What do you see as the ideal church?

If you were the moderator of the United Church of Canada with no restrictions… what would the church look like? What do you see as the perfect/ideal United Church of Canada?

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The Gospel Is Not Good News For Everyone

By Alexis James Waggoner for Sojourners

I’ve been operating under a false assumption. An unexamined theology, of my own making, that I have been forced to confront: The gospel is good news, but it is not good news for all. At least not in the way we want it to be.

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Why ‘Works’ Are Necessary

A recent Pew Research Center poll has reopened the old debate about faith vs works–the line of scrimmage of the Protestant Reformation. Whereas Martin Luther and the heirs of the Reformation have always held that it is through faith alone that salvation occurs, many Protestants and Catholics today have a blended view of the role faith and works–at least, according to this poll (“works” is defined differently by different denominations, but could refer to any effort on the part of humankind, whether it is doing good deeds or following any religious prescription that guarantees that God will act a certain way after we do it).

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What Stage of Faith Are You In?

On March 9, David Felten, a Methodist pastor with a congregation in Fountain Hills, Arizona, published “How to Repeal and Replace Christianity’s Addiction to ‘Fake News’ and ‘Alternative Facts.’” He lays out the problems and then suggests a solution that quotes from James Fowler’s book, Stages of Faith (Harpercollins, 1981). I find these six stages very interesting because they answer some basic questions for me, such as why so many people, many well educated, seem stuck in fundamentalist thinking about Christianity.

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Church of Nice or Church of Nasty?

By Fr. Dwight Longenecker

There is much disparaging blather about the modern Catholic Church being the “Church of Nice” but what’s the alternative? Church of Nasty?

The problem with these two extremes is that they really do exist and they reveal the faults of the two sides of Catholicism. The modernists are the Church of Nice while the traditionalists are the Church of Nasty.

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How America Really Lost its Mind: Hint, it wasn’t entirely the fault of Hippie New Agers and Postmodern Academics

By Christopher Douglas

Kurt Andersen in the Atlantic has given us a superb think-piece on how we arrived at our post-truth irrationalism, an American “Fantasyland” dominated by conspiracy theories, paranoia, outlandish ideas, fake news and alternative facts. The new information age accelerated the relativism birthed in the 1960s, Andersen contends, and now we can all mentally furnish our own fantastic dwellings with facts and ideas we want to be true—and we can even find countless likeminded individuals on the Internet who will confirm and embellish our deepest alternate realities.

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Reimagining God: An Interview with Lloyd Geering (part 5 of 5) with Ryan Bell

This week I speak with Sir Lloyd Geering, New Zealand theologian and pioneering Christian post-theist. In 1967, Geering was charged with heresy by the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand. He successfully withstood this challenge and has continued writing and speaking about religion and holy texts as a human constructions and words like “God” and “faith” as referents of human self-understanding and growth. He is the author of many books and articles, a few of which can be found in the links below.

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Reimagining God: An Interview with Lloyd Geering (part 4 of 5) with Ryan Bell

This week I speak with Sir Lloyd Geering, New Zealand theologian and pioneering Christian post-theist. In 1967, Geering was charged with heresy by the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand. He successfully withstood this challenge and has continued writing and speaking about religion and holy texts as a human constructions and words like “God” and “faith” as referents of human self-understanding and growth. He is the author of many books and articles, a few of which can be found in the links below.

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Using the word “God” and balancing tradition and wisdom

These questions were put to me by an Italian philosopher on the occasion of the publication of my book on education, The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human, into Italian. I felt they were deserving of sharing with an American audience as well.

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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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DignityUSA is moving toward radical inclusion

With the Catholic Church being the largest Christian denomination in the world, the fight for the dignity and inclusion of its LGBTQI parishioners is a fight for the church’s soul and moral integrity.

DignityUSA, since its inception, has asserted that God loves the LGBTQI community equally.

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Reimagining God: An Interview with Lloyd Geering (part 3 of 5) with Ryan Bell

This week I speak with Sir Lloyd Geering, New Zealand theologian and pioneering Christian post-theist. In 1967, Geering was charged with heresy by the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand. He successfully withstood this challenge and has continued writing and speaking about religion and holy texts as a human constructions and words like “God” and “faith” as referents of human self-understanding and growth. He is the author of many books and articles, a few of which can be found in the links below.

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We Need More Iftars

I can hear many of you asking, “What in the world is an iftar?” This Arabic word means “a meal that breaks the fast” that occurs after sunset each day during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. Ramadan occurs in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. Here you can see how Ramadan’s dates move from year to year, since the Muslim calendar is based on the moon and the Western (Julian) calendar is based on the sun.

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Reimagining God: An Interview with Lloyd Geering (part 2 of 5) with Ryan Bell

This week I speak with Sir Lloyd Geering, New Zealand theologian and pioneering Christian post-theist. In 1967, Geering was charged with heresy by the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand. He successfully withstood this challenge and has continued writing and speaking about religion and holy texts as a human constructions and words like “God” and “faith” as referents of human self-understanding and growth. He is the author of many books and articles, a few of which can be found in the links below.

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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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