Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture

A controversial author brilliantly reclaims the Bible from the literal interpretation of fundamentalists

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Faith in the Fog: Making Peace With the Messiness of the Bible

I’ve often wondered if my growing skepticism would eventually lead me to abandon faith altogether.
As it turns out, diving all the way in to my deepest doubts and fears hasn’t led me away from Christianity, but instead has revealed a richness and beauty to the Christian faith I had never known. It now resonates on a much deeper level, and seems to speak more profound truth than it ever did before.

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Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World

For two hundred years, scholars have been analyzing one of the most important books ever written—the Bible—and overturning much of what we once thought we knew. Everyday Christians, however, are not privy to this deeper conversation. It is for these people that renowned bishop and author John Shelby Spong presents Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World, a book designed to take readers into the contemporary academic debate about the Bible.

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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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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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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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A Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey

This unique reflection was prompted by an invitation Matthew Fox received to speak on the centennial of Thomas Merton’s birth. Fox says that much of the trouble he’s gotten into — such as being excommunicated in 1993 from the Dominican Order by Cardinal Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict) — was because of Thomas Merton, who sent Fox to Paris to complete a doctoral program in philosophy. Fox found that Merton’s journals, poetry, and religious writings revealed a deeply ecumenical philosophy and a contemplative life experience similar to that of Meister Eckhart, the fourteenth-century mystic/theologian who inspired Fox’s own “creation spirituality.” It is little surprise to find Fox and Merton to be kindred spirits, but the intersections Fox finds with Eckhart are intellectually profound, spiritually enlightening, and delightfully engaging.

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Progressive Christianity on the concept of hell

That is an excellent question and we progressive Christians really would do well to have some thought out responses when our more evangelical friends ask us about these matters – as well as our agnostic, atheist, and spiritual but not religious friends ask us this same question. As with so many things, progressive Christianity doesn’t have any official stance about this, but it does seem to be the case that most progressive Christians do not have a concept of hell as part of their faith and practice. I cannot speak for all of progressive Christianity, but I can share how this progressive Christian understands things – hell isn’t even part of the Bible and shouldn’t be a part of Christianity. To be blunt about it, let me repeat, Hell isn’t Christian – or Jewish. It’s pagan.

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Why do we assign a gender to God?

I have used the term “God” here several times to explain how we became more patriarchal. But the truth be told, no one has been able to decide where the word God came from or how long ago. The word God is a relatively new European invention, which was never used in any of the ancient Judeo-Christian scripture manuscripts that were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek or Latin. Scholars tend to agree that is was sometime in the 6th century, probably in the Germanic culture and a derivation of the word, gudan.

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Progressive Lectionary

Reading Bishop Spong and Marcus Borg primarily, along with “Ministry Matters” and other readings, has lead me to believe if we attach the “Common Lectionary” to our Hebrew founders (as Bishop Spong has done) we have a better shot at arriving at the inner soul end point we desire.

This Lectionary is based on the belief that the new fundamentals should be taught.

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A Taste of Embrace Festival, 2017

In May 2017, people from all over the world will gather in Portland, Oregon to share knowledge and wisdom, learn from each other, celebrate, be inspired, and find the tools needed to create and enliven local movements within our communities. Together we will explore sacred oneness, Christ consciousness, eco-spirituality, social justice and the way of universal and personal transformation that honors the Divine in all.

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I Am One with the Force; The Force Is with Me — a Star Wars Theology

What can the new Star Wars movie teach us about prayer? You might be surprised.

  Warning: Minor spoilers ahead! I say “minor” because there’s no plot points given away here, I’m just discussing an aspect of a character in the film, but I know some people (like me) don’t like to …

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum Year Two – DVD Version

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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What if Time Has No Beginning and No End? – Video Sermon

Accepting that the world has a beginning and an end leads to a dismissive view of poverty, pollution, warfare, and social classes. While everyone certainly has a right to their personal beliefs about life after death, Muslims, Christians, and Jews must focus on the life that we know and to root our faith in what we can see in front of us. The early church was so confident that Jesus was coming back soon that they ignored many important matters of ethics. We cannot afford to make that mistake.

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The Adventures of a Gay Red-headed Boy in His Search for God

Like the black girl in search of God, this gay red-headed boy’s search has been convoluted and risky. … The gay red-headed boy, in his search for God, now encountered a gay pioneer, who was also, as it turns out, a Hindu scholar.

God is good—and full of surprises.

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The Rising Tide of Immoralities and Illegalities

Taken from just one day of WSJ reporting, these daily headlines point to an increasingly massive breakdown not only of legality but of morality in the highest (and lowest) levels of our country.

Why is this occurring? How did so many get to the point of increasingly having to replace their inner spiritual void with the greed-ridden ingredients of power and money? In addition to countless answers to this question, I offer that we have simply lost our God, and one reason for having so lost, is that our religions are too often failing to provide a meaningful spiritual food for our starving souls.

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First Impressions Interview with John Shelby Spong On “Biblical Literalism as a Gentile Heresy”

A close reading of Matthew’s gospel reveals that a literal understanding of Jesus’s story obscures its deep Jewish roots. John Shelby Spong joins Art Remillard to discuss his new book, Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy. Spong was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark before his retirement in 2000, and he is the author of several books to include Why Christianity Must Change or Die and his autobiography Here I Stand.

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