Haud Ignota Loquor (Speak not of what is not known)

Generations before the birth of Jesus, Virgil wrote in the Aeneid the solemn advice that we should not speak of what cannot be or what is not known. We would all be a lot better off if religions of all stripes had followed that advice. The world’s great faiths offer moral insight and direction (though even that should be critically received) but this wisdom is encrusted with magical thinking and unsubstantiated truth claims that have little or no bearing on the real world. Progressives seek to reveal the wisdom of faith without passing along the neurotic or false claims of our traditional faith.

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The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: A Conversation with Hugh Turley

Heart failure, accident, or murder? John Shuck interviews Hugh Turley about the mysterious death of Thomas Merton.

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The Truth at Last

A review of The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation by Hugh Turley and David Martin

For years I have spoken out about how fishy the official story of Thomas Merton’s sudden death smelled to me.  I have also, over the years, met three CIA agents who were present in Southeast Asia at …

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The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation

Seldom can one predict that a book will have an effect on history, but this is such a work. Merton’s many biographers and the American press now say unanimously that he died from accidental electrocution. From a careful examination of the official record, including crime scene photographs that the authors have found that the investigating police in Thailand never saw, and from reading the letters of witnesses, they have discovered that the accidental electrocution conclusion is totally false.

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God is too big for just one religion

Joseph Campbell taught that all religions are true as long as they are taken poetically and metaphorically. However, when we try to take a religious text as being historically or factually “true,” then they all become false. God doesn’t write books. While we may wish for absolute truths, the fact of our spiritual lives is that we have to think critically and morally interrogate our beliefs constantly as we navigate our way between truth and “fake news.”

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All Saints – Giving thanks for the Divine in One-another!

All Saints’ Day is a day for remembering.  The word saint simply means “holy”. In the New Testament, all those who believe and were baptized were referred to as saints. It wasn’t until round about the third century that the church began using the word saint to refer to those who had been martyred for the faith. Over time these martyred saints were held up for veneration and people used to pray to them to intercede on their behalf. I’m not going to go into all of the institutional abuses that led Martin Luther and the later reformers to abolish the veneration of the saints. Except to say, that while the Reformation put an end to the veneration of the saints in the protestant churches, it did not abolish the concept of sainthood.

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Maybe Jesus was as the Gospel says, “out of his mind.”

The gospel reading prescribed for this Sunday (Mark 3:20-35) paints a daunting picture of the perceptions of the people of Jesus’ hometown. The folks who knew Jesus, including his family worried that he might just be “out of his mind.” This is indeed a contrast to the ways in which Jesus is typically portrayed. This is a dangerous Jesus who ran the risk of being perceived as deranged. In his book “The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus” Robin Meyers captures some of this danger when he points to Mary Oliver’s poem “Maybe” in which Jesus’ “melancholy madness” is seen by his fellows as more dangerous than a storm. Safely ensconced in our imaginations, Jesus is rarely allowed to threaten the status quo to which we cling for dear life. Are we prepared for the stormy waters that would be stirred up should we take Jesus at his word? Maybe…

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Cancers Grow from Within

Though art and movies usually portray villains as being hideous, the truth is that the most evil temptations are usually irresistibly attractive. Israeli scholar, Yuval Noah Harari, has written about how we are drifting towards fascism in the west, not by conscious decisions, but by being tempted towards tribal power and justification of prejudice. To avoid fascism, we have to be aware that we really don’t want to go down that path, even when our personal tribe might have momentary successes.

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Why won’t intelligent clergy step up to the pulpit and tell the truth?

Why won’t intelligent clergy step up to the pulpit and tell the truth at least about the many Biblical things that can be explained with mechanisms known in the last 2000 years? (e.g Darwinism, radio carbon dating, our world is not earth centred, and earth is round not flat!)

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Exercising Empathy

Empathy is more than sympathy, it involves a deeper understanding of, and even the ability to anticipate the feelings of another person. There are two kinds of religion, the personal piety sort whose goal is to avoid punishment and attain reward, and the empathic journey of faith that seeks to be a blessing to others, even those who are not yet born. Maybe there is really only one kind of religion because, as this sermon argues, religion without empathy is really just self-service with rituals.

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Leading a Retreat on the Bible

If you were going to lead a retreat on the Bible (focusing on its origins and purpose), what questions would you find valuable to address?

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The View from Job’s Dung-heap: Peering Beyond the Heavens Toward a Theory of Everything?

When our ancestors looked into the heavens they had no way of knowing the wonders of the cosmos that we are beginning to discover. While physicists can ignore theology, theologians who ignore physics will find themselves stuck atop Job’s dung-heap impotently shaking their fists at the Divine.

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Demanding Answers from the Universe

Telling ourselves that “everything happens for a reason” may be comforting but there is a minority voice in the Bible that screams out that it “just ain’t so!” In Job, Ecclesiastes, and much of the Proverbs, we find a rational counter argument to other witnesses that insist that God is active in human history and that there is a divine plan that justifies human suffering. This progressive church chooses to accept that Job got it right. Things don’t happen for a reason unless we can choose to bring meaning to the events.

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Global Ministries University

The Online University with a Contemporary Theology…

Offering
Degrees and Certificates
With a Concentration in Progressive Christianity
As Well as in the Following Areas of Concentration:

Evolutionary Spirituality
SpiritualitySpiritual Companionship
World Religions
Pastoral Care and Counseling
Pastoral Ministry
Feminist Pastoral Ministry
And More!

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What Shall We Bring to Community?

What shall we bring to community?
A loaf, a fish, a voice for singing,
hands for baking, a heart for teaching,
wisdom for guiding our children and youth?

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An Overdue Second Bill of Rights

F. D. Roosevelt recognized that the original bill of rights, that guaranteed certain political freedoms, would not be enough to make all American’s free with a similar bill of rights that would guarantee economic independence. Of the eight amendments he proposed in 1944, seven are still waiting to be implemented. The progressive movement is not dead but it has been too slow to gain ground. We really need to pick up FDR’s banner and run with it!

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A Womanist Queer Theology | The Pamela Lightsey Interview

Using a womanist methodological approach, Pamela Lightsey’s book “Our Lives Matter – A Womanist Queer Theology” helps readers explore the impact of oppression against Black LBTQ women while introducing them to the emergent intellectual movement known as queer theology.

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Jesus Matters – BRUNCHtalks 5

Jesus MATTERS – BRUNCHtalks 5
by Rev. Dawn Hutchings

Audio only click here

Moving beyond the sacrificial interpretation of the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth to explore a progressive way of following Jesus. Jesus’ way of being provides hope for 21st century christian communities who embrace the LOVE we meet in the stories about Jesus that have been handed down to us. Can christian communities provide a space where people can gather together to learn how to love?

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