Rebellion and Awe

Scale

I am grateful to my people of origin, the Evangelicals. Sure they scared the hell out of me, left me with a dank reservoir of guilt and shame, and gave me an image of God more like an alcoholic father than the author of love and mercy—but I am sure I will get over those things eventually.When I was growing up, we Evangelicals were still afraid of popular culture and condemned everything that wasn’t us—from Lutherans to The Love Boat to Roller Disco—it was all just different shades of the Devi … [Read more...]

Why Evangelize Evolution?

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I’m often asked, “Why do you evangelize evolution? What ‘good news’ does science offer?” The following is my typical response...I used to be confused by many aspects of the world, including my inner world. Thanks to an embrace of big history as my creation story, I no longer am. I now have a depth of understanding that saints and sages down through the ages, including the biblical writers themselves, never imagined possible.I used to struggle with temptations and what I considered “sinful … [Read more...]

re-imagining God

homeless

in recent news an image of Jesus from the 4th century was found in Spain on a glass plate. This made the headlines not just for it's age but because Jesus is pictured in Roman style with no beard and in a toga. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-29480874 there are actually similar images in mosaics in Britain in Roman villas converted into early churches.  now i think we can be pretty certain that whatever Jesus looked like as a 1st century Palestinian Jew he did not look like a … [Read more...]

TEDx: Are God & Reality Converging?

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I was recently engaged in a spirited conversation about "Convergence Christianity" with my friend and colleague, Eric Elnes, at his home in Omaha, Nebraska.Eric described how he sees things evolving in the post-evangelical, post-liberal Christian world, and I shared how I've been noticing a similar convergence occurring in a wide range of secular and religious contexts.What exactly is converging? You can see Eric's take on this question here.As I've traveled North America the past twe … [Read more...]

Pursuing the Peculiar

Russell Rathburn

There is of course the notion that we all want to find points of connection—we want a big tent, we want a broad-way. It has been a hallmark of this thing of ours, that it is okay to be you, and it is okay for me to be me and we will find a point where we connect and let us celebrate that.And I celebrate that.But what I am really interested in is the points where we diverge. Where we do not quite line up. I want to see the peculiar and the particular in you and I want you to see the p … [Read more...]

Do You Have a Gaudy God?

GaudyIceBar

Raining brimstone, epic deluges, trumpets from heaven...is your God showing off?We have all heard of insecure people who act out by throwing fits.  The kid who bullies others on recess, the child who screams when he doesn't get his way, the buff guy in the military who wants to fight at the bar.  We call these people "show-offs" and "assholes."  But what happens when you find your divinity throwing a hissy-fit?One of the first things you can do is exempt your God from these tantrums.  A … [Read more...]

Atheists and Christians Working Together: Me and Ryan Bell’s Online Course

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For many here on Emergent Village and Patheos Progressive Christian, working with Christians is second-nature.  But there are many of us atheists, humanists, skeptics, and non-believers, who have little to no idea about how to work with Christians.  Some of us (atheists and Christians) cannot get beyond the trivial Facebook debates, the subtle intellectual jabs at each other, and the unsophisticated, meme-based, generalizations of Christians and atheists.This is a great opportunity for l … [Read more...]

POSTSCRIPT: The Bible is NOT the Word of God (Part 2)

Scripture

A brief note on the form of things: Last April I wrote a post titled The Bible is NOT the WORD OF GOD: a polemic against Christendom. The article was meant to be a provocation towards rethinking the way we speak about the bible. The reaction it received was very interesting as it seemed to indicate a sharp divide between those who agreed and disagreed with the premise.In general, I make it a point to avoid apologetic type argumentation when it comes to what I write. This method of discourse … [Read more...]

Jesus vs. Paul

book turning pages

The problem is not that Paul is such a bad person, but that he was an historically conditioned personality who, however inspired he might have been in certain respects, did not go beyond the prevailing collective opinions with regard to the psychological problem of the persona and the Shadow. Jesus was sufficiently conscious that he was able to transcend the collective thinking of his time. Paul was not able to do this. It is unfortunate that the Church elected to follow the admonitions of Paul … [Read more...]

Either “Is Homosexuality A Sin?” OR “Is Homophobia A Sin?”

homosexuality-church

The modern Church’s overall inability to properly engage the culture in which it exists is none the more evident than in the issue of homosexuality. There is nothing more appalling (except perhaps our treatment of African Americans and women), than the pure hatred that the church has shown to the homosexual community.This will be my attempt at helping to add something meaningful to this conversation by addressing the question: how should a Christian in today's western culture understand the i … [Read more...]


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