Less Theology, More Testimonials

To the extent that Progressive Christians seek to reform Christianity, and to the extent that Progressive Christians seek to overturn deeply held faiths, Progressive Christians are pursuing contradictory goals. Getting someone to give up his or her foundational beliefs requires the power of persuasive facts. But there are no facts regarding the existence and nature of Divinity. Therefore, a more realistic goal is to persuade people that it is valuable to them to exchange personal testimonials to faith experiences, without judgment, and to create a reformed church where this is fostered.

read more

Drink from the Well

From a rich lode of speeches, articles in eBulletins, and numerous publications, Fred Plumer has mined those that define the Progressive Christianity movement as it evolves to meet new challenges in a rapidly changing world. Written over a period of approximately six years, the material has been reviewed and edited but not in a manner that would change its original themes and purpose. This anthology is vintage Plumer, concise and direct to the point. It is organized into chapters that focus on a particular subject, so it might shed more light on that subject or theme.

read more

What if Time Has No Beginning and No End? – Video Sermon

Accepting that the world has a beginning and an end leads to a dismissive view of poverty, pollution, warfare, and social classes. While everyone certainly has a right to their personal beliefs about life after death, Muslims, Christians, and Jews must focus on the life that we know and to root our faith in what we can see in front of us. The early church was so confident that Jesus was coming back soon that they ignored many important matters of ethics. We cannot afford to make that mistake.

read more

The World According to Jesus

... his blueprint for the best possible world

Through her intriguing explanation of the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, Parkinson sets out compelling reasons why a real commitment to following the vision of Jesus of Nazareth can bring to reality the best possible world. In another age the author of this book would have been convicted of heresy at the very least. Her case for a 21st century new Reformation of the church is a must for all who have doubted or rejected the old Christianity and are looking for the way forward.

read more

Crystal Valentine – “And the News Reporter Says Jesus Is White” – Button Poetry Video

Button Poetry is committed to developing a coherent and effective system of production, distribution, promotion and fundraising for spoken word and performance poetry.

read more

Interfaith Solidarity

Following the way of Jesus asks of us to support and learn from people of other faith traditions. This may sound counter-intuitive at first. At its best, the Christian tradition asks us to listen for where the Divine is speaking, in whatever surprising places we may find it. We need others as a reminder of how much greater the Divine is than any one religious tradition’s ability to fully capture it.

read more

Marcus Borg & Charles Holt Discuss Jesus’ Resurrection

Recorded February 7, 2013: Marcus Borg and Charles Holt discuss Jesus’ resurrection. During this Season of Easter conversations about the meaning of resurrection are crucial to help us move beyond carefully constructed doctrines which we were once instructed to “believe”. At Holy Cross we are exploring the question: “Can the ways in which we tell the stories of resurrection transform us into followers of Jesus who embody a way of being in the world that can nourish, ground, and sustain the kind of peace that the world yearns for?” Marcus Borg and Charles Holt’s conversation contributes so much to this broader conversation.

read more

A Way to Understand the Resurrection – Richard Holloway

Richard Holloway, the former Primate of the Scottish Episcopal Church, interprets the story of the resurrection not as an historical tale, but as our own story. Holloway has written of his longing for a humbled and broken church. His own humility and brokenness shines through this video as Holloway embodies his own longing

read more

A Story Within A Story

Is it a coincidence that the soul is so closely related to the story of Jesus? Does the idea of being born pure of a virgin hint to some basic truth that we’ve been missing about the nature of our true identity? Are the miracles that Jesus performs representative of the restorative properties of the soul? Does resistance indicate that we would not recognize Jesus if he stared us in the face? Would we therefore advocate crucifixion with the accusation of heresy and blasphemy? Is it possible that the soul lives on after death just like Jesus? Why wouldn’t the story of Jesus Christ be a basic metaphor to symbolize the soul?

read more

The Way of the Wind: The Path and Practice of Evolutionary Christian Mysticism

This book explores the Christian faith from the perspective of evolutionary spirituality. It looks at the life and teaching of Jesus through this lens. The author asserts that evolution is the fundamental dynamic of our universe, transcending biology, to include culture and consciousness. Jesus himself was tapped into a sacred evolutionary current to transcend, yet include, his own religious lineage. This urge for self and cultural transcendence therefore is an essential element of the Christian faith: there is no final iteration of the Christian faith. Everything, including the Christian faith, is in the process of transcending itself. When we realize the mystical awareness that we are the presence of a sacred evolutionary process awakening to itself, we catalyze the power of what traditionally has been called the Holy Spirit.

