Interfaith Dialogue Quotations

ver the last few years, I have collected a number of quotations that relate directly or indirectly to the field of interfaith dialogue. These are attached. You may find various ways to use these quotations.

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The Case of Prodigal Job: A Closer Look at Grace and Faith

An important reason for declining biblical literacy, I believe, is spiritual starvation caused by the marriage of fundamentalism and materialistic capitalism in evangelical churches. Many Americans describe themselves as spiritual, not religious; thereby rejecting inflexible moral and religious guidance by churches that measure divine approval in dollars and attendance counts. There are lots of Americans who recognize the difference between genuine piety and marketing success tracked by congregational growth, donations, and merchandise sales.

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The Connection Between Climate Change and Gun Control

From the perspective of political theology, the issues of climate change and gun control are related in two ways. The first linkage is that progressive Christians need no promptings on these issues. By massive numbers they know that God is calling on them to enact laws to control guns and to take actions that help to wean the country away from carbon producing energy.

These issues also tell us something important about how many Conservative Christians think about political issues.

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What’s Fundamental to a Fundamentalist?

The term “fundamentalism” was first coined in relation to the Christian Fundamentalist movements which originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They largely came out of American and British Protestantism. In particular, the series of books called The Fundamentals, published in 1910-1915, gave the movement its name.

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Cherry Picking Religion – Roy Moore’s Twisting of Faith

By Rabiah Ahmed for Patheos

The Roy Moore scandal grows everyday; there are more accusers, more accounts of disturbing behavior. But even as the evidence mounts, Moore’s defenders remain steadfast. What is most striking is the language used by his supporters to say that Moore’s predation upon minors was not only unremarkable, but somehow ordained by God.

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This Guy Scares Me!

I don’t scare easily and am generally very accepting of people. However, I want to introduce you to someone who scares me and see if he scares you also.

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From the Director – Why keep “Christianity” in our name and mission?

There have been many people over the years who encourage us to drop “Christianity” from our name. Here are my two cents on why I am not ok with that.

Progressive Christianity is a unique and beautiful movement. It is a vital landing space for hundreds of thousands of humans around the world. Though small, it is growing. And there continues to be a very large percentage of people in this world that consider themselves Christian. At some point many of those will question what they are being told in church. Many will find that the theology presented in their church does not match their understanding of science and/or their values. And they will, perhaps, consider leaving their church. But many will not if their isn’t a better alternative. People who have Christianity in their heritage, their culture, and their traditions are often not ready to straight up leave Christianity all together.

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The Love Affair Doesn’t End With a Few Apologies: The SBC and Racism

The SBC has done much in recent years to leave racism in the past. Public apologies and resolutions have been forthcoming denouncing racism and all its trappings. Milestones include the 1995 apology for its complicity in slavery, the enthusiastic election of an African-American president, Fred Luter, in 2012, and the 2016 repudiation of the Confederate Flag. So this year, when a resolution was proposed to denounce the recent resurgence of white supremacy and the alt-right movement in US culture, it seemed like the stage was set for a routine—but deepening—commitment by the SBC to distance itself from racism in all its forms.

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Why Interfaith (and Interspiritual) Studies and Awareness are Epically Important in Today’s World

When we ponder religion and faith, we often think of their more modern day manifestations and how much devastation and destruction has been done in the name of religion. It is hard to remember that most major religions were born out of a profound mystical experience, flowing from an inner realization, which was then attempted to be shared via language and action. My own feelings toward religion have been complicated, confusing and challenging. Growing up in a very liberal, progressive Christian church, I had a meaningful and positive experience of the community that gathers around an organized religion and yet it was impossible for me to forget the vast atrocities which have been done in the name of Christianity over the last 2000 years. I also felt tired of the same mistranslated, seemingly irrelevant book used week after week, the same teacher held up on the pedestal week after week, a man who had died fighting for his cause over 2000 years before, who while an amazing human, was no different than you or I, just a man. I looked around and saw many incredible human beings doing phenomenal work in the world, affecting positive change and expanding upon some of the great mystic teachers, and yet no one was singing about them each week.

