King David the Louse

King David has long been one of my Biblical heroes—or so I thought. The story of David versus Goliath is a powerful metaphor for facing life’s challenges. The little guy takes on the big and the powerful—and wins.

I always envisioned the great King David as the prototype for who and what the Messiah should be: a powerful leader, admired by all, who would lead the chosen people to achieve the highest standards.

Then I bought the Great Courses DVDs on the Old Testament, which consist of twenty-four thirty-minute lectures by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, a Biblical scholar from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

In lecture sixteen, Dr. Levine talked about who King David really was. That lecture was an eye opener—and not a nice one!

read more

Hastening Change in the Church

In this episode of Faith And Reason 360 we are honored to welcome author, scholar, and scribe of the popular monthly newsletter “Connections,” Barbara Wendland.

Join us as Barbara discusses the need for a radical update of creed, attitude, and structure in the Christian church, whose practices, Wendland says, are outdated—and this behind-the-times attitude, though revered as traditional by many, comes at the expense of Church success. The world has changed dramatically since the 3rd century; is the Church ready to catch up?

read more

Questions for Conviviality

What questions can you ask to help move an acquaintance into a real friendship?

What questions are worth savoring – pondering – considering – without being in a hurry for answers?

What questions take us deeper into our own hearts, and into the hearts of others?

Here is a list of questions that can enrich your relationship with yourself and with other people. When you ask them, ask with genuine curiosity and openness, withholding judgments or preconceptions. Make room in your soul for surprising answers. Ask with a desire to learn, grow, know, and love.

read more

Progressing Spirit

An inclusive and pioneering exploration of Theology, Spirituality and Current Events

With thousands of subscribers around the globe, Progressing Spirit is the world’s leading outlet for an intelligent, inclusive, and pioneering exploration of today’s theological, spiritual, and social advancements.

read more

Undivided: Coming Out, Becoming Whole, and Living Free from Shame by Vicky Beeching

One Woman’s Fight for LGBT Equality in the Church

Vicky Beeching, called “arguably the most influential Christian of her generation” in The Guardian, was an international poster girl for evangelical Christianity as a recording artist and worship leader, but she was living with a debilitating inner battle: she was gay. The tens of thousands of traditional Christians she sang in front of were unanimous in their view: They staunchly opposed same-sex relationships and saw homosexuality as a grievous sin. Vicky knew that if she ever spoke up about her identity it would cost her everything. But eventually, she did.

read more

Toxic Theology: 
Religious Beliefs that Hurt Instead of Heal


In October 2015 a television news crew covered the story of a ten year-old boy named Kyler Bradley who was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. The crew filmed Kyler in his classroom surrounded by his friends, while the teacher instructed the children to “pray for a miracle.” The reporter said: “Kyler believes in miracles. So do his classmates. Their teacher planted that idea when she told 30 ten year-olds about Kyler’s cancer.”

read more

Living the Quaker Way: Discover the Hidden Happiness in the Simple Life

The long-held priorities of Quakerism–simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality–are so universally attractive and so urgently needed in today’s world, it begs the question, Is there a little bit of Quaker in all of us? As an antidote to the complexities and challenges of modern life, award-winning author Philip Gulley offers the opportunity to participate in a world where the values of the Quaker way bring equity, peace, healing, and hope. The Quaker Way invites readers to encounter the defining commitments of the Religious Society of Friends, and shows how those ideals can be incorporated in personal and public life to bring renewal and eliminate the clutter that is keeping us from deeper spirituality. His audience is a new generation of seekers who may be disillusioned with religious institutions and strictures but yet are deeply interested in spiritual matters. In the end, Gulley’s invitation isn’t to a centuries old church, but to an honest, peaceful, and promising way of life.

read more

What did Jesus really mean?

A Refreshing Rearticulation of Honest to God Truth

From his saying “This is my body” when breaking bread and “This is my blood” when pouring wine at what has since been referenced as The Last Supper with his disciples (see Matthew 26), it is clear that Jesus rationally grasped as well as mystically (that is, transpersonally) identified with the Oneness of Creation. If what he meant to communicate by way of such sayings had been truly apprehended, such utterances may indeed have been foundational in establishing an ecologically sane, holistically Lifeaugmentative civilization.

read more

Ten Questions to Ask Your Pastor (and fellow parishioners)

How do you feel about me asking you some questions that may be hard for you to answer truthfully? Are you willing to tell me what you really think and feel and believe, even if it could get you into trouble with the church? And how can I support you if you do get in trouble for being fearless and telling your truth?

read more

Moon Song | Gungor

Gungor is in the midst of their most ambitious endeavor to date called One Wild Life, which is comprised of three full-length albums – Soul, Spirit and Body. On August 7, 2015, they kicked off the album trilogy with One Wild Life: Soul, which debuted as the #15 album on the iTunes Alternative chart. “One Wild Life: Spirit,” released on March 25, 2016. The final piece of the album trilogy concludes with One Wild Life: Body, which releases on September 30, 2016. While each record carries with it its own distinct vibe, the album series presents a body of work that celebrates the adventure and challenges faced by Michael and Lisa Gungor since the release of their album I Am Mountain in 2013.

read more

Musing of a Progressive Christian Layman: Was Moses Hebrew or Egyptian?

Since Moses’ name is similar to the name of the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose (or Tuthmosis) III, many scholars speculate that Moses was Egyptian royalty.

read more

Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril

In this fresh creative approach to theology, Elizabeth Johnson asks how we can understand cosmic redemption in a time of advancing ecological devastation. In effect, how can we extend the core Christian belief in salvation to include all created beings? Immediately this question runs into a formidable obstacle: the idea that Jesus’s death on the cross was required as atonement for human sin– a theology laid out by the eleventh-century theologian St. Anselm.

read more

Practice being who you want to be.

If you want to be angry, practice that.
If you want patience, practice that.

There is nothing that does not become lighter through habit and familiarity. – Shantideva

read more

Jesus the Tough Guy

http://peacelovejoyhope.com/jesus-tough-guy/

read more

The Pretense of Omniscience

It’s not that we think we know everything. It’s that we think we’re right about everything we believe. In our highly polarized society, almost everyone believes that they have the facts, know what truth is, and anyone thinking otherwise is wrong. Political parties have their “base”, a segment of the population who are similarly aligned on the issues and who are definitely opposed to the base of the other party. So certain are they of their rightness that they are tone deaf to facts that challenge their belief system, just as they are equally susceptible to the ploys of those who would lead that self-certainty into deeper blindness and even violence.

read more

TREVOR HALL – Up There – Music Video

Official music video for “Up There” from the album “The Fruitful Darkness” releasing June 1, 2018.

read more

Come Home: Reclaiming Spirituality and Community as Gay Men and Lesbians

Come Home’s five sections include: Welcoming God’s Acceptance, Receiving Our Inheritance, Discerning Our Call, Making Our Witness, and Declaring Our Vision. Come Home! is one of Chris Glaser’s best books. Now the addition of five new chapters has expanded and improved it. Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong called the first edition “powerful, sensitive, and provocative. . . . Christians, gay and straight, need this book if we are to be the body of Christ.”

read more

On Friendship

The most common complaint of the 44,000 students the University of Southern California: They’re lonely.

A greater irony is hard to imagine, as they swirl around each other on skateboards, mix among each other in classes, and gather together on game days and other campus events. 

Yet there’s no deeper loneliness than feeling isolated in a crowd of people, especially in a crowd of one’s peers. This isolation is strongly correlated with the epidemic of mental and physical health problems afflicting USC and all other universities.

read more