Incarceration or Redemption?

The weekend of Oct 3-5 is a time for congregations all over America to reflect in worship on the issue of mass incarceration:  for resources, see Justice Not Jails. Today, over 2,000,000 Americans are in jail or in prison.  We’ve got 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of its prisoners.  More black men are [Read More...]

Preventing Suicide is Possible: A Q&A with Author Karen Mason

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Throughout the developed world, self-harm is now the leading cause of death for people age fifteen to forty-nine, surpassing all cancers and heart disease. Even as you’re reading this post, there will be one U.S. suicide every 16 minutes. And while these and other sobering statistics on suicide paint a grim picture, awareness of the problem is an important [Read More...]

Stump a Bible Scholar: Wrestling with Zoroastrianism Influences

Tuesday is Stump a Scholar Day here at Patheos Progressive Christian — and no question is too tough or too radical for our experts! This month, we’re answering your questions about the Bible with resident expert Professor Jerry Sumney. Dr. Sumney is professor of biblical studies at Lexington Theological Seminary and the author of Colossians: A Commentary (2008) and Identifying Paul’s Opponents (1990). He’s also the author of [Read More...]

Can You Handle the Truth? On Galileo, Biblical Inerrancy, and the Courage to Question

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A wonderful thing happened some four hundred years ago. Renaissance man Galileo Galilei thought to himself, “I wonder what the stars would look like through my telescope?” And so, he took an instrument that most in Europe had viewed as a toy, and he pointed it toward the heavens. The viewed startled him. Among other [Read More...]

Is Scripture an OS?

Two books I’ve read recently have me thinking about Scripture as an operating system. All metaphors break-down at some point, so stretch this one as you will, but I find it helpful. The first work is out of Baylor University Press (a university press, by the way, that regularly publishes wonderfully intriguing titles). Qur’an in Conversation, [Read More...]

Leading in Changing Times: A Q&A with Pastor Michael W. Foss

“The biggest challenge churches have is casting a vision for ministry that is compelling. And by compelling I mean one that can create enough energy and hope to overcome our addiction to the past.” — Rev. Michael W. Foss, author, Reviving the Congregation This month at the Patheos Book Club, we’re featuring a new book [Read More...]

Let Dry Bones Live: Some Reflections on Reviving the Congregation

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Reviving the Congregation: Pastoral Leadership in a Changing Context, by Michael W. Foss, is the kind of book that should be read by every seminary student on a pastoral ministry track or lay leader/minister in a local congregation in need of some ministry training. It’s as much about maintaining and nurturing congregational vitality, health, and [Read More...]

Michael Yankoski: Three Ways to Embrace The Sacred This Year

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by Michael Yankoski Earth’s crammed with heaven And every common bush afire with God; But only those who see, take off their shoes. -Elizabeth Barrett Browning Being oblivious to the Sacred is endemic these days. Amidst our drive by, fly by, shop-till-you-drop frenzy of a world, most of us have conditioned our capacity for attentiveness, [Read More...]

Intimate Silence: Spirituality of Desert Preservation

Reflection by Jim Burklo Desert Stewardship Project event, 9/6/14, Joshua Tree National Monument A young Muslim woman student at the University of Southern California once told me that the reason she fasts at Ramadan is to manifest an essential human quality. Human beings, she said, are the only creatures that are able to restrain themselves [Read More...]

Stump a Bible Scholar: What Happened to the Women’s Stories?

Tuesday is Stump a Scholar day here at Patheos Progressive Christian — and no question is too tough or too radical for our experts! This month, we’re answering your questions about the Bible with resident expert Professor Jerry Sumney. Dr. Sumney is professor of biblical studies at Lexington Theological Seminary and the author of Colossians: A Commentary (2008) and Identifying Paul’s Opponents (1990). He’s also the author of [Read More...]

Reviving our Congregations: On Reorienting and Restructuring

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by Michael W. Foss Jesus looked at them and said, “With human beings this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (TNIV) Can congregations be revitalized? The answer is yes. But it will take both a spiritual renewal and organizational restructuring. Spiritual renewal begins with a change of focus for our [Read More...]

Shane Claiborne on Dr. King, Nonviolent Uprisings and Learning from Ferguson 

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Dr. King said: a “riot is the language of the unheard.” What happens when folks do not feel like their voices are being heard? They shout louder. Rioting is what almost happened in Ferguson, and all of us who live in fragile neighborhoods with a backdrop of deep racial injustice need to pay attention. In [Read More...]


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