A Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey

This unique reflection was prompted by an invitation Matthew Fox received to speak on the centennial of Thomas Merton’s birth. Fox says that much of the trouble he’s gotten into — such as being excommunicated in 1993 from the Dominican Order by Cardinal Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict) — was because of Thomas Merton, who sent Fox to Paris to complete a doctoral program in philosophy. Fox found that Merton’s journals, poetry, and religious writings revealed a deeply ecumenical philosophy and a contemplative life experience similar to that of Meister Eckhart, the fourteenth-century mystic/theologian who inspired Fox’s own “creation spirituality.” It is little surprise to find Fox and Merton to be kindred spirits, but the intersections Fox finds with Eckhart are intellectually profound, spiritually enlightening, and delightfully engaging.

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I’m Falling in Love—with John

John is complicated. He was part of a school whose members were Jewish. By the time we see John in the public arena, the Jesus movement had been expelled from Judaism. The gentiles had taken over, and, most of the time, they read the Gospels as literal truth. They did not, and still don’t, understand the Jewish way of telling their religious history, which is full of metaphors, cultural innuendos, secret sayings, and mysticism.

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What Is A Humanist, And What Do They Believe?

By Lauren Gilger for KJZZ

There is a rule in the Arizona House of Representatives that specifies that a prayer must invoke a higher power, one that was clarified last week by the House Majority Leader after Salman read her Humanist prayer.

But many secular and religious groups object to this rule, and they’re speaking out.

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Progressive Christianity on the concept of hell

That is an excellent question and we progressive Christians really would do well to have some thought out responses when our more evangelical friends ask us about these matters – as well as our agnostic, atheist, and spiritual but not religious friends ask us this same question. As with so many things, progressive Christianity doesn’t have any official stance about this, but it does seem to be the case that most progressive Christians do not have a concept of hell as part of their faith and practice. I cannot speak for all of progressive Christianity, but I can share how this progressive Christian understands things – hell isn’t even part of the Bible and shouldn’t be a part of Christianity. To be blunt about it, let me repeat, Hell isn’t Christian – or Jewish. It’s pagan.

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Brandon Robertson “On Being Bisexual”

Author and activist Brandan Robertson talks about what it means to be bisexual and why he identifies as bisexual.

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4 strategies for breaking the hold of Sunday worship

Yet another change battle is under way in mainline Protestant churches: breaking the hold that Sunday worship has on staffing, budgeting, and overall priorities.

Below are four strategies for doing what needs to be done.

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New Voices

We must accept the fact that, for many people, the old categories of Catholic/ Protestant, Episcopal/Methodist, high church/low church, contemporary/traditional, etc. just do not matter. There are new voices contributing to the religious scene, although most of them would not like to be referred to as religious. But these voices deserve to be heard. They may have left or never been part of the church, but that does not mean that they do not have a lot to say about spirituality, the meaning of life and how to make a difference in the world.

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A Buddhist fascinated with Christianity and a Christian fascinated with Buddhism meet on the bonnie banks: a sermon on the Road to Emmaus

We were a strange lot, gathered together by chance. Each of us backpacking our way through Europe in search of adventure. “By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes, Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond.” We met on the train to Fort William and we were headed on foot to the Youth Hostel at Rowardennan on the shores of Loch Lomond.

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Jesus, A New Adam

Jesus is the “new Adam”—not the innocent and perfect and beautiful Ken and Barbie doll of Adam and Eve.

For me as a progressive Christian, Jesus is the “new Adam”—not the innocent and perfect and beautiful (and initially sexless) Ken and Barbie doll of Adam and Eve; rather the tried and tested, unappealing and vulnerable and wounded one, acquainted with sorrows and grief, the bearer of the sins and injustices of the world—political, religious, and personal. Treasonous and blasphemous, betrayable and deniable, because compassion was all he held dear.

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How to experience a living relationship with God

The most enduring challenge faced by those who want to help others have the experience of a living relationship with God is our utter refusal to come up with a succinct definition of god that everyone will agree upon. Further complicating the challenge provided by the sheer number of ideas we are left with about the god we call God, is our assumption that everyone else shares the same idea we have. I think it was Peter Jennings, in a convocation address to Carleton University, who named our penchant for assuming that even people we know nothing about believe exactly the same way that we do, “the Vanna White Syndrome”.

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A Hatred of Science Is Killing the Church: Why Young Adults Leave or Never Show Up

By Kurt Willems for Patheos

One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that “Christianity is anti-science” (25%). And nearly the same proportion (23%) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.”

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Humpty Dumpty, Doubting Thomas, and Resurrection – John 20:19-31 – Easter 2A

Do I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life ever lasting? The truth is, that like Saint Thomas, I too have questions. Do I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life ever lasting? I have experienced the Risen Christ in the body of Christ that is the church. I believe that Christ has no hands but our hands, for we are the body of Christ. Christ lives through us, just as surely as Christ lived through those who first believed in things not yet seen. So, in the presence of such a great crowd of witnesses, with all the saints of every time and place, I can say, “Yes, I believe!”

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The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene

  Mary Magdalene was the first person, male or female, to witness the empty tomb…the first to see angels who reported the resurrection…the first to hear the voice of, and see, the risen Christ…and the first to …

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Gatherings: A Manifesto

American democracy is not well. And the Trump presidency is as much a symptom as a cause of the disease.

Many Americans, especially young ones, distrust organized anything: religions, governments, and corporations. Relentless media exposure of scandalous behavior by public figures has discredited the organizations these leaders represent. People question whether any institution can be counted upon to serve the common good. Levels of voter participation, particularly in down-ballot races, is abysmally low. Fewer Americans identify with the political parties. The

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Blake Osborne Interview: Progressive Christianity

Blake Osborne Interview: 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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Why still call yourself a Christian?

I enjoy what you have been saying about Jesus, and I am becoming much more progressive than I used to be, but still I have a hard time understanding why someone with your beliefs still remains a Christian? If the Jesus you still “believe” in is not the Jesus that resurrected and was God incarnate, then why do you still call yourself a Christian?

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Seasoning the Day with Sanity

Alan Wallace on the value of mindful moments throughout the day

  During his recent retreat at the Garrison Institute, we spoke with scholar and meditation teacher Alan Wallace about how to cultivate stillness, increase productivity, and determine whether an activity is worth doing. Many people have the …

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Why do we assign a gender to God?

I have used the term “God” here several times to explain how we became more patriarchal. But the truth be told, no one has been able to decide where the word God came from or how long ago. The word God is a relatively new European invention, which was never used in any of the ancient Judeo-Christian scripture manuscripts that were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek or Latin. Scholars tend to agree that is was sometime in the 6th century, probably in the Germanic culture and a derivation of the word, gudan.

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