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Reviving the Reformation: A Jewish Believer Peers Backward to Move Biblical Truth Forward

Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism were both catapulted from the Land of Israel in the first century. Even though they came out of the same soil, the Hebrew Bible (Tanach), they ended up a distance from the starting point in opposite directions.

This book is an attempt to restore the true Biblical Messianic faith described by the Tanach. Wearing deerstalker caps with pipes in hand we need to follow the evidence from the first century C.E. before the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem to about the middle of the second century. This investigation will require us to peer through the dust of Roman destruction to evaluate the often fragmentary details. We need to sort through the orthodox and less traditional interpretations of the facts to get closer to the truth.

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From Ancient Times to the Present: Transferring Guilt Makes a Mockery of Justice

  One of the foundations of modern ethics is crumbling. Having rights is about being respected as a human individual who shapes his life through choices. Whether with respect to original sin, honour based violence, modesty dress …

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Christian Unity: Warts and All

I’ve noticed a generational divide in the quest for Christian unity. People of different ages often articulate different priorities.

Many veterans of the work for Christian unity focus on what Christians have in common. Younger ecumenists often talk of finding peace in the midst of real differences.

This divide follows a natural pattern of healing and reconciliation. It reflects more than just two sides of the same coin.

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Moral Imperative vs. Moral Equivalency as a “Religious” Inquiry

A Commentary in the Aftermath of Recent Acts of Violence, Domestic Terrorism & Yet Another Culture War

Not long ago, I received a group email message from an acquaintance. A devout Muslim, he’d written to his circle of friends to tell us he was leaving the country in a few days to undertake a pilgrimage known as the Hajj. The purpose of Ejaz’ message – and as part of his required preparations for his pilgrimage — was to ask forgiveness for any wrong he may have intentionally or unintentionally committed with anyone in his circle of friends and acquaintances.

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Presence and Process

While the Christian church in 21st century North America is experiencing decline, interest in Buddhist-derived Mindfulness meditation is on the rise. Yet Christianity also has a rich meditative/contemplative tradition.

This book is an exploration of meditative/contemplative practices in both Christian and Buddhist contexts, emphasizing their areas of affinity. Common characteristics and effects of meditative/contemplative practices are defined.

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The word “God”

In religious as well as other history, when we don’t know our own history, we are condemned to repeat it. Condemned not by anyone else, not even “God”, but by ourselves and the consequences of our own willful ignorance.

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Why We Stay: What The History Of Mormonism Reveals About The Origins Of “Rae”

By Max Mueller for Religion Dispatches

Americans cannot understand our race past and present without grappling with the power of religion—in particular religious writings—to unify and divide. If race is primarily a construction of culture, then the original construction site was on the page, in particular, as I mentioned before, on the pages of our religious writings. And I’m not just talking about sacred scriptures. I’m talking about all the writings that America’s religious people produce in relationship (intertextually) with their religious scriptures. From public writings like sermons and legal codes, to private writings like journals and letters, these writings all make up what I call the “Mormon archive,” which is a smaller part of the “American archive.” The archive, I argue, is not just a physical and metaphorical space where (race) history is preserved. It is also where (race) history is made.

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Fear. (It’s ok to fear.)

I sent out an email a few weeks ago about fear.

I wrote that I was scared.

And I was when I wrote it.

I am not in that sharp place of re-surfaced terror today.

When I wrote, I wrote from a place of fear. My sense of alarm was apparent to those who read my words. (I am thankful to be a powerful enough writer to express my emotions in my words.)

Allowing myself to be scared made me feel I was not so alone. Support from so many allies followed, and that also made me feel I was not so alone.

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Islamophobia: misinformation and blatant lies

Lots of people are worked up with fear and misinformation. Sometimes it seems that facts just don’t matter anymore. But don’t give up! Keep paying your dues to the reality club and keep your Islamophobia decoder ring handy. Don’t let people who are taken in by every anti-Muslim snake-oil salesman that comes around derail your commitment to what I think Jesus would want us to do: to treat “the other” with respect and dignity. Practice hospitality. Build genuine relationships with those who are excluded or lied about. And maybe, “all of a sudden,” a whole new world will emerge.

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