About Bruce Epperly

Bruce Epperly is a theologian, spiritual guide, and Pastor of South Congregational United Church of Christ, Centerville (Cape Cod), Massachusetts. He is the author of twenty five books, including Process Theology: A Guide to the Perplexed, Philippians: An Interactive Bible Study,The Center is Everywhere: Celtic Spirituality for the Postmodern Age, and Emerging Process: Adventurous Theology for a Missional Church. He also writes regularly for the Process and Faith lectionary. He has served as chaplain, professor, and administrator at Georgetown University, Lancaster Theological Seminary, Wesley School of Theology, and Claremont School of Theology. He may be reached at drbruceepperly@aol.com for lectures, workshops, and retreats. His latest book is Healing Marks: Healing and Spirituality in Mark’s Gospel (Energion).

A Tapestry of Belief and Experience

Diana Butler Bass’ Christianity after Religion explores the tension between spirituality and religion, and experience andbelief.  Her work is more descriptivethan constructive, but it sets the agenda for Christians who wish to addresstwenty-first century spiritual challenges and not the issues of a bygone era.  Bass notes that belief has oftenbeen a deterrent to taking Christianity seriously among the self-described “nones”and “spiritual but not religious.”  She reflects on her experience of a … [Read more...]

Postcards from Claremont: Final Reflections on Process Theology Conference

Process and Emergence in Creative TransformationCreative transformation is at the heart of process theology.  With the apostle Paul, process theology counsels us, “be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing your mind.”  Healthy spirituality involves a constant process of growth and renewal, of growing like young Jesus, in wisdom and stature – in awareness of God’s presence in the small and the large; in ability to embrace as much reality – and novelty and diversity – … [Read more...]

Postcards from Claremont: Part 2

Emergent Village Conference on Process Theology:  Day 2Christology is not a Disease, but a Pathway to Finding God Everywhere“If Jesus Christ is the center, there is no boundary.”  My friend, teacher, and mentor John Cobb shared his thoughts this morning on Christology, that is, how we understand Jesus Christ’s relationship to us and the world.  This is truly a treat, to hear Professor Cobb, now 86, speak of lively, open-spirited, and innovative Christianity.  John is one of the great the … [Read more...]

Postcards from Claremont: Process Theology & Emergent Church

Emergent Village 2012:  Process Theology and the Emerging Church, Day OneWhat a day of rejoicing – process theologians and emerging Christians in conversation. Theological energy was bursting forth and passion for ministry was palpable.  For a long time, I have felt that process theology is an ideal companion to emerging Christianity.  While many emergent Christians have been influenced by the deconstructionist postmodernism of John Caputo and Peter Rollins, I believe that the multi-sensory, … [Read more...]

Emerging Apophatic

One of my favorite theological sayings is “God in all things; all things in God.” This statement reflects the lively omnipresence of God, who can be experienced in everything from toddlers and fireflies to galaxies, soy burgers, mystery novels, and enchiladas. Every place is a divine center and although God doesn’t cause all things and cannot be identified with everything that happens (omnipotence or pantheism), you can find divine inspiration in joyful souls and cancer cells. This is the good … [Read more...]

Emerging Kataphatic

Many emerging Christians have been influenced by deconstructionist postmodernism. Profoundly iconoclastic, deconstructionism challenges any attempt to form universal theologies or fathom God’s nature. God remains a deep mystery, beyond any human articulation whether in text, tradition, liturgy, or symbol. God is a deep and dazzling darkness whose incomprehensibility inspires silence and humility.Yet, mystics and believers have also spoken of God as accessible, embodied, and intimate in s … [Read more...]

Theology and Toddler Talk

These days, I’m pondering the nature of theological reflection in light of my interactions with my sixteen month old grandson. Every day he learns more words and repeats his favorite words over and over again. In the spirit of liturgical language and congregational litanies, he repeats the words “monkey,” “moon,” “star,” “car,” “truck,” and “clock” as many as hundred times a day. I am sure that some of his repetition, especially in the first few minutes of the day, is a recitation and reminder … [Read more...]

Mary, Joseph, and Mysticism

Many years ago, during my days as a university chaplain, I led a weekly prayer and meditation group. We practiced centering prayer, Quaker silence, visualizations, and lectio divina. After one of the sessions, a visitor, active in the campus Intervarsity group, took me aside and asked, “Isn’t this mysticism, taking time to meditate?” To which I replied, “Is there something wrong with mysticism? After all, Psalm 46 tells us to be still and recognize God’s presence.” His response was a litany of … [Read more...]

Parenting the Divine: A Christmas Meditation

At the emerging community where I once served as pastor, current co-pastor Diane Brandt has created a banner that affirms the words of German mystic Meister Eckhardt, “We are all meant to be mothers of God, for God is always seeking to be born.” Listen once more: God is always seeking to be born! God is seeking to born in us right where we are. This could be the mantra of emerging and life-affirming Christianity as well as the Christmas season.God is not far off. God is near, and mov … [Read more...]

Wonder and Tragedy: Thoughts Inspired by “The Tree of Life”

At the heart of the nature of things, there are always the dream of youth and the harvest of tragedy.  The Adventure of the Universe starts with the dream and reaps tragic beauty.  This is the union of Zest with Peace: - That the suffering attains its end in a Harmony of Harmonies.  The immediate experience of this Final Fact, with its union of Youth and Tragedy, is the sense of peace.  In this way the World receives its persuasion toward s such perfections as are possible for its diverse ind … [Read more...]


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