The Hipster’s Guide to an Authentic Christmas

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I have a theory. I could be wrong. But I think Christmas 2014 will be the year of the New Authenticity in product-gifting. I’ve already seen a few intimations in this direction. First, Taylor Swift pulled her catalog off Spotify. So if parents want to give Taylor Swift music to their children for Christmas, they [Read More...]

A Spiritual Path to Gratitude

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Brother David Steindl-Rast has contended in his writings that gratitude is foundational to a healthy spiritual life. If that is true, and I believe it is, then how might we expand our capacity for gratitude? Perhaps some reflections drawn from the story of Moses’ encounter with God in Exodus 33:12-23 can lead us along a path to [Read More...]

The Politics of Love

For a long period in the history of the United States, Christians understood that progressive political action for structural social change was a necessary means toward the end of living out the gospel.  They understood that charity would never solve the nation’s social ills.  Their religious faith translated into a faith in democracy as the [Read More...]

Early Christmas Joy: Meditating with the Advent and Christmas Stories

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The joy came to me early this year, in the form of Jan Johnson’s Taste and See: Experiencing the Stories of Advent and Christmas. Johnson invites readers to enter into the stories through a sort of neo-Ignatian approach she calls “participative meditation.” We read each narrative and then place ourselves within it, either as a [Read More...]

Making the Most of What We Have Been Given (A Sermon on the Parable of the Talents in Matt. 25:14-30)

I don’t know if there is any truth to it or not, but the story is told that when Britain faced a critical shortage of silver during the days of WWII Winston Churchill launched a search of possible sources of silver. They discovered some sterling silver statutes of saints in some of their churches and [Read More...]

Christmas as a Season: Sybil MacBeth’s “The Season of Nativity” and a Holiday Revolution

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“The whole Nativity Season deserves to be relished.” ~Sybil MacBeth There is perhaps no holiday for which it is possible to go more “all out” than Christmas. Stores start their marketing campaigns before the calendar has turned to Fall; Christmas trees go up before Thanksgiving dinners have even been digested (or earlier!); yards quickly fill [Read More...]

What Children Need To Thrive: A Review of “Their Name Is Today”

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Johann Christoph Arnold’s Their Name is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World crossed my desk at an interesting moment in my life as an educator: I am a college professor and, recently, became the mother to twin boys. In other words: I am learning to “mother” on both ends of the spectrum of “childhood”—from the [Read More...]

Preaching as a Mad Act: A Q&A with John Holbert

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“Preaching is a mad act, speaking for God to people who hardly know who God may be, proclaiming the gospel of one who came preaching and loving the world. No small task, that!” – John Holbert, Old Testament scholar and Homiletics professor In this month of thanksgivings, I’ll be blogging about some of the Patheos folks [Read More...]

They Call Her the “God Girl”: A Q&A with Newest Patheos Blogger Cathleen Falsani

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“Thirty years later, I’m still looking for God in the places some people say God isn’t supposed to be found, and I’m still as fascinated as ever.” — Cathleen Falsani, award-winning journalist, author and blogger The Progressive Christian Channel at Patheos continues to grow and flourish each month as we add some of the smartest and spirited bloggers [Read More...]

A New Conversation on the Death Penalty

This week (Nov. 6) Wheaton College, often called “the Harvard of Christian colleges” is hosting a forum on the death penalty. But it’s not just any forum. It has potential to reshape the way evangelicals in America think about the topic. In addition to Wheaton’s own ethicist Vincent Bacote and Mercer University scholar David Gushee, [Read More...]

Away With the Manger

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The annual rant is upon us: Thanksgiving is still weeks away, and already the stores are full of Kristmas Krap. (As opposed to Christmas decorations, which are lovely and which show up at the appropriate season.) So a friend and I were talking about the symbols of Christmas, and how they shape the way we [Read More...]

Five Ways to Experience an Extreme Advent

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By Sybil MacBeth Author, The Season of the Nativity: Confessions of an Advent, Christmas and Epiphany Extremist I cannot remember exactly when it happened, but I think it was in a large high-end mall in Cleveland, Ohio. Decked in a spectacular array of shiny foil, colorful ornaments, and thousands of lights, the mall was filled [Read More...]


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