Setting Jesus Free

The Bible and the Church have become more or less irrelevant to the contemporary world. Sadly the message of Jesus, totally relevant to all times, has been ignored and lost because it is seen as being part of the Church that is now rejected with nothing important to say to present-day life.  This book deals with the need to move away from structures of traditional beliefs, creeds and doctrines that are outmoded in our contemporary world. It encourages a move into a Church-based environment, living by a set of Jesus values that include compassion, sacrifice and acceptance of difference without having to believe the unbelievable and the unscientific.

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Patience With God: Faith For People Who Don’t Like Religion (or Atheism)

Author Schaeffer (Keeping Faith) adopts a feisty tone in this essay about evangelical Christianity and aggressive atheism. In the first half of the book, he rebuts justifications from both sides, taking aim at the ideas of such celebrity atheists as Richard Dawkins as well as religious leaders like Rick Warren. Schaeffer asks each side to allow for an evolving religion in which allegory takes precedence over literalism. In the second half, he gives space for his own memories, recalling moments that led him to a middle path of “hopeful uncertainty.”

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Call For Progressive Christian Evangelism

The possibility that Jesus’s message was one of radical fairness, and that following Jesus means creating and living in a world based on non-violent covenant instead of desperate selfishness, has certainly been hidden from view since before Luke decided to tell the story.  It’s time to give the presidents and prime ministers of today the chance to see and hear the alternatives to imperial, retributive, business-as-usual.  It’s time to offer viable alternatives to the feel-good, prosperity-based, exclusive, self-righteousness that passes for evangelism on the right.  As liberal pundit Keith Olbermann has suggested, it’s time for some non-violent democratic action.

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What Do We Mean When We Say, “I am Christian?”

Over the last fifteen years I listened to a growing number of troubled clergy who are in conflicted and or dying churches. (I believe there is a connection.) Sometimes the battles are over “LBGT” issues and other times it may be about politics. But far more often, the conflict is rooted in theology, Christology and ideology. Frankly, with rare exceptions, clergy cannot freely teach what they learned in seminary or more importantly, what they have come to believe about their own understanding of the Christian religion, the Bible or their faith. The resultant message is often mixed or muddled and almost always without passion.

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Stepping Out with the Sacred: Progressive Engaging the Divine, Part 1

In progressive religious thinking, old images of God have been retired and new metaphors for the Divine within the universe, whether Energy, Presence, Spirit, Sacred, Ground of Being, Life, have become more authentic for a scientific world. Yet, in a multi-faith world, we cannot speak of the Sacred infusing the universe without recognizing It as that sought and described in all religions. How do we engage this Divine within the world, or the Divine engage us, if at all, in a multi-faith world? How do human beings step out with the Sacred in everyday life across countries, cultures, and religious persuasions?

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Proposition 8 and Christianity

“When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.” The epitaph on Leonard Matlovich’s tombstone. He served for 12 years in the U.S. Air Force, received exemplary ratings for his service in Vietnam, won a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. After revealing his homosexual orientation, he was dishonorably discharged.

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Christianity isn’t News

How Christianity not being news is actually a large portion of its very strength.The truth is… Christianity isn’t news. I don’t mean in modern terms either; I mean in ancient terms. Christianity isn’t news, and it never really was. When Christianity came along, it was literally nothing new. The amount of parallels between Christianity and various other religions around the world (the oldest of course dating back to Ancient Egypt or even earlier) is astonishing.;Nothing in the Bible was original. Almost every last item attributed exclusively to Jesus, for example, including the things he said or did (or anything that happened to him), can be readily traced back to another source far more ancient than Christianity or the birth of Christ.

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Two Kinds of Evangelism

There are two vastly different Christian approaches to evangelism being practiced today. One can be described as inclusive and invitational; the other is dualistic and confrontational.

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Will The Real Progressive Christians Please Speak Up?

We began with determining what we aren’t. We are not fundamentals, we are not exclusive, we are not dogmatic, we are not bible thumpers, we are not ignorant, we are not brainwashed, we are not afraid, we are not haters, we are not closed minded. Slowly, we are letting go of the comparison and becoming, birthing, and re-birthing who we are separate from that negative association. We are compassionate, we are inclusive, we are educated, we are open, we are searchers, we are peaceful, we are earth friendly, we are social justice supporters, we are Jesus’ students, we are walkers…but NOT, at least not yet, talkers.

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Why I am a Progressive Christian (Part 2)

In my last column, I told briefly my story of being a progressive Christian by first describing why I am a Christian and why I continue to choose to be a Christian. The thing that has been my saving grace, that which has kept me from abandoning my faith, is that I have chosen to identify myself as a progressive Christian.

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From the Third Floor of the Gargage- The Story of TheOOZE

I used to be a pastor. More than that, I was a pastor at Mariners Church in Irvine, California-a bona fide mega church with a 25-acre property and a $7.8 million dollar budget. For years, I played by the rules and tried hard not to think too much about the lingering questions in my soul. Doubt, after all, was dangerous. Who knew where it might lead?

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Living the Questions 2.0

To order with a 10% discount, first visit this page for the TCPC code.  LtQ2 is the completely revised and expanded version of Living the Questions, the popular DVD & internet-based small group exploration of progressive Christianity featuring premier religion voices of our day.

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Why Bother to take God Seriously?

Most people haven’t any interest in religion – mainly because they haven’t any interest in God. If asked as part of a survey whether they “believed in God”, many would say that they did, but there be would few if any differences in their lives compared to those who deny the existence of God.

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