How to Read the Bible: A Progressive Christian Guide

Here I offer a set of assumptions and suggestions for reading, understanding, and making creative spiritual use of the Bible. 1) The Christian Bible includes the Jewish Torah and prophetic and other scriptures, along with a selection of Christian texts, assembled in roughly its present form in the 4th century AD by the emerging Catholic [Read More...]

The Wild Goose Honks for You! (A Q&A with Gareth Higgins, and a special 15% Discount)

With the second annual Wild Goose Festival – a 4-day gathering of thousands of progressive Christians and others in the woods of North Carolina celebrating justice, spirituality, music and art – just a month away, we checked in with festival executive director Gareth Higgins to find out what’s new this year, what he’s most excited about, and [Read More...]

SFTS Preachers Retreat Renews both Mind and Spirit

Sam HP

Several years ago, before I moved to Denver and began working at Patheos, I had the great privilege of serving as the Program Manager for the Programs In Christian Spirituality at the San Francisco Theological Seminary in Northern California. Among the many life-giving (and life-changing) programs we hosted was a continuing ed event called Before [Read More...]

Song on the Mount

Song on the Mount Every hair on your head is counted Every bird on the wing Is fed by the hand of the One who loves us And gives us voice to sing Grass in the field Lilies will yield Birds needn’t store any seed Trust in the One whose Word moves mountains And answers [Read More...]

The Macrotheism of Chip Murray

a review by Jim Burklo of “Twice Tested by Fire: A Memoir of Faith and Service” by Rev. Cecil “Chip” Murray (Figueroa Press – 2012) It’s no accident that Chip Murray’s autobiography comes into print at the 20th anniversary of the 1992 LA riots. At that time, he was the pastor of First African Methodist [Read More...]

Two Prayers for Graduates

By David Swartz Graduation, the goal, the dream…in some cases, the miracle. When I speak on campuses, I can’t help but notice  that some people have been there for a long time. “When do you plan to make your escape (graduate)? They just grin. To brutalize Ecclesiastes a little, “There is a time to grin…” [Read More...]

You Say You Want a Christian in the White House…

By Jeff Fulmer I should confess right off that I voted for George W. Bush in 2000 because, in part, he was a man of faith.  He called himself a “compassionate conservative,” which was how I liked to think of myself.  After a couple of years, I realized the man I had voted for wasn’t very compassionate [Read More...]

Dear Church: It’s Not You, It’s Us

While churches have a great deal of liability in matters of “clergy killing,” I think it is important that pastors say out loud to our congregations: you are not entirely the problem. We are. [Read more...]

How to live as a Christian without having to believe the unbelievable

Christianity asks you to do very hard things that are supremely worth the effort. Loving your enemies – that often seems impossible.  Willingly giving up your power and money and time and influence in order to serve the poor and the sick and the oppressed – that can be downright scary.  Having a heart full [Read More...]

The Way of the Mule

A Spanish pilgrim in rough clothes rode on a mule toward Rome and Jerusalem in the year 1522. Ignatius of Loyola was his name. He was “to the manor born” but rejected his wealth and status to pursue spiritual enlightenment. Later he would become the founder of the Jesuit order of Catholic priests. Along the [Read More...]

Muddy Insight


Discovery I dreamed I heard someone singing A beautiful song I’d never heard before. I woke up humming the tune. Who is the songwriter? I dreamed I found a piece of paper lying on a sandy shore. On it was a poem I’d never read before. Its intense clarity haunted me after I awoke. Who [Read More...]

GCB: The Good, the Gag-me, and the Gospel


by Erin Wathen I love the new show GCB. And it bugs me. And I love to let it bug me. Lots of people don’t love it, and I kind of get why. For one thing, it is not super well-written. The main character is sort of flat. I don’t think she’s a bad actress, really…they [Read More...]