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A Man Called Jesus

A Novel Revised and Annotated

Have you ever wondered about Nazareth as a place to live in the first century? How about Jesus the miracle worker: how did he do the great deeds reported of him in the New Testament? “A Man Called Jesus” answers those questions and more.

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Neither Good nor Bad

As violence and division erupt here at home and around the world, we are forced again to ask of ourselves: who are we? What is the essential nature of human beings? Are we inclined to do good, or are we bound to pursue what might be named evil? Good, or bad? A seemingly simple question but one that drags in its wake a multitude of ramifications that are not so simple.

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A Painter, a Thief, Mary Magdalen, and the Divine Mirror

I’ve always assumed that the grief Mary Magdalen expresses at Jesus’ tomb had a particularity to it. We know that he had cast seven demons out of her and that she supported his ministry out of her own purse. I do not know what it is like to be a woman 2,000 years ago who was the village demoniac, but I cannot imagine it was a pleasure.

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Tribalism was the Actual “Fall” of Mankind: It is High Time for us to Get Up

What has always “tainted” mankind and kept people from living ethical, inclusive, and caring lives? The answer is what drives our contemporary enormous cultural divide:  Bad choices often rooted in tribal-based anger and hatred.

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Why don’t we educate our people to understand our Jewish roots?

Am I the only one out here who makes sure my people understand the Eucharist/Lord’s Supper/Communion service has its roots in the Passover story and that the words Jesus spoke would have been the motzi and the hagafen?

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Did Paul Distort the Message of Jesus?

Christianity before Paul.  In order to explore the question of Paul distorting the message of Jesus, we need to ask the question, What was Christianity like before Paul, which would be in the early decades after Jesus’ death?  Paul wrote his letters from approximately 51-62 CE (Common Era).  Therefore, in the thirties and forties CE, what was the Jesus movement like?

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Women in the Bible for Progressive Christians

Women make up over one-half of the world’s population, yet throughout history women have been kept out of power; they have been oppressed and disregarded, and have often had their stories ignored. This is a tragedy not only for women but for all humankind, because we all have much to gain by hearing one another’s stories, and by experiencing one another in all of our rich fullness – not from a preconceived notion that one group or sex is superior to another.

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Study & Worship for Progressive Churches: Birth of Jesus

“In these pages, regardless of how the story has been heard before, there is room for seven year olds and 70 year olds to grow and learn. I’m going to use this book with my congregation.”

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Study & Worship for Progressive Churches: Creation

Behind all the creation stories there is a basic assumption that God was involved; the “how” of it was a secondary concern to the original writers. If you’ve used Donald Schmidt’s “for Progressive Christians” study guides with the adults in your congregation and have wanted to include all ages within your church, now you can! “Creation: Study and Worship for Progressive Churches” makes the vision of whole congregation sharing not only possible, but easy.

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Revelation for Progressive Christians: A Seven Session Study Guide

Revelation for Progressive Christians is a seven-session study guide that invites readers to explore Revelation as a fun, hope-filled book that contains a lot of fanciful imagery and symbolic references, to be sure, but that at its core, offers words of assurance and hope to the church and its people today.

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The Gospel of Thomas

How important and relevant is the Gospel of Thomas in our continuing search for the real Jesus? How does it help us to interpret his message and mission?

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The Uproar Over Goodness

When 'original sin' becomes a get-out-of-jail-free card

I’ve been thinking about sin and evil in recent days.

That’s somewhat unusual for me. But it is difficult to avoid the daily news assault of people treating others badly, political treachery and revenge, random and meaningless gun violence, and racial and ethnic hatreds tearing nations apart. Sin and evil are on full display.

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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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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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Who is Jesus today?

Distinguishing the Pre-Easter from the Post-Easter Jesus

The pre-Easter Jesus is the historical Jesus, the Jesus before his crucifixion and the experience of Easter Sunday.  He is the Jesus of history, the Jesus who grew up in the peasant village of Nazareth and who, around the age of thirty, launched a public ministry that changed the world.  However, trying to unpack who this Jesus was as an historical person is a daunting task. 

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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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