experience to be true in our own human experience? I’m talking about conceiving of such things as love, compassion, mercy, grace, reconciliation, forgiveness, even absolution, redemption, and salvation. Part one in this series considers a scripture text considered sacred, but noticeably absent is the presence of any deity.

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Natural disasters and God’s self-restraint

Traditionally, religions offer a God who is omnipotent, all-powerful, almighty, the cosmic sovereign in control of everything.   He/she/it is also said to be all-knowing, omniscient, so he knows not only what he is doing but what everybody and everything else is going to do, and will do, from beginning to end.  This is brave belief of what God is. But is this the sort of God we observe today?

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Civil Disagreements and The Powers That Be

Even though I find redemptive suffering to be horrible theology, it does seem to be the underpinning that 1 Peter’s author is using to encourage Christian slaves to endure the suffering that they are subjected to under their masters. The larger implication, however, is that you are doing it because you are “following in [Jesus’s] footsteps.”

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While Preachers Dutifully Ponder the Doctrine of the Trinity, Our Congregations Shrink???

On Trinity Sundays, mindful of the fact that trying to explain the doctrine of the Trinity usually leads to heresy: dusty theological books that have not seen the light of day since last Trinity Sunday have been poured over to ensure that the formula’s learned in seminary are repeated correctly and heresy scrupulously avoided.

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Bibles in Public Schools

Question:
Why is it that our children can’t read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?

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If There Were To Be A Bible Disclaimer

I am venturing to guess that very few theologically progressive Christians would say that all Bible passages are to be taken literally and viewed strictly as the inerrant and infallible word of God. Some Christians who are already experienced with scripture and those people reading the Bible for the first time may interpret all of what they read as literal concrete fact, ignoring literary nuances related to styles of ancient story telling, metaphor, symbolism, depth of meaning, etc.

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Garden Table Apocalypse | Diana Butler-Bass

  Mike’s note: The following reflection from Diana Butler Bass – an excerpt from her book Grounded: Finding God in the World – is part of a special guest-post series anticipating this November’s Gospel of Peace Conference …

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KBOO Podcast with Bishop John Shelby Spong

A pioneer of the progressive Christian movement, John Shelby Spong, returns for the third time to Progressive Spirit. We discuss his 25th book, Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy.

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Resurrection as Change, Part III: Deleting “God”

The idea of “God” has been problematic for as long as the notion existed. As a result, “God” has admittedly been for me a direction; but neither a destination, nor even a companion along the way any longer. As the poet suggests, if the notion of “god” is directional movement from a former past to the present now, then perhaps it is the time to leave the “G” word behind. What does that mean?

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Understanding the Scriptures

Yes, the idea the Jesus died for our sins, or sinful nature, is really one of the causes for so many people turning their backs on Christianity today.

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Robin Myers Interview – What is the most important Aspect of progressive Christianity?

Robin Myers Interview – What is the most important Aspect of progressive Christianity?

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Interpreting “The Great Commission”

The “whole world” is a big place (today we know our universe is made up of two trillion galaxies!) so there is plenty of space to roam in. While Matthew’s “Great Commission” talks about teaching the commandments Jesus has taught, at the heart of these are love of God and love of neighbor and vice versa. Our neighbor is not restricted to the two-legged ones, but all creation deserves to hear that humans are busy loving all creatures–not destroying other creatures in narcissistic fits of greed and violence that end whole species while endangering human generations that follow with a depleted earth.

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What is the Bible?

How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything

New York Times bestselling author Rob Bell provides surprising insights and answers about how the Bible actually works as a source of inspiration, showcasing a brand new way of reading this sacred text.

Diving deep into scripture, Bell explains the worst question we can ask of a text (“Why did God…?”) and the best question to ask (“Why did people find this important to write down?”) to discover how the Good Book can best guide us today.

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I’m Falling in Love—with John

John is complicated. He was part of a school whose members were Jewish. By the time we see John in the public arena, the Jesus movement had been expelled from Judaism. The gentiles had taken over, and, most of the time, they read the Gospels as literal truth. They did not, and still don’t, understand the Jewish way of telling their religious history, which is full of metaphors, cultural innuendos, secret sayings, and mysticism.

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Easter? It’s Up to You!

Think for a minute about what you admire most about the life of Jesus. He was a person of profound compassion, bringing good news to the poor and healing to the brokenhearted. He reached out to everyone who had been wounded by life, including those who had been wounded by organized religion. He transcended ethnicity, race, religion, gender and status in society. Instead of judgment, he brought understanding. Instead of revenge, he brought forgiveness. And in the face of power, he brought courage for justice and fairness and respect for all people. Most of all, he brought a profound sense of hope, believing that betrayal and violence do not have the last word. Nor do our personal disappointments and heartaches. As long as love beats inside the human heart, then a new humanity is possible. That’s the Easter message we celebrate today.

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Jesus, A New Adam

Jesus is the “new Adam”—not the innocent and perfect and beautiful Ken and Barbie doll of Adam and Eve.

For me as a progressive Christian, Jesus is the “new Adam”—not the innocent and perfect and beautiful (and initially sexless) Ken and Barbie doll of Adam and Eve; rather the tried and tested, unappealing and vulnerable and wounded one, acquainted with sorrows and grief, the bearer of the sins and injustices of the world—political, religious, and personal. Treasonous and blasphemous, betrayable and deniable, because compassion was all he held dear.

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Aaron Hernandez’s Hail Mary Pass with John 3:16

Former Patriot tight-end Aaron Hernandez’s suicide leaves us with more questions than answer. Many wonder what were Hernandez’s last dying words expressed in the three handwritten notes to loved ones left next to a Bible in his cell. CBS Boston reports he conveyed “I love you and please don’t cry.”

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Resurrection as Change, Part II

The Emmaus Experience of Transformation

The Emmaus legend is about both the inevitability of change and the possibility of transformation. … In all the swift and varied changes of this world, the elusive goal of converting hearts and minds remains optional.

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