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The Jesus Fatwah: Love Your (Muslim) Neighbor as Yourself

Much of what passes as information about Islam is weed-like disinformation rooted in stereotype and watered by fear. In The Jesus Fatwah, Islamic and Christian scholars offer reliable information about what Muslims believe, how they live out their faith, and how we all can be about building relationships across the lines of faith.

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Climate Change and Churches- Sermon Video

“My passion is guiding faith communities to more fully live out the mission of being witnesses to Christ’s peace with justice,” said Rev. Murphy in accepting the appointment to lead PCU. “I see the future of Christianity as modeling a spiritual social movement and see PCU’s role as supporting congregations that seek to be part of that modeling.”

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Book Group Prayer

O God, so awesome yet so near:

We come to this room tonight with hearts that love You, with hearts that love a book that tells us about You, with hearts that love the Church which has taught us about You.

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Churches Teaching the Doctrine of Shame

Many churches teach the doctrine of shame without really knowing it. For example, a core shame message taught in many churches is that you must be like Jesus at all times; anything less and you have failed not only yourself but God. You don’t measure up. You will never be good enough. God will be perpetually disappointed with you.

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Review of: Vanishing Grace – Remembering the Promise of Faith

A Review of Vanishing Grace by Philip Yancey

I was attracted to Philip Yancey’s Vanishing Grace (Zondervan, 2014) by the back-jacket copy: ‘“Why does the church stir up such negative feelings?” Philip Yancey has been asking this all his life as a journalist. His perennial question is more relevant now than ever: in a twenty-year span starting in the mid-nineties, research shows that favorable opinions of Christianity have plummeted drastically—and opinions of Evangelicals have taken even deeper dives […] Why are so many asking, “What’s so good about the “Good News?”’

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Je Suis Jésus

Satire and Blasphemy in the Teachings of a Galilean Sage

Radical religious extremists with a distorted view of Islam commit horrific acts of terror, executing the staff of a small satirical French publication. The satirists had dared to depict the Prophet Mohammed in cartoon caricature; all the while lampooning those misbegotten adherents who in turn regard such irreverent acts as blasphemous.

The Western world reacts with outrage and defiance to such an affront. World leaders join a million person protest and unity march through the streets of Paris, chanting “Je Suis Charlie,” in defense of freedom of speech, and on behalf of the publication’s name.

While a clear distinction might be drawn between the use of words and the vehement reactions they may incite, more profound underlying questions remain. While anti-blasphemy laws are common in Muslim countries, countless other “secular” countries have laws against the defamation of religion, as well. Once the dust settles and more thoughtful discussion ensues, one might ask what constitutes the differences between hate speech and freedom of expression?

This commentary consider s esus’ use of what was deemed blasphemous satire, it’s intended purpose, and well-known consequences.

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Monthly eBulletin – Transformational Series, Part 1- Personal Transformation

Although radical transformation takes time and practice, stepping out of suffering and pain and opening ourselves to all that is possible in this human experience does not have to be a lifetime challenge. Transformation can actually happen in the space of one moment.

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Bishop John Spong on the Bible as a Source of Truth

Bishop John Spong’s provocative book is “The Sins of Scripture.” In it, Bishop Spong deplores the way the bible has been used to justify most of the world’s evils; from gender inequality, homosexuality and child abuse, to capital punishment, the environment, and birth control. In the interview, he discusses the rise of muslim fundamentalism and laments that congregations at mainstream churches are in freefall.

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The Future is Calling Us to Greatness- Online Conference on Science, Inspiration and Sustainability

A worldwide movement is emerging at the nexus of science, inspiration, and sustainability. Beliefs are secondary. What unites us is a pool of shared values and commitments—and the vision of a just and healthy future for humanity and the larger body of life. This historic series of 30-60 minute Skype interviews showcases the work of many of today’s leaders and luminaries regarding what to expect in the decades ahead, what’s being done—what still needs to be done—and how to be in action despite enormous challenges. These 55 experts represent a veritable Who’s Who of prophetic inspiration.

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Honoring Dr. Marcus Borg

We are sad to share that Marcus Borg passed away on January 21, 2015. He was a brave leader in the Progressive Christian movement and his work helped many people on their spiritual journey. He was an honorary advisor for ProgressiveChristianity.org for over 15 years, a dear friend and respected colleague. He will be greatly missed. Our loving thoughts and condolences go out to his friends, fans, and family. To honor his life and service to the movement, we created a short and simple tribute.

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Marcus J. Borg Quotes

Rather, the way of Jesus is the way of death and resurrection — the path of transition and transformation from an old way of being to a new way of being.

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Memorial to a Beloved Advisor, and Friend – Marcus Borg

Marcus became one of our most active Honorary Advisors, making suggestions and contributions over the years. We ended up several times at the same conferences and we usually found time to catch up on things from books to family. He never hesitated to let me know when he felt we had published something that was incorrect or with which he disagreed. We always appreciated his input. Marcus and I did have an ongoing, energetic conversation about the role of reciting ancient creeds which made statements we no longer believed, but we finally managed to agree to disagree. Those things are easy when you respect and love someone.

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Marcus Borg on Christianity

“Christianity’s goal is not to escape from this world. It loves this world and seeks to change it for the better.” ~Marcus Borg

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Faith Trends I See in 2015

In the spirit of Janus, I ended the year looking backward at a world in disarray and forward at three faith movements I expect in 2015.

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Keeping Christmas Well: a Christmas Resurrection Story

a sermon for Advent 4B

I used to think that A Christmas Carol was the story of Scrooge’s metamorphosis. The scene in the movie were Scrooge realizes that it is Christmas morning and that life doesn’t have to be the way it has always been and he does that wonderful dance and sings: “I don’t know anything! I never did know anything all on a Christmas morning!” I always thought of that wonderful dance as the culmination of Scrooge’s metamorphosis, like a butterfly bursting forth from a cocoon. But now I see it for what it really is. It is a dance of resurrection. For Scrooge was dead. Dead and gazing at his own tombstone, when suddenly, and suddenly for me always indicates the work of the Spirit, suddenly, Scrooge realizes that what he is seeing are only the shadows of things that might be. Suddenly, Scrooge knows “that men’s deeds foreshadow certain ends. But if the deeds be departed from surely the ends will change!” Scrooge is born again and is able to declare with confidence, “I’m not the man I was.” And so, the resurrected Scrooge becomes all that God intended him to be.

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Five tips for a God-centered December

I might be “preaching to the choir,” but these five December tips are worth remembering.

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The Marion Diaries

Reflections by Michael Hollingshead

I could feel the warm afternoon wind blowing a few moments before; right through the window where I was standing, stacking some bowls.

A moment later it blew again, only this time it was cool and refreshing, and even smelled sweet like hyssop, or juniper, or jasmine.

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Ritual – It’s in our DNA

Only recently I have come to realize that these were familiar and comfortable rituals, even if the words no longer had the same meaning for many of the attendees. These were rituals most of these folks in attendance had been repeating for decades. They were probably not paying attention to words or their meanings. But they were participating in something that brought them together with their church family or their denominational home. They were experiencing oneness, a connection of body and soul with the people who surrounded them. That is what rituals are supposed to do.

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