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17 August 2017: A New Poem, an Invitation, & Thoughts on Religion and the Arts

        By Cassandra Farrin The Poem: Autopsy of a Stillbirth In their hearts the living book of the living was revealed. … This book was impossible to take because it was placed there for the one to take it to be killed. —Gospel of Truth 6:1, 3 Her body, lost for thirty-seven …

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Q & A:

A friend recently suggested that Christianity arguably emphasizes forgiveness more than other major religions, the reason being that Jesus, viewed as illegitimate by his community, was mocked and taunted as a young man. Perhaps Mary was as well.

Being on the wrong end of discrimination, he was led to cultivate an attitude of forgiveness towards those who attacked him. Any thoughts on this idea?

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10 August 2017: How a Strip Club King Accelerated My Progressive Christianity

      By Eric Alexander   In 2011 I was President of the Wesley Foundation at the University of South Florida. For those who aren’t familiar with the Wesley Foundation, it’s the United Methodist sponsored campus ministry with a presence at most major universities. During my tenure there we had a wild idea to …

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Q & A:

How do we know we have a soul? I see only three mentions in the Bible and they aren't definitive.

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3 August 2017: The End of Progressive Christianity?

      By Fred C. Plumer   As the President of Progressivechristianity.org, and as an occasional writer for this publication, I receive a lot of email from readers. Most of it is helpful. Some of it I admit is not fun to read. Two weeks ago I received a rather rude note from someone …

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Q & A:

I have friends who seem to think believing that Jesus died for them is all they need to do. Some of them even treat other people badly and when I say something to them about being more Christian they just quote John 3:16 to me. What are your thoughts?

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27 July 2017: Why I’m So Political

      By Rev. Mark Sandlin   It surprises me just a little bit how frequently I get asked about my very visible participation in politics. The truth is while some might assume that as a minister I probably start my day off with prayer and/or a devotion, I start my day with about …

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Q & A:

My grandchildren have started attending a conservative private school because of the large sizes of the classes in the public schools. Their parents have recently become concerned because of the introduction of the Devil in the curriculum of that school at the first and third grade levels where our grandchildren are students. Their questions are: "When did the concept of the Devil get introduced into the pre-Christian world? How is the Devil to be interpreted in several Bible stories? Why did the culture at that time accept the image of the Devil? Why do conservatives today not get beyond the personal Devil image? How can evil be explained without using the idea of a real Devil?

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20 July 2017: What does it mean to speak of God’s reign?

      By Kevin G. Thew Forrester, Ph.D.   One of the most characteristic features of Rabbi Jesus’ teaching is his experience of the reign of God as present here and now. This manifestation of God’s reign is not a reality to be feared, but as we hear in the synoptic gospels, is to …

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Q & A:

How is it that liberal-minded people who claim that they are open to allowing people to believe what they want and live the way that they want attack people like me who stand on the Bible? That's real tolerant now isn't it?

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13 July 2017: A New Template for Religion: A Conversation with Michael Morwood: Part 1

        By Rev. David Felten   Most 21st century Christians have grown up indoctrinated by a conventional religious experience that offers the assurance of having all the answers tied up in a little bow, just for the believing. Many still find this to be comforting, but a growing number are antsy. On …

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Q & A:

1. You are a theologian, and more precisely a scholar of spirituality who has reintroduced to Western audiences the major insights of Medieval mystics, insisting on their practicability today. Yet in this book you do not use the word “God” even once? Why?

and,

2. I was especially struck, in this book, by your deep yet free relation with the tradition, with the wisdom of the past. What are the difficulties that people have, in your opinion, for understanding this balance? How much do you think this vision is advancing in the world today?

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6 July 2017: Time for a New Spiritual (not Religious) Order?

      By Matthew Fox Speaking of a need for a Reformation makes me question whether the time has arrived for a new religious order that is in fact not tied to a particular religion but is a Spiritual Order, one that might help people of various religious faiths and none to gather around …

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Q & A:

I am choosing one of Rev. Spong's books for our newly formed group. Do you have a suggestion for a particular book?

Thank you for your help.

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29 June 2017: Making Friends with Silence

        By Rev. Roger Wolsey     Most of my attempts to connect and relate to God – involve silence. And most frequently, not much more than that. I sometimes wonder if there’s really much difference between seeking to connect to God – and not seeking to. Similar experience and results. That …

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Q & A:

I am interested in your thoughts about Atheism, God, Religion as an Institution and Reincarnation.

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22 June 2017: The Little Denomination that Could Have

By Gretta Vosper It’s been four years since I decided to publicly identify as an atheist. After the manner of time’s calming influence upon things about which we were once so passionate, my perspective on the wisdom of the decision has altered. And as we so often do, I revisit that decision from time to …

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Q & A:

What are your feelings about singing hymns in churches where salvation requires the portrayal of Jesus as a sacrifice who shed his blood to cleanse us from our sins? Are these ideas still meaningful to anyone?

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15 June 2017: Land, Family, Failure, Prayer: Reflecting on Wendell Berry’s Farmers’ Manifesto

June is planting season in Idaho. One can drive along rural highways past fields of corn shoots followed by the satisfyingly dark green foliage of mounded potato starts, fresh mint, and sugar beets. Small-scale and industrial farmers alike rush against the short growing season of the high desert to get plants into the ground after …

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Q & A:

What are your thoughts about where progressive Christianity is going from here? In some groups I find it barely different than other evangelical sects, and other expressions seem to feel completely new-age without hardly a remnant of Christianity.

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