Theology in a 13.7 Billion-Year-Old Universe: Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, and Creation Spirituality


What would Christianity look like if the focus were Original Blessing, not Original Sin; Creation Spirituality, not the Fall/Redemption story; and social justice, not individual perfectionism? How do we do theology in the twenty-first century that accounts for scientific insights in general and the 13.7 billion-year-old "Universe Story" in particular? There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness. This mysterious Unity and Inte … [Read more...]

Highlights from Marcus Borg and Diana Butler Bass Lectures (Part 4 of 7)

The introductory post to this blog series is available here. The highlights from Bass' first lecture are available here and Borg's here. My musings on the lectures are in brackets. Diana Butler Bass' second lecture (of three total lectures) was titled, “Faith: From Convention to Experience.”[This title reminds me of James Fowler's important work on Stages of Faith, particularly the shift from Stage 3, "Conventional" faith to Stage 4, "Individuative-Reflective" faith. For more, see my post … [Read more...]

Highlights from Marcus Borg and Diana Butler Bass Lectures (Part 3 of 7)


The introductory post to this blog series is available here. The highlights from Diana Butler Bass' first lecture are available here. My musings on the lectures are in brackets. Marcus Borg's first lecture (of three total lectures) was on “Reclaiming Christian Language.” He began by reminding us that his work is done in the hope of inspiring "adult theological re-education." … [Read more...]

Progressive Christian Reflections on Advent

How should progressive Christians approach Advent in light of twenty-first century knowledge? The following are four meditations based on the Annunciation account in Luke 1:(1) "Magnificat! Learning to Sing Mary’s Song" - An excerpt: How are you being called to sing new lyrics to Mary’s Song — of hope and peace and joy and love — this Christmas and in the new year so that your soul may ever more fully magnify God?”(2) "A Performance of Those Things Which Were Told" - An excerpt: The way w … [Read more...]

A Thanksgiving Liturgy of Gratitude, Prayer, Song, and Feast

Agape Meal 03

At the congregation where I served as associate pastor for seven years, there was an annual tradition of an Agape Meal. The Sunday before Thanksgiving, a group would remain after morning worship to transform the sanctuary from rows of chairs facing forward to chairs around tables, similar to the dining area of a restaurant. That evening, participants would return for a feast with conversation, hymns of Thanksgiving, and stories of gratitude.The following liturgy adapts that traditions for u … [Read more...]

Highlights from Marcus Borg and Diana Butler Bass Lectures (Part 2 of 7)


   The first entry in this blog post series is available here. My musings on the lecture are in brackets.  Diana Butler Bass' first lecture (of three total lectures) was on “Reclaiming Christian Experience.” … [Read more...]

Highlights from Marcus Borg and Diana Butler Bass Lectures (Part 1 of 7)


On Friday and Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend a lecture series on "Speaking Christian--Why Christian words have lost their meaning and power and how they can be restored" with Diana Butler Bass and Marcus Borg at First Presbyterian Church in Annapolis, Maryland.Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture; and Borg is an internationally known academic, biblical and Jesus Scholar, and a Canon Theologian at  Trinity Episcopal C … [Read more...]

#OccupyAdvent: “Let the Reader Understand” (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary on Mark 13)

Backing up a few verses to look at the preceding context for this week's Gospel Lesson (Mark 13:24-37), in Mark 13:14 the Gospel writer makes a curious aside: "But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.” I am fascinated that Mark did not place his hopes in his audience reading between the lines. He, instead, explicitly inscribed a parenthetical reference “(let the reader understand)” into t … [Read more...]


 My fellow Patheos blogger Tony Jones is asking the important question "Why pray?" as research for a book he is writing on prayer. You can follow the responses through the Twitter hashtag #WhyPray or follow the Storify feed. I've collected my top ten responses below: … [Read more...]

25 Books Every Christian Should Read


(Renovaré, 25 Books Every Christian Should Read, 2011, 390 pages.) Renovaré is from the Latin word for "renew" or "restore." It is also a non-profit organization focused on spiritual formation. Their latest project is a list of the top 25 books every Christians should read. On one hand, I have deep respect for many of those who selected this list (Richard Foster, Frederica Mathewes-Green, Richard Rohr, Phyllis Tickle, and Dallas Willard). On the other hand, if I were empowered with the o … [Read more...]