read more

Reading Between The Lines, Adult Curriculum (Hard Copy)

Reading Between the Lines is a lectionary based life-centered biblical resource designed for small group youth and adult education in church and home, for individual study or as an aid to preachers. One of the texts from the Revised Common Lectionary is chosen each Sunday. The exploration begins with encountering the story found in the biblical text. The focus then shifts to how this story is happening in the world around us. Finally the questions turn toward how the story is an event in the lives of the people in the group. The journey through the text seeks life-giving questions that wait to be lived.

read more

Maundy Thursday – When you don’t believe that Jesus was a sacrifice for sin!

I was asked by a colleague, “So, if you do not believe that Jesus died for your sins, then why bother celebrating the events of Holy Week?” Behind this question lies the assumption that the only way to understand Jesus’ death is to frame it within the context of the theology of “penal sacrificial atonement” ie “we are judged to be sinful creatures, punishment is required, God sends Jesus to pay the price for our sin”. That Anslem’s theory of sacrificial atonement was formulated in the 11th century and continues to hold sway in the minds of so many followers of Christ is a testament to the power of our liturgies and hymns to form our theology. However, Anslem’s theory is not they only faithful way to understand Jesus’ death.

read more

Repent or Perish and The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

Compassion over rules

sadly in a world dominated by might, money, and power, some people look upon compassion, mercy, gentleness of spirit, inclusiveness and unconditional love as weakness. In a world blighted by terrorism, war and indescribable brutality demonstrated day by day, for example in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan; in a world where many have become indifferent, self righteous and just downright selfish; in a world where Bible passages are taken out of context to uphold racism, sexism, homophobia and unhealthy nationalism: these are the places in which compassion, mercy, gentleness of spirit, inclusiveness and unconditional love should work and speak.

read more

The Lament over Jerusalem

As Christian people we all too often pay lip service to the fact that the political and religious context in which Jesus lived, thought and died, was one of economic, political and military domination by the Roman Empire. We also often fail to realise that this was also both the context in which the Christian scriptures were written and the life and death of Jesus was interpreted. Failure to understand these Jewish contexts leads Christians and the Church to misinterpret the underlying message and meaning of the life and death of Jesus the Jew of Nazareth. Whether we like it or not, I am convinced that Jesus had a political agenda as well as an agenda of compassion.

read more

Litany for Healing

Jesus travelled from town to town, healing people who were sick
All: Help us to heal broken bodies

read more

The Rising Tide of Immoralities and Illegalities

Taken from just one day of WSJ reporting, these daily headlines point to an increasingly massive breakdown not only of legality but of morality in the highest (and lowest) levels of our country.

Why is this occurring? How did so many get to the point of increasingly having to replace their inner spiritual void with the greed-ridden ingredients of power and money? In addition to countless answers to this question, I offer that we have simply lost our God, and one reason for having so lost, is that our religions are too often failing to provide a meaningful spiritual food for our starving souls.

read more

Progressive Christianity Lent Course 2016 Alternative Insights into the Lent Gospel Readings

As we prepare for Easter, this Season of Lent offers us an opportunity to reflect again upon how we experience Yahweh God and how we live our lives of servant hood – not as doormats to be trampled under foot but as true servants of Yahweh God who proclaim by our lives that Jesus is our Way, our Truth and our Life.

Lent offers us the opportunity NOT to give up but to give more of ourselves in the service of others and in the causes of justice and peace. May this Season of Lent have real meaning for each one of us.

read more

First Impressions Interview with John Shelby Spong On “Biblical Literalism as a Gentile Heresy”

A close reading of Matthew’s gospel reveals that a literal understanding of Jesus’s story obscures its deep Jewish roots. John Shelby Spong joins Art Remillard to discuss his new book, Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy. Spong was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark before his retirement in 2000, and he is the author of several books to include Why Christianity Must Change or Die and his autobiography Here I Stand.

read more