PATHWAYS Theological Education

An Online Institute for Progressive Christian Theology

PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc., is a Progressive Christian learning community seeking to empower transformative leadership for justice and peace within and beyond the church by engaging heart and mind to consider what it means to know, love and serve God in today’s changing world. 

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Progressing Spirit

An inclusive and pioneering exploration of Theology, Spirituality and Current Events

With thousands of subscribers around the globe, Progressing Spirit is the world’s leading outlet for an intelligent, inclusive, and pioneering exploration of today’s theological, spiritual, and social advancements.

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What did Jesus really mean?

A Refreshing Rearticulation of Honest to God Truth

From his saying “This is my body” when breaking bread and “This is my blood” when pouring wine at what has since been referenced as The Last Supper with his disciples (see Matthew 26), it is clear that Jesus rationally grasped as well as mystically (that is, transpersonally) identified with the Oneness of Creation. If what he meant to communicate by way of such sayings had been truly apprehended, such utterances may indeed have been foundational in establishing an ecologically sane, holistically Lifeaugmentative civilization.

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The Synonymy of Politics and Religion

Mixing politics and religion is far more than tampering with a combustible concoction. Because politics and religion both attempt to address the same needs, dreams and desires, values and principles – they are essentially synonymous terms.

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What If…

What if Jesus is our mirror, so we are like him, eternally and unconditionally beloved sons and daughters of God. What if we cannot be separated from God, because we are already embraced and enfolded in God, and God is already in us? What if that’s what baptism is really about? Not a sectarian, conditional, invisible bar code for access to the love of God, but the outward visible reminder that we are all, already, One with God and each other? All: all races, all colors, all genders, all creeds/none, all religions/spiritualities/none.

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Mother Teresa and Doubting Thomas

The story of Doubting Thomas (John 20:24-29) takes place at the end of the Gospel of John. Like the rest of the Gospel, the Doubting Thomas tale is not a true story but rather what we call religious history. The truth is inside the story. The surface story says that Thomas the Twin (rumored to be the twin brother of Jesus, but that idea has never been substantiated) was not in the room for Jesus’s first appearance to the disciples after his crucifixion. But Thomas was there for the second appearance a week later. Jesus insisted that Thomas touch his wounds, after which Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Thomas the Twin then became Doubting Thomas. His role in the history of the Jesus movement is to tell us that doubting is a no-no, and believers must have total faith in Jesus as God.

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The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love

In the history of the Western World, the Bible has been a perpetual source of inspiration and guidance for countless Christians. However, this Bible has also left a trail of pain. It is undeniable that the Bible is not always used for good. Sometimes the Bible can seem overtly evil. Sometimes its texts are terrible.

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Playing Favorites

The Problem with Blessings and Curses

“Have a blest day?” What in this world does that mean? Better luck or good karma, instead of bad? In the ancient world, denoting someone as “blest” was a way of expressing a deity’s special favor towards that person. If that sounds quaint, there are still plenty of people today who believe they can curry favor or improve the odds of achieving more blessings than curses; while politicians routinely conclude their speeches by invoking the Almighty to bless the good ‘ol USA. There’s just one problem. It doesn’t work.

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Try a Little Kindness: The Politics of Engagement

I was walking with a good friend about a month ago and another white supremacist rally was in the news. “Joe, what can we do about these people?” I asked. “How do we change their hate filled values?”

“We love them,” Joe responded. “Engage with them. Stop demonizing them. That was Martin Luther King’s approach to such people.”

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A Review of John Shelby Spong’s “Unbelievable”

By Zachary Houle

Once in awhile, a book comes along that completely shatters your Christian world view… Unbelievable basically takes all you think you knew about the church and the Bible, and aims to turn everything on its head.

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An interview with Blake Osborne: – How Do the Teachings of Jesus Inspire You?

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.

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Salvation or Enlightenment? – Dialogue between Buddhism and Christianity: Alan Wallace

THE DAY OF DIALOGUE BETWEEN DR ALAN WALLACE AND LAURENCE FREEMAN OSB EXPLORED THE THEME `SALVATION OR ENLIGHTENMENT

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Adios, “Dios”

Saying Goodbye to “God” in Sacred Text

What good is “God?” We know well how much violence is committed in the name of “God.” If we were to delete both our traditional Western word and notion of “god” from both our speech and thinking, what are the implications for such things we ourselves know and experience to be true in our own human experience? I’m talking about conceiving of such things as love, compassion, mercy, grace, reconciliation, forgiveness, even absolution, redemption, and salvation. Part one in this series considers a scripture text considered sacred, but noticeably absent is the presence of any deity.

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Civil Disagreements and The Powers That Be

Even though I find redemptive suffering to be horrible theology, it does seem to be the underpinning that 1 Peter’s author is using to encourage Christian slaves to endure the suffering that they are subjected to under their masters. The larger implication, however, is that you are doing it because you are “following in [Jesus’s] footsteps.”

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Garden Table Apocalypse | Diana Butler-Bass

  Mike’s note: The following reflection from Diana Butler Bass – an excerpt from her book Grounded: Finding God in the World – is part of a special guest-post series anticipating this November’s Gospel of Peace Conference …

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Resurrection as Change: Deleting “God” – Part III

The idea of “God” has been problematic for as long as the notion existed. As a result, “God” has admittedly been for me a direction; but neither a destination, nor even a companion along the way any longer. As the poet suggests, if the notion of “god” is directional movement from a former past to the present now, then perhaps it is the time to leave the “G” word behind. What does that mean?

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Understanding the Scriptures

Yes, the idea the Jesus died for our sins, or sinful nature, is really one of the causes for so many people turning their backs on Christianity today.

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