Sermon Series Retrospective: “Holy Adventure”

For Lent 2011, we studied Bruce Epperly's book Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living. The following are the sermon titles and a brief excerpt of the content:“Life Is a Holy Adventure” Being fully present — even to the most mundane tasks — can allow you to experience the sacred and cultivate gratitude for the simple joy of being alive. “Transforming God” What does it look like to read the Bible for “formation” instead of “information?” Why would you want to “Start slowly, so that grad … [Read more...]

Sermon Series Retrospective: “The Prayer of Jesus”

For Epiphany 2011, we studied The Prayer of Jesus (also known as "The Lord's Prayer") line-by-line. The following are the scripture references, sermon titles, and a brief excerpt of the content:"Rabbi, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). Teach Us To Pray: "How differently might Christianity look if we learned at an early age to ask with sincerity 'Teach us to pray'?" “Our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9a). Praying in the Plural: Jesus is teaching us to pray “our” first, not “my”; “we” before “ … [Read more...]

WWJD? (“What Would Jung Do?”): Jungian Spirituality for Lent

Note: This sermon is part of a Lenten study of Joyce Rockwood Hudson's book Natural Spirituality: Recovering the Wisdom Tradition in Christianity. Links to the previous installments in this series on “Jungian Spirituality” will be included at the end of each post.  21 I learned both what is secret and what is manifest, 22 for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me. There is in her a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, … [Read more...]

Liberal Christians: STOP “Conceding” Readings that Victimize LGBT Christians

Adam Kotsko, professor, author, and blogger, has an provocative Twitter conversation going (@adamkotsko) in which he criticizes liberal Christians for making "half-assed" arguments along the lines of "Yes, God's inspired word is anti-gay, but...."He says, "It hurts my heart to see liberals so easily concede homophobic readings of the Bible."More importantly, he offers a potentially more constructive path of argumentation: The Paul stuff in particular is a case study in over-confident t … [Read more...]

“John 3:16 — The Rest of the Story” (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary for Sunday, March 18, 2012)

Note: I previously posted this lectionary commentary in 2011, when this same passage was the Gospel Lesson. I offer it again for those who may find it newly useful or who may have missed it the first time. Part I: Floating on the Surface: the immediate context of Nicodemus and John 3:14 One reason "born again" Christians made John 3:16 famous is its proximity to the story of Jesus telling Nicodemus that “no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.” To complicate matters, many tr … [Read more...]

“God is Not a Republican…or a Democrat”

Our county's bi-weekly newspaper published my latest Letter to the Editor this morning (Friday, March 16). Here's a copy of what was printed:I am writing in response to Chester Seaborn’s letter, “Christians: Will you support Obama?” (March 7). Mr. Seaborn’s diatribe against the Democratic Party was missing an important counterbalance. He did not once mention the Republican Party. Given our two-party system I can only assume that Mr. Seaborn’s screed against Christians who vote for Democrats i … [Read more...]

Confronting the Unconscious: From Supernatural to Natural Spirituality

Note: This post is the first part in a Lenten series on Joyce Rockwood Hudson's book Natural Spirituality: Recovering the Wisdom Tradition in Christianity. 22 God created me Wisdom at the beginning of God’s work, the first of God’s acts of long ago. 23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought … [Read more...]

Confessions of a Western Universalist

(Rajiv Malhotra, Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism, HarperCollins, 2011, 474 pages) Rajiv Malhotra's latest book challenges many Western assumptions. He invites his Western readers to see their worldview through the eyes of India. Having read a fair amount of postmodern philosophy, I was sympathetically inclined to his general perspective, but I am willing to confess that at the end of the book I remain, for better or worse, a fairly unreconstructed Western Un … [Read more...]

Against TOMS Shoes: Ethics Are Messy!

Naomi Wilson, over at The Public Queue, has written an important critique of TOMS Shoes (h/t Tripp Fuller): The premise of TOMS shoes is that for every pair of TOMS shoes bought, the company will distribute a pair to a shoeless child somewhere in a developing country.... And TOMS does not just give children one pair of shoes and then abandon them — they work to supply each child to whom they give shoes with shoes throughout their childhood. Now comes the “But”: For...Shoe Drops, volunteers and … [Read more...]

“Death of God” Theologian Has Died

William Hamilton, a theologian made (in)famous in the April 8, 1966 “Is God Dead?” Time Magazine cover story, has died at age 87. You can perhaps guess that Easter Sunday was on April 10 that year, and Time was looking to move copies off the newsstand with a sensationalized cover. Although Hamilton eventually landed on his feet, the story resulted in him being essentially forced out of his tenured job at Colgate Rochester Divinity School, a ‘liberal’ Baptist theological school in New York. … [Read more...]


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