A Progressive Sacrament of Holy Communion

Reminding us symbolically of this union of body and spirit, Jesus took a loaf of bread, broke it like we are often broken in our relationships with one another, and showed us the way to reconciliation by asking us to share our bread with one another in remembrance of his own example.

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The Devil MAY Care: The Comedy of Job

The story of Job shows us that our wishful thinking is not the case and that if we are to engage “evil” effectively as progressive Christians, or even live meaningfully in the world, we must first imagine what a just God’s expectations of, and trust in, us would involve and what expectations we should have about God.

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Beyond Perfection: Recovering from the Christian Purity Cult

Christianity appears impossible if we focus on the admonitions in the New Testament that Jesus gave his followers. Love your enemies? Good luck with that. Turn the other cheek? Ouch. If a creditor demands your coat, give him your cloak as well? That means you’ll be left naked. If a man lusts after a woman who is not his wife, he’s an adulterer. No heterosexual male can pretend to meet that standard. And the list goes on – culminating in Jesus’ demand that we be perfect, as God is perfect. Nobody can fully follow his marching orders.

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The Global Imperative: Rethinking Religion, Repurposing Science, Reimagining Society

Today’s discoveries in Big Science, innovations in technology, along with the globalization of society and empowerment of the individual are bringing about ever-increasing benefits for humanity. Nevertheless, worldwide justice, peace, equality and understanding still elude us. For a more humane society, there is an overarching global imperative that we reconsider and reevaluate the claims of religion, the messages of science and our vision for society.

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On What Was Devine in Jesus (and in us)

The language of faith is mytho-poetic, not literal. It describes the meaning of reality, not the facts. Thus the contemporary question of whether Jesus was factually born of a virgin or was the biological son of God confuses the very intention of the ancient authors.

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Seasons and Self: Discourses on Being ‘at Home’ in Nature

Seasons and Self is a courageous exploration into religious naturalism – sometimes called the ‘forgotten alternative’ – as well as contemporary critical biblical studies by one of Australia’s leading progressives, Rex A. E. Hunt. A self-professed religious naturalist, progressive liturgist, and social ecologist., he belongs squarely within a post-liberal/ ‘progressive’ orientation.

Rex A E Hunt acknowledges the principle attributed to the Brazilian theologian Rubem Alves: “I am not after conclusions… Conclusions are meant to shut… Every conclusion brings the thought process to a halt.” The present collection is an invitation to readers to become curious and excited about what they read, and to explore further – beyond the tyranny of clear and distinct ideas! The author is concerned about ‘likelihoods’ and being ‘open-ended’ rather than closing any discussion with persuasion by argument. The intent is to strike a chord rather than ‘shoehorning’ something – ideas, answers, doctrine, correct belief – into people, often challenging the parochial and limited claims of traditional religions, or so-called pious biblical argument based on a proof-text zeal.

While both science and progressive religion are to the fore in the topics and chapters of the collection of sermons, addresses and keynote presentations, there is also a strong hint of the poetic – all evoking a sense of awe and wonder at nature and the natural, rather than the supernatural. A radical theo-eco-logy! Themes addressed include evolution, earth, cosmos, food and wisdom, as well as Autumn, children, celebration and humour. All grounded in the Ordinary… in the hope that, collectively, they will stir one’s own imagination.

“Nature and naturalism are for us today the main game for any progressive spirituality,” writes the author. “We are fully linked with our surroundings in time, space, matter/energy, and causality, and where the metaphor of ‘web’ is used to describe this interrelatedness – we create the web and the web creates us…”

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Repent And Believe In The Gospel! Over 300 Christian Theologians Challenge The Corruption Of U.S. Christianity

    Boston Declaration, condemning the abuse of the Christian faith by many conservatives today, was just written, signed and released by over 300 hundred Christian theologians attending the American Academy of Religion and the Society of …

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Who was Jesus? Part One

The question about Jesus is not a simple question. In search of the answer, wars have been fought, laws passed and broken, kingdoms gained and lost, and heretics burned at the stake.

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Coming Back to Faith

The Journey from Crisis of Belief Toward Healthy Engagement

Coming Back to Faith gently leads on the journey of faith or back home to faith; provides a sensitive and compassionate guide for living life as a Christian; aids with facing hardships with fortitude and renewal; helps move from chaos and despair toward passionate vitality; can lead from disillusionment to hope; and can calm the reactive and reenergize the faithful.

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If you’re sad about Rachel Held Evans (and other un-answered prayers).

If you haven’t heard, or if you need confirming that it wasn’t all a terrible dream, Rachel Held Evans—beloved author, truth-teller, and icon for a generous Christianity—passed away yesterday morning, after a brief and unexpected storm of health complications. She was only 37—two years younger than me.

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Mothers’ Day Angst – sermons for a day not included in the liturgical calendar!

Mothers’ Day is not on the church’s liturgical calendar and yet the statisticians tell us that church attendance on Mothers’ Day is surpassed only by Christmas and Easter. Worship leaders who fail to mark the importance of this day do so at their peril; the same kind of peril that compels so many reluctant offspring to accompany their mothers to church. However, a simple liturgical nod in the direction of mothers or an over-the-top sentimental sermon all too often fails to capture the magnitude of the day’s significance in the history of women.

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Out of Egypt: Remembering Rachel

Rachel Held Evans came of age in the Bible Belt.   A budding journalist and blogger, her writing began to reflect her doubts about the version of Christianity in which she was raised. 

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Remembering Rachel Held Evans

Rachel Held Evans has died. She was a bestselling author on matters of faith and an advocate for a number of progressive issues. She’d been hospitalized for the flu but suffered an allergic reaction to antibiotics. After her death yesterday, her husband Dan wrote, Rachel’s presence in this world was a gift to us all, and her work will long survive her. She was 37.

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Heretics, The Trinity, And Ecclesiastical Politics…

Do you consider yourself a heretic?  You should.
The ancient Greek word for ‘choice’ is the word we know as ‘heresy’.
Heretics are people of choice.

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Brand New Spirit

Dr. Flunder is an American singer and Senior Pastor of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in Oakland, California and Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. She was born in San Francisco, California and raised in the Church of God in Christ.

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Random Theological Thoughts

But the Bible is not just a sacred book
It is also human book
full of the writings of the spiritually young
who only partly understood

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Rob Bell Quote

“Love is what God is, love is why Jesus came, and love is why he continues to come, year after year to person after person… May you experience this vast, expansive, infinity indestructible love that has been  yours all along. May you discover that this love is as wide as the sky and as small as the cracks in your heart no one else knows about, and may you know, deep in your bones, that love wins.”

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Overcoming the real challenges humanity faces.

If you don’t take the last consequential step out of these ill-fated institutions, as well-meaning as they might be, how will humanity be able to overcome the real challenges humanity faces, if humanity does not choose to take responsibility for itself instead of waiting to be saved?

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