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Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization

For generations, the Bible has been employed by settler colonial societies as a weapon to dispossess Indigenous and racialized peoples of their lands, cultures, and spiritualties.  Given this devastating legacy, many want nothing to do with it.  But is it possible for the exploited and their allies to reclaim the Bible from the dominant powers?

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Black Madonna: A Womanist Look at Mary of Nazareth

The figure of the Virgin Mary comes loaded with baggage and preconceptions. She is usually depicted as the perfect, obedient, and highly esteemed woman, much like the Victorian notion of the “”angel in the house.”” For many black women, nothing could be more inaccessible. This book considers the relationship between African American women and Mary of Nazareth.

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June 14, 2020: Sunday Sermon by: The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II preaches at The Washington National Cathedral on June 14, 2020

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The Scorn of Those Who Are At Ease

I’ve been spending a lot of time with psalm 123 lately. The church I attend had a session on the theology of mental illness and this psalm speaks directly to the mindset behind the stigma that so many, like me, with serious mental illness confront.

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“The Great Commission” Birthed White Supremacy! – Trinity Sunday Sermon

How did we get here? All over the world people are marching in the streets proclaiming, “Black lives matter.” Millions have defied the fear of the corona virus, and taken their lives into their hands to venture out into the streets to protest the systemic racism that permeates institutions all over this planet.

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Pentecost, Prejudice, and Pandemic

I feel like we are being strangled, the life choked from us – disbelief, sorrow, fear, rage. Violence in the streets, jails, and cages at our border, targeting black and brown men, women, and children; a virus stalking us all, turning familiar comforts into threats.

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The Place of Faith and its Relationship to Science

Some people are highly devotional because it is scary having one’s paradigm shattered. This is to be exposed to the chaos of one’s own mind (the devil!). It is much easier to cling to the established artifacts of one’s own thinking then to fall into the pit of chaos. Most people would rather die than admit that the belief system/paradigm that they have carried most or all their life is wrong in spite of proof of error time and time again.

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The Ending of Mark’s Gospel

The Key to Understanding the Gospels and Christianity

Scholarship and determined exploration of ancient sources for the canonical gospel of Mark has brought great rewards for the writer and readers of The Ending of Mark’s Gospel.

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Why Religion and Politics Cannot Be Separated

As long as we treat Biblical and political statements as distinct, we have given up the power of the divine message.

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Beyond Atonement Theology

Letting Go of the Mantra: "Jesus died for our sins"

Within the world of progressive Christianity, it is amazing how the Christian faith, supported by the Christian Church, has continued over the decades and centuries to teach and preach the mantra: Jesus died for our sins.  It would be hard to measure the hurtful guilt and pain this teaching has caused God-fearing Christians over the years.

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Luther and the Bible

The fact of the matter is that although Luther turned to the Bible in order to attack church doctrine, he turned to it as he interpreted it. He never believed it to be inerrant.

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What Ancient Thinkers Can Teach Us About the Human – Divine Relationship

The framework of ancient virtue theory, with its emphasis on character and the life of each human being as a whole, also formed a backdrop for the Synoptic Gospels. It is against this background that the figure of Jesus can be analyzed as an exemplar of the ideal moral person.

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Why do we still pay attention to the Bible in 2020?

I consider the Bible to be the story of one particular segment of world culture’s interaction with the Divine over time. The story begins with one insular clan relating to the Divine in all the ways complex and fallible humans do, getting some ideas right and misunderstanding others.

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Support Progressive Christian Curriculum!

Will you join us in making a difference for children all over the world? Today, children are seriously undernourished when it comes to spirituality. They are often either taught dogma in Sunday School or secularism at home …

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Bible Study, A Wholistic Approach

I (try to) lead an hour or so Bible Study before each of my two-Sundays-a- month preaching gigs… and am amazed at (and grateful for) their participation, receptivity, and curiosity… about the coming Sunday’s texts. How can I offer a more systematic, “remedial,” wholistic approach to the great Biblical stories, promises and callings? 

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Easter Service with United Methodist Church Santa Rosa

Rev. Lori Sawdon Easter Service from First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa
on behalf of Rev. Lindsey Bell-Kerr, Christ Church Methodist of Santa Rosa

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Women Teachers and the Resurrection

Christianity has a long history of oppressing women, but the Easter story shows us how inauthentic that is to the Gospel.

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The Miracle of Easter

Traditional Christianity has missed the point of the Easter story.  The miracle on Easter wasn’t that Jesus was physically or spiritually raised to sit at God’s right hand until he could one day return to judge humanity.  The miracle was his followers recognizing that they could continue to proclaim the message of God’s Reign on this earth even once Jesus had been crucified.

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