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...]

Voting: A Ritual

(see this and more at Patheos.com’s “Public Square”: http://www.patheos.com/Public-Square) “Voting is irrational.” This jarring statement comes from Paul Woodruff, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas in Austin, in his wise book, REVERENCE: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue (2002). It’s disturbing, but it might get at the heart of the problem of low voter participation. [Read More...]

Christian Piatt Takes PostChristian on the Road

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Patheos blogger Christian Piatt is on the road this fall, promoting his new book PostChristian (and hosting Beer & Hymns events wherever he can), so I thought I’d pull out this interview from the archives to introduce you to Christian and his thoughts on PostChristian: What Left, Can We Fix It, Do We Care?  Enjoy! To [Read More...]

Rethinking the Bible’s Place (It’s Just the Way It Is, Part 2)

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There are some Christians who give the Bible godlike homage. It might as well have come floating down from heaven on the wings of angels. Should we ascribe to the Bible divine status? In Nazi Germany a Jewish fugitive fleeing for his life came to a small town. He sought out the house of the [Read More...]

A Gay Catholic Priest on Sex and the Synod: A Q&A with Fr. Geoff Farrow

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by Timothy Villareal The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, California experienced something of an earthquake in October of 2008. A month ahead of the vote on Proposition 8, which would ban same-sex marriage in California – the same Prop 8 that was finally put six feet under by the Supreme Court in 2013 – a [Read More...]

Covering Worship: Special LP Deluxe Edition

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The sample size might be too small for statistical validity, but I’ll go ahead and offer a data-influenced hypothesis nevertheless. Concept albums are on the rise. Or perhaps we should call them “cover” concept albums, since most of the ones I’m thinking of are a concept, but they are also “covering” an album from the [Read More...]

A Seminary Invites Silicon Valley to Play: The Launch of a New Center for Innovation in Ministry at SFTS

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I’ve just recently returned from an exceptionally joyful jaunt to the San Francisco Bay Area, where I learned first-hand the transformative power of play for solving real-world problems such as hunger, violence, racism, and climate change. Late last week, on a beautiful fall day in the sleepy hills of Marin County, the San Franciso Theological Seminary (SFTS) launched its new [Read More...]

Two Visions, One Book — That’s Just the Way It Is

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Biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan argues in his book, God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now, that in the biblical tradition, both Old and New Testaments, two incompatible and contradictory explanations of God’s final victory over the evil and injustice of the world run side by side, often in the same biblical books. [Read More...]

Invite a Corporation to Church

The Supreme Court has declared corporations to be people, according to its Citizens United decision. And, likewise, in its Hobby Lobby decision, it decided that a company can be exempted from obeying laws that contradict his/her personal religious beliefs. This opens up an exciting opportunity for Christian evangelism! If we are serious about spreading the [Read More...]

Lucinda Williams: Our Greatest Living Preacher

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Anticipation of Lucinda William’s new album has been growing for months. First there were blogs about it. Hints in the news. Then I heard about twenty minutes of it a few weeks back because NPR First Listen posted the whole two-disc set. I didn’t listen to the whole thing, because frankly, it’s a long album, [Read More...]

Francis of Assisi: God’s Holy Fool

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by Susan R. Pitchford I lost my heart to Francis of Assisi for the same reason I lost it to Jesus: I’m a sucker for the combination of holiness and charm. It’s been said that Francis followed in the footsteps of Christ as closely as anyone ever has. And of all the saints, Francis is [Read More...]


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