An Unorthodox Faith: A New Reformation in a Postmodern World

“An Unorthodox Faith” proposes an alternative to traditional Christian creeds and theology with a simpler humanist theology of love and compassion. It explores the implications for faith and ethics based on the proposition that “God is love”—not a loving supernatural being, but, more radically, frail human love itself. The book deconstructs traditional images of God as cosmic creator and occasional interventionist, the apocalyptic image of Christ, the image of the Holy Spirit as a supernatural being, medieval images of heaven and hell, ancient doctrines of sin and atonement, and contemporary beliefs in resurrection and eternal life. When all of these concepts are removed from traditional Christianity, what remains is a deeply spiritual humanism of service and social action—a way of living that reflects the words and deeds of the historical Jesus.

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What do you make of the Season of Lent? How should the Christian Church observe it?

The season of Lent is traditionally understood to be a time for reflection, contrition, and consideration of the sacrifice Jesus undertook for our sins. It has been, as you know, traditionally recognized for the forty days leading up to Easter. Preceded by Shrove Tuesday, upon which Christians are to prepare to confess their sins, Lent is entered into as a holy season of penitence.

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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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Robin Meyers on Progressive Chrisitanity

Robin Meyers on Progressive Christianity

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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The First Commandment Shall Be Last

Part 5 of the series, What Makes a Christian?

When Jesus said, “The last shall be first and the first shall be last,” I highly doubt He meant that the first and Greatest Commandment should be the last thing on our list of things to do.

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Being Christian

What does it mean to live in a liberating, transformative faith community today? We need a different linguistic narrative along with a different set of cultural practices to give expression to this task. This means a new understanding of the Eternal Reality—the reality we call God—a new understanding of community and of the personal moral and ethical choices we make in our everyday lives. This also means new approaches to the language and symbols used in public worship for the Christian community (such as the meaning of communion, the response to scriptural texts, and the words used in sermons, hymns, congregational prayers and other forms of Christian liturgy).

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David Bohm – Post Modern Gnostic

Reinventing the Sacred in the Age of the Cosmos

First a quote from the January 20, 1961 Inaugural address of John F. Kennedy.
He ended it with the words:

“…. asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

They were prescient words: “here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.” Was the new President aware the moment he was speaking of the need for an American response to the ecological challenges facing the Nation? We do not know. However, it all became clear one year later when Rachel Carson published her seminal book Silent Spring. Along with many other Americans, the President too read the book. It had become an instant best-seller and the most provocative book in decades. It began the environmental movement in America.

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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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Sin of Sodom: A Case of Denial

We’ve been robbed of the power of the story of Sodom. It should be a strong companion to Matthew 25:31-46, which also gives dire warnings for those who do not serve Jesus by feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger and the other Works of Mercy. It’s a path that ends in destruction.

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Just the Facts, Ma’am

Partisan hostility is not new but social media has certainly ratcheted up the rhetoric so that we quickly fall into hostile name calling of one another and asserting that every politician we don’t like is just like Hitler. In this time when so many important ethical issues are up in the air we cannot be silent but we should be exacting in our honesty. We need the courage to raise our voices in advocacy and even in protest but we must embrace the spiritual character that asks us to speak the truth in love so that we can persuade rather than alienate those with whom we communicate.

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The Law Hangs in the Balance of Love

Part 4 of the series, What Makes a Christian?

Sometimes our greatest breach with Scripture is not when we outright contradict it–it’s what we choose to prioritize, diminish or outright ignore. There is a time for everything under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). We need to put first things first and second things second.

Much of Christianity focuses on salvation plans and doctrinal ideas.

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Jesus, Gandhi, and MLK – A Very Salty Trio: a sermon for Epiphany 5A

  Rereading this sermon from 2014, I am struck by the power of Jesus, Gandhi, and MLK’s saltiness to address our current need for seasoning! In the wake of the tragedy at the Islamic Cultural Centre in …

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Finding God in the Body

That we all want to live meaningful, happy lives is self-evident. The question is, how? Finding God in the Body answers this question with action, spiritual practice.
Finding God in the Body draws from the wisdom of the world’s traditions–Buddhism, contemplative Christianity, Judaism, and Twelve-Step spirituality–to present not a smorgasbord, but a synthesized, modern view of embodied spirituality. It turns inward to examine the human condition, meeting personal suffering with heartfelt insight and transformative practice. It steers clear of the wishful thinking, unfounded beliefs, and cynicism that define much of the spirituality genre.

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What distinguishes you as a Christian?

Question:
Do you believe in Christ’s Resurrection? If not, what distinguishes you as a Christian vs. something else?

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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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How “conventional wisdom” hurts churches: part 2

People assume the “conventional wisdom” is actually wise. In the church world, as I wrote last week, that means the belief that churches must have facilities, must worship on Sunday morning, and must have ordained clergy.

But as economist John Kenneth Galbraith wrote, the “conventional wisdom” is likely to be wrong. Acceptable, yes, and comfortable, but running counter to facts, ideas, emerging constituencies and new needs.

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Pope Francis Needs His Gay Priests

To the shock of many of us LGBTQ people of faith is the Vatican’s recent decision in the document “The Gift of Priestly Vocation,” to ban gays to the priesthood; thus, reaffirming it’s 2005 stance.

Those of us who have “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” or who “support the so-called ‘gay culture’” are categorically denied to serve one of the church’s most revered and respected posts.

And to know that Pope Francis, our LGBTQ pope- friendly pontiff, approved the document have many of us in disbelief.

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John 3:16 vs. the Greatest Commandment

Part 3 of the series, What Makes a Christian?

John 3:16 is a beautiful verse, understood this way–that God’s act of sharing Jesus with us comes out of love, and that all who participate in that love through loving both God and one another follow in the Way of Jesus, which is the Way of eternity–to love Jesus so much that you imitate Him and follow His Way. To believe in His message so much that you follow it.

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