re-imagining God

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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...]

Learning to Love Gordon College [my Homophobic Alma Mater]

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Three weeks ago, during Gordon College’s homecoming, I stepped foot on my alma mater’s campus after nearly ten years. Sleuthing for a parking space, my friend Andrew dropped me off at the curb with three traffic cones and an armful of signs that read, “We love LGBTQ students #OneGordon.” I carted the subversive gear across the soccer field, past brick dorms and staring, possibly glaring, parents and alumni. A couple other people affiliated with OneGordon, an LGBTQ and allied organization for the … [Read more...]

A Muslim and Atheist Team up to Promote Freedom of Conscience

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I was born in Pakistan, completed my medical school there and then moved to the United States for specialized medical training. I also moved to escape the horrid persecution my Islamic sect – the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community - faces back home. In America, I could enjoy all the freedoms I was denied under Pakistan’s law, most importantly the freedom of speech. I therefore set out to use social media to raise my voice for freedom of conscience world over – and specifically in the ‘Muslim world.’ … [Read more...]

Caught Up in the Thing

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I recently had the opportunity to go on a trip to Disneyland and some of the other parks in Southern California. It was my first visit to a Disney/Disney-type park. Going to Disney was an eye opening experience because all of a sudden I was thrust into a world where everyone was there for the same reason. We all came to see the park and to appreciate the wonders that were set before us. This uniting purpose, this sense of being together for the same reason, strangely opened the door to … [Read more...]

The River of Years

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I’m at an age when thinking about age is something I do often. I reached my Medicare year, age 65, in March. Little did I or my fellow boomers think we would be cheering this milestone, because it means qualifying for medical insurance when many of us had lost any health insurance coverage a few anxious years ago.The age-old saw is that “aging is not for the timid.”I have to marshal my courage to face physical activities that I sailed through when younger, because my body has betrayed me … [Read more...]

The Re-Indigenisation of faith, indigenous people groups and Scottish Independence

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As I write from St Albans just north of London UK the people of Scotland are voting on whether to become an independent nation and no longer part of the United Kingdom. By the time this post is published we will know the outcome. I have mixed feelings about this. I have no Scottish heritage, though my wife’s family in part trace their heritage to Scottish farmers who came down with the last Catholic Scots claimant to the throne, Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 to invade England and ended up as f … [Read more...]

An Intro and the Skeptimergent Challenge

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As an atheist who works with religious persons, I am honored to be a part of these “Emerging Voices.” By way of introduction, I first met Holly Roach and Steve Knight at a conference they coordinated at Mission Gathering Church in San Diego. Ryan Bell, Adele Sakler, and myself were invited to lead a panel on Skeptimergent—a group of skeptics and non-believers interested in discussing the role that liberal and Emergent forms of Christianity took in their lives. I first came in contact with Emerg … [Read more...]

Do You Have a Gaudy God?

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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...]

The Worst of Your Tradition: Own It!

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I remember having a back-and-forth with a Christian about the violence historically committed by Christians: the early persecution of heretics, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the European "Wars of Religion," slavery in the Americas, up to the bombings of abortion clinics and the killing of doctors who perform abortions.  His response, which has stuck with me to this day, was "don't compare the best of your tradition with the worst of mine."  This comment really made me think.  He was not … [Read more...]


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