Counter-Imperial Churching for a Planetary Gospel: Radical Discipleship for Today

“We live in an era that requires us to radicalize what ‘church’ means.” So writes Timothy Murphy, who argues that “church” should no longer be a noun, an entity, or an object, but rather an activity—what he calls churching; that is, a process of practicing discipleship with others in the way of Jesus.

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Question: Why Can’t—or Won’t—the Church Change? Answer: THEISM

I don’t think it’s any secret that the institutional church, especially in developed countries, is dying. The worst part: the leaders don’t seem to know how to revitalize it. What are your feelings?

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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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The Once and Future Scriptures: Exploring the Role of the Bible in the Contemporary Church

Can we learn to take the Bible seriously without taking it literally, to be honest about its historical, literary and religious character? Can the Bible serve as a source of faith, hope, and wisdom? In this book, academic theologians engage in a public conversation about the kind of Bible we have. This is not a book of answers, but a dialogue about topics such as the relationship between science and religion, the authority of scripture, and the impact of critical biblical scholarship on liturgy.

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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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Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity

By David M. Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy

Bringing together the voices of top Bible scholars and church leaders —including Marcus Borg, Diana Butler Bass, John Dominic Crossan, Helen Prejean, and John Shelby Spong—pastors David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy present a lively and stimulating tour of what it means to be a “progressive” Christian. Based on the bestselling DVD course of the same name, Living the Questions explores matters many churches are afraid to address including the humanity of Jesus and homosexuality, and examines in a new light traditional faith topics such as the Bible, atonement, salvation, the rapture, and more.

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Going to Church

In an honest and often blunt assessment of the Church she loves and longs to move forward into the 21st century, Susan Flanders looks at Christianity and her Church through the background of her own life. In her own journey as priest, wife, and mother she reflects on the great challenges that the Church has faced and continues to face and she also poses some of the changes it must make if it is to be a relevant force in today’s world.

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Where progressive Christianity is going from here

As progressive Christianity has absorbed the Emergent label it has inherited a tension between those two macro factions. Mainly, those who still see Jesus as ontologically unique in comparison to every other human ever to live — and those who don’t.

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Four tips on deepening engagement

It’s a long step from having one’s name on a church roster to being deeply engaged in that faith community.

An engagement rate of 100% is unreachable. But the current engagement rate of maybe 25% isn’t working out well – for constituents or for churches. Many people want more, but they find engagement elusive, especially when Sunday worship is the only avenue offered. They want significant relationships, or direct mission duty, or small group activity. Getting “fannies in the pew,” as one pastor put it, doesn’t accomplish such objectives, even over time.

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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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Church, Inside Out: Tabor Space

Most churches invite people to their church programs in their buildings, and with the space and time they don’t use, they rent to outside groups.

The people of Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church in Portland decided to turn that model on its head – and they created a vibrant community in the process.

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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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4 strategies for breaking the hold of Sunday worship

Yet another change battle is under way in mainline Protestant churches: breaking the hold that Sunday worship has on staffing, budgeting, and overall priorities.

Below are four strategies for doing what needs to be done.

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United Methodist LGBTQI clergy to be present at Judicial Council hearings

Clergy and their supporters attend Judicial Council hearings impacting their ministry, observe liturgical acts of witness

  Members of the United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus (UMQCC) will be present in Newark, NJ, as the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church (UMC) hears several cases concerning the ordination and ministry of lesbian, gay, …

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Politically Correct Triumphalism

History can be a tough teacher for all of us. The Protestant Reformation has had its dark side. We could all easily look at the specks in each others’ eyes while neglecting the boulders in our own. Every church denomination has manifested the full range of human failings. Yes, the Reformers broke new and important ground that has enriched all of us; they also re-discovered many of the same sins all over again and perhaps generated new problems that were not there before. Every new moment begins with freshness and purity. After a while, we see the same old corruption, prejudice, appeals to power, gravitation toward money and political posturing creep into it. The act of reformation has to be ongoing.

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Dealing with Anger

As we know from church conflicts, anger can destabilize a system.

When an angry voice erupts at a gathering, some other voices get angry, too, either because they share the angry person’s anger or because they find the anger repellant and having to deal with it makes them angry.

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LET’S GET LOST: MAPPING RELIGION IN THE 21ST CENTURY

BY SPENCER DEW

All maps are subjective. They frame the selected information they offer to their viewers. By such framing, they tell stories, advance arguments. For those of us who study religion, necessarily concerned with how humans create and employ categories, maps serve as useful examples of that practice—maps on religion, doubly so.

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Robin Meyers, Unity vs Progressive Christianity

Robin Meyers, Unity vs Progressive Christianity

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