Wounded Healers

Henri once wrote that the “J. M.” in the middle of his name could stand for “Just Me.” He believed that the minister (again, every Christian) was called to live a life offered to others. The autobiography or memoir is said to have first appeared in The Confessions of Saint Augustine, and spiritual autobiography has long had a place as a means of doing theology. I lead workshops and retreats on spiritual autobiographical writing, encouraging participants to tell their stories.

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Resurrection Reflections

Dogs Barking in the Distance

I still remember the existential gut wrenching I felt when I first read John Dominic Crossan’s assertion that underneath the resurrection story that cracks like holy thunder on Easter morning was the more likely scenario that the crucified body of Jesus was probably consumed by wild dogs.

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A Year After the Non-Apocalypse: Where Are They Now?

For a while, their message was everywhere. They paid for billboards, took out full-page ads in newspapers, distributed thousands of tracts. They drove across the county in RVs emblazoned with verses from the books of Revelation and …

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The Forest v. The Faithful: A Born-Again Environmentalist Tells All

Brenda Peterson is a nature writer, born into a family that believed that we are living in the end times. We talk to her about her Southern Baptist background, what fundamentalists and environmentalists have in common, and about her new memoir, I Want to Be Left Behind.

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Odyssey on the Sea of Faith: The Life & Writings of Don Cupitt

In Odyssey on the Sea of Faith, Nigel Leaves maps the ways in which the ideas of Don Cupitt have developed, evolved, and changed — from mildly evangelical, to liberal, to leading exponent of the view that there is no God out there and that we must create new religious ways of be-ing. This book makes sense of Cupitt. For those interested in the ideas of Don Cupitt, it will be the authoritative resource for many years to come.

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Obama Says His Faith Informed His Support for Gay Marriage

In his interview with ABC News, released just this afternoon, President Obama said that his faith played a role in his decision to finally endorse same-sex marriage. He noted that he and his wife Michelle “are both practicing Christians,” …

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Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch’s Buddhist Spirituality Permeated His Life And Music

UPDATE: News outlets have confirmed that Yauch’s death was from cancer. Adam Yauch, the Beastie Boys member who went by the stage name MCA, had long practiced Tibetan Buddhism before his death, which was announced Friday in several …

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United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities Elects New President, Barbara A. Holmes will assume post in July

NEW BRIGHTON, MN (March 28, 2012)—United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities has announced the election of the Reverend Dr. Barbara A. Holmes of Memphis, Tennessee as its eighth president. The seminary’s Board of Trustees confirmed Holmes’ …

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Moses: A Stranger Among Us

This is a book about the Moses we don’t usually hear about – not in religious school or from the pulpit.

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Inventing Jesus: An Interview with Bart Ehrman

It was Jesus of Nazareth, not of Nashville, or New York, or…

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Some musical tips for a religious season

Music is, to my mind, the purest form of artistic expression, even when, as in most of these religious works I am examing, it is wedded to Biblical texts and thus tied implicitly to the doctrinal expressions of faith they proclaim.

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The Temple of God’s Wounds

Every Holy Week for many years I have travelled to The Temple of God’s Wounds, a small book written in 1951 by the Anglican Bishop of Bombay, ‘Will Quinlan’ nee William Quinlan Lash, a mystic.

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Matters of the Heart: Heart of Stone

One could say the whole of the biblical tradition is actually a story about the matters of the heart. And at the heart of the gospel message is a tradition that reminds us time and again — with very human stories — what can turn the heart to stone.

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No Ordinary Time

A New Book from Author Jan Phillips A Book of Hours for a Prophetic Age Jan Phillips’ Book of Hours is a tapestry of threads from the arts, science, sacred texts and her own mystical poetry. It …

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On Being Spiritual, Not Religious

The Holy Ordinary

The kinds of stories the Galilean spirit/sage spins become sacred stories, but not because they have been canonized by any religious authority. Rather, they are extra-ordinarily spiritual tales because they are stories about the sacredness of the ordinary life as revealed to us by the one who taught with a different kind of inner authority. It’s what makes ordinary life so undeniably, unavoidably, deeply, and essentially spiritual. And It is also why ordinary people are as reluctant to relinquish their claim to be “spiritual,” in the most profound sense of the word; just as adamantly as they disavow being “religious,” in the worst sense of that word.

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A Call for Transformation. My Occupy Seattle Port Arrest.

Yesterday evening, I was brutally beaten by my brothers on the Seattle Police force as I stood before an entrance to Pier 18 of the Seattle Port in my clergy garb bellowing, “Keep the Peace! Keep the Peace!”  An officer pulled me down from behind and threw me to the asphalt.  Between my cries of pain and shouts of “I’m a man of peace!” he pressed a knee to my spine and immobilized my arms behind my back, crushing me against the ground.  With the right side of my face pressed to the street, he repeatedly punched the left side of my face for long enough that I had time to pray that the crunching sounds I heard were not damaging my brain.  I was cuffed and pulled off the ground by a different officer who seemed genuinely appalled when he saw my face and clerical collar. He asked who I was and why I was here, to which I replied, “I’m a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I believe another world is possible.”  He led me shaking to a police van where began a 12-hour journey of incarcerated misery. 

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Shared Sacrifice, Shared Reward

“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics,” said Plutarch, the 1st century Roman historian. Our country may not be on its deathbed, but surely we are now experiencing the pain of a serious sickness in our democracy.

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