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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Reimagining God: An Interview with Lloyd Geering (part 1 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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Diana Bell talks about the future of church

Diana Bell, Pastor of Presbyterian Church USA talks about the future of the church.

These interviews were conducted by ProgressiveChristianity.org at a Westar meeting as part of a series on Christianity, spirituality, religion, church, God, Jesus, sacred community, social justice, youth, and social transformation. More to come soon!

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Christian Faith and Political Governance of Economy

  Sermon for Seekers Church for November 6th, 2016   The Call Statement of Seekers says that citizenship matters. This is a sermon concerning Christian faith grounding for citizenship. This is the worst presidential campaign I remember …

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Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief

In Amen, Gretta Vosper, United Church minister and author of the controversial bestseller With or Without God, offers us her deeply felt examination of worship beyond conventional prayer, a new tradition built on love and respect rather than on the rituals of ancient beliefs.

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Rev. Blake Osborn Interview – The Future Church

These interviews were conducted by ProgressiveChristianity.org at a Westar meeting as part of a series on Christianity, spirituality, religion, church, God, Jesus, sacred community, social justice, youth, and social transformation. More to come soon!

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Christianity and Fundamentalism in today’s world

Why is Christianity growing in its fundamentalist forms and dying where it tries to engage the thought of the present world?

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Don’t Be a Cool Church Leader, Just Be Real

To church leaders, I say this: Be brave enough to be yourself. Trust in the dignity in which God has created you. Be whatever you are–nerdy, goofy, quirky, young or old, plain or complex. Don’t be trendy. You don’t have to know the latest catch phrases or technology.

Just be you.

That’s all that you can ever give, and honestly, that’s all that anyone ever really wants.

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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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With The Death Of One Of The Last Three Shakers, An American Religious Tradition TakesA Step Closer To Extinction

The Shakers, in their pious oddity and their strange holiness remain, however small, a crack in the wall that divides us in this increasingly insular, hierarchical, and oppressive era. They rejected the apparatus of state, economy, industry and military. Theirs was a pacifist army against Moloch’s minions. In offering us difference they enacted the possibility and promise of that difference.

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What if the point of Jesus life, death, and resurrection isn’t about that? – a Reformation Sermon

Listen to Rev. Dawn Hutchings’s Sermon Below Visit Rev. Dawn’s Website Here

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An analysis of the films: God’s Not Dead and God’s Not Dead 2

An analysis of the films: God’s Not Dead and God’s Not Dead 2

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How a “Non-theist” Celebrates “The Holidays,” Part II

The Christmas holidays are even trickier for those who give even a token nod to a long-held doctrinal claim
of orthodox Christianity; that a theistic god somehow enters into the human story, rather than arising out of
our own consciousness and human imagination.

How then might a self-professed non-theist celebrate the nativity of a Galilean sage from days long gone
by, and call it holy? It lies in an ancient message that – more often than not – runs counter to the cultural
and political climate; but is central to the character and teachings of Jesus.

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Preaching Christmas Eve in the Wake of New Testament Scholarship

In 2008, our little congregation played host to John Dominic Crossan who has been acclaimed as world’s most famous New Testament scholar. Crossan’s visit to our congregation began with a public lecture based on his best-selling book The First Christmas in which he and Marcus Borg provide a splendid historical outline of the development of the birth narratives. I had the dubious honour of standing before his enlightened audience on Christmas Eve to preach in the great man’s wake. What follows is the Christmas Eve sermon I preached just three weeks after Dom’s illuminating visit.

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An Inappropriate Christmas

by Zach Christensen for Patheos

his past Sunday, many people began celebrating Advent, the season in which the majority of Western Christian churches commemorate the birth of Jesus. As we progress toward Christmas, there will be a many sermons preached about shepherds, wise men, innkeepers who are total jerks, and unplanned visits from angels. However, there is one passage from the birth narrative of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew that I think truly captures the meaning of Christmas.

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CalledOUT Response on Judicial Council Rulings

  In a week where United Methodist LGBTQI persons have been tokenized through the announcement of the Council of Bishops’ Special Commission on “A Way Forward,” we are not surprised, but are nonetheless harmed once again by …

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Here We Stand, For We Can Do No Other – A Sermon for Reformation Sunday

The radical nature of Jesus’ teachings which opened people up to a whole new understanding of who and what God is and empowers people to live in relationship to God in ways that enable them to live into the power of love; these teachings remained at the core of Christianity, but the Church’s need for power all too often corrupted the teachings in ways that were designed to keep the members of the church in line so that the powers that be could maintain their power. The excesses of the church became so intolerable that over the centuries many of the church’s own brightest and best challenged the powers that be by reminding the church of the teachings of Jesus and calling the church back to those teachings; none more so than, Martin Luther whose actions we celebrate by calling to mind the Reformation. 499 years ago, Luther nailed his 95 Theses, to the doors of the church at Wittenberg, which pointed out the horrendous abuses of the church and prescribed measures designed to heal the church and bring it back into right relationship with God so that the members of the church could once again become justice-seekers and peace makers and live into the Love that is the source of our being.

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United Methodist Queer Clergy Respond to Naming of Special Commission

We speak as a collective voice with the authority of those who are called and claimed by a God whose love knows no bounds; as those whose Commissioning and Ordination have been affirmed by the Church: we …

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