The Tree of Life

An analysis of The Tree of Life as it relates to the Book of Job. Why do the righteous suffer?

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Embrace Festival – Deshna Ubeda Interview on KBOO

Listen to ProgressiveChristianity.org’s Director Deshna Ubeda talk about their exciting Embrace Festival coming to Portland, OR May 4-6th, 2017.

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My Changed Beliefs – What Happened

I once believed that a loving and holy God would send people to an eternal hell if they didn’t believe and accept Jesus Christ before they died. For 35 years I preached, evangelized, pastored and taught this message, and many other evangelical Christian messages, to thousands of people in S.E. Asia, Canada and Australia.

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The Determination Prayer

Reinhold Niebuhr’s brother, H. Richard, argued for faithfulness to the example of Jesus’s nonviolence, while Reinhold believed this was naive and unrealistic in an imperfect world. H. Richard was the purist to the Christian faith, believing that following the Golden Rule, no matter the consequences, is what Jesus and God called us to do — the success of the mission being in God’s hands rather than our own. Reinhold, however, looked at the more practical side of things, substituting his or the world’s idea of what was possible and changing his ethics accordingly. H. Richard thus trusted more in the providential moral arc of history as M.L. King, Jr. , would call it rather than a realist’s version of what humans believe is attainable given their corrupt nature. In essence, H. Richard focused on the power of God’s grace to transform our spirits and the world for the better, while Reinhold accepted a more cynical view of our ability to be radically changed as a specie.

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What Happens to D&D When God Is Promoted and Jesus Is Demoted?

Watch what happens to most of the D&D when the theistic god of yesterday is promoted to encompass the entire universe. One can no longer think about a small Master Puppeteer but more in terms of a force that some call Creation or Ground of All Being. This force has no gender, sexuality, children, color, or religion. It’s simply there, everywhere, creating.

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Robin Meyers, Unity vs Progressive Christianity

Robin Meyers, Unity vs Progressive Christianity

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For White People Who Want the Racist Nightmare to End, We Must Reclaim Our Lives from Anti-Black Racism

By Chris Crass

In honor of Black History Month, I’ve asked a number of friends and colleagues to contribute guests posts sharing their wisdom about how to live in a world where so much is shifting, and so much stays exactly the same. I encourage you to let these words sink in. – Mike

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Remember the Gift

Teilhard de Chardin (yes, I’m still reading him) writes, “However personal and incommunicable it may be at its root and origin, Reflection can only be developed in communion with others. It is essentially a social phenomenon.” I would add, a social phenomenon over time, a communion of saints over the ages. In another context, he writes, “Coherence and fecundity, the two criteria of truth.”*

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“A Beautiful Silence” – Film Trailer

hile A Beautiful Silence deals with themes of faith, it was never considered a “faith-based” or “Christian” film. They set out to reach people from all walks of life, from all faiths. The film does not provide easy answers. The wrestle with God – the dark night of the soul – is never pretty. Yet, there is a glimmer of hope in the end which they believe that the audience will respond to.

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Join Us At Beloved Festival 2017, 10 year Anniversary

We’re celebrating 10 years this summer, and this stunning new video has us all sorts of sentimental. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for this family and can’t wait to reunite with you on August 11th-14th for the best Beloved yet.

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WOMAN ~ By Jess Young and Attunement Movement

To every WOMAN near and far, this one’s for you! May we stand in our integrity, our power, our confidence & our purpose, Always. May we remember that WOMEN are collaborators, not competition. May we embrace our uniqueness & rise together, from a place of love and compassion. For, this world needs balance and we hold the key!

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A Christian Walks in the Footsteps of the Buddha

An Interfaith Pilgrimage to India, Nepal and Beyond

In 2013 Christian pastor John Mabry set forth on a most amazing interfaith pilgrimage — to visit the most significant sites of the Buddha’s life and to reflect deeply on what he saw, in conversation with his own faith… a journey that provided an enlightening exploration of the similarities and differences between Buddhism and Christianity.

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John Rogers talks about the future of church.

John Rogers talks about the future of church.

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What a Joke: These Stories Never Actually Happened! – a sermon for the First Sunday in Lent

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7, Matthew 4:1-11

Each year as Lent approaches, I find myself flirting with the idea of giving up Lent for Lent. Lent is just too much work. For centuries, during Lent the church has emphasized so many concepts that seem alien to the 21st century mind. Each year during Lent preachers are required to undertake the unenviable task of unpacking unpopular, seemingly antiquated concepts in an effort to encourage the contemporary churchgoer to entertain the equally antiquated rituals of Lent. I mean Christmas and Easter might attract a few more people to our sanctuary, but how do you attract people with talk about repentance or fasting? Just look at our readings for this morning. Temptation is the order for toady. Eve and Adam succumbing to temptation, the Apostle Paul prattling on, heaping condemnation upon the first parents for having given in to temptation, and then Jesus himself resisting temptation from non-other than the Devil. Not exactly cheery stuff designed to bring comfort on a cold damp winter morning, where apart from the time change, there are very few signs of a longed for spring.

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How my thinking has changed.

This idea of God has a long history, which the remarkable scholar and ex-nun, Karen Armstrong has written up as “The History of God”. God is an idea that has played an extremely important centering role in our evolving culture. God became the ultimate point of reference. It was the idea of God as creator of the universe that led to the rise of modern science, as mediaeval theologians tried to discover what they called ‘the ways of God’ by conducting experiments. It was they who laid the foundations of today’s empirical science.
But also associated with this idea of God were the values of love, compassion, honesty and truth. These make such moral demands of us that they transcend us. And though the idea of God had its beginning in our mythological past it remains, therefore, a useful symbol for our highest values. Even the New Testament asserts. “God is love”.

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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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What’s on TV Tonight?

What’s on TV Tonight?
Posted: 05 Jan 2017 09:17 AM PST

A scene depicting an American heartland barn dance
by William Medcalf

I didn’t intend to write a series on smart phones and social media. This is a blog about spirituality, religious harmony and related topics, after all. I try to keep on topic. However, given the tumultuous 2016 presidential election, many people have been rethinking how we use these new technologies. Does it serve our faith life? Does it improve our culture and society? Is this really the best way to evangelize? One thing led to another.

I stumbled upon some thoughts that have been sitting with me a long time.

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