The Cross: Payment or Gift? Rethinking the Death of Jesus

In “The Cross, Payment or Gift?”, Professor Grace Brame – theologian, pastor, international speaker, singer, and retreat leader – brings her years of study and experience to bear on what is perhaps the central Christian question: Why did Jesus die?

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Paul Among the People: The Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in His Own Time

Paul was a Hellenistic Jew, originally named Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, who made a living from tent making or leatherworking. He called himself the “Apostle to the Gentiles” and was the most important of the early Christian evangelists.

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Giving Voice to the Silent Pulpit – A layman explores the differences between Popular and Academic Christianity

In Giving Voice to the Silent Pulpit, author Barry Blood explores the many differences that exist between Popular Christianity and Academic Christianity.

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Between Relativism and Fundamentalism: Religious Resources for a Middle Position

Our contemporary culture is dominated by two extremes — relativism and fundamentalism.

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Jesus the Voice and the Text: Beyond the Oral and the Written Gospel

Thatcher’s Jesus, The Voice, and the Text is a commentary on Werner Kelber’s milestone work, The Oral and the Written Gospel (1983). 

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Cultivating Unity

Anne Primavesi looks at ways that the Christian inheritance has contributed to or limited respect for biodiversity.

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Fred’s Summer Reading

I had the opportunity to do some extra reading this summer and I want to recommend three books that I found uniquely helpful and interesting.  Two of these are big picture kinds of books and the other is a more scholarly but still a relatively easy read and simply fascinating.  

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Ayn Rand and Satanism

Ayn Rand was a proponent of egotistical self interest and laissez faire capitalism…To the members of the Church of Satan, this would all sound very familiar.   

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Soul Searching, the Rupert Syndrome, and the Snowflake Factor

Soul Searching
In 1907, a physician name Duncan MacDougall from Haverhill, Massachusetts, set out to not only prove the existence of the human soul, but that it had a physical presence and substance, much like the heart and lungs, flesh, bone and blood.  With the use of a large scale he recorded the weight of terminally ill patients at the moment of death, and discerned a drop of ¾ of an ounce.  He deduced the fleeting soul not only existed, but left the body for who knows where, weighing a mere 21 grams.
The human heart has always longed to believe little ‘ol me is made up of something more than the dust of the earth, to which all mortal flesh returns.  It has been part of the stuff of religious thinking since the beginning of human thought.  For all its persuasive power to drive human beings to believe what cannot be known, and behave in the most radically extreme ways sometimes, the promise of an afterlife and immortality often remains void of much critical examination.
This commentary build on the earlier article, “Moving Heaven and Hell,” which can be found in the Center’s Library.

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Religion Under Attack: Getting Theology Right!

Religion is being bombarded from every quarter—by scientists, spiritualists, agnostics, ex-believers, non-believers and even those who had never bothered with it in the first place.

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Is God a Christian?

The world has grown too small and the stakes for mankind have grown too high for any of us to engage our faithas if our understanding of God represents the only way God s presence may be known in the world.

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The Status of Creeds and Confessions Today

In the last two centuries, theologians have been abandoning the view of divine revelation.  This move has radically changed, if not actually rendered obsolete, the role once played by confessions and creeds.

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St. Peter’s Fish: Proper 9, Year A

It seems that Jesus’ body was hardly cold before his revolutionary, counter-cultural teachings were watered down and made safe for a society interested in economic survival in a controlling empire; in conforming, not transforming; in collaboration not covenant.

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Clinging to the Comfort Zone: Our Beliefs in Beliefs

This article explores the way in which beliefs can be reactionary and rigidly define one’s path as opposed to faith-based thinking.

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Prepared for National Radio of New Zealand

You have become the most widely known person in the world. And this in spite of the fact that, as my six-year old granddaughter said a few years ago, ‘You don’t hear much about Jesus these days!’

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One in the Spirit: Trinity Sunday

Matthew 16:13-28; Romans 6:5-11 This commentary is going directly through Matthew without regard for the traditional Christian liturgical year, so will not skip to the end of the gospel to Jesus’ “great commission” to “make followers of …

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The Once and Future Bible

An introduction to the Bible for religious progressives

Gregory C. Jenks latest book, The Once and Future Bible, offers lessons on making the bible relevant for today’s progressive believers.

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Faith and Foolishness: When Religious Beliefs Become Dangerous

Religious leaders should be held accountable when their irrational ideas turn harmful

Religious leaders should be held accountable when their irrational ideas turn harmful.

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