Bombshells to Church Bells

A few years ago, I discovered an unusual use for a pressure cooker. I took a thin copper pipe, flared one end slightly, curved the pipe into a “U” shape, and fitted it over the top vent of a pressure cooker. I put water in the cooker and brought it to a boil, and used [Read More…]

Aiming High

Last week I attended a conference at Esalen Institute near Big Sur. It’s hosted by Esalen’s Center for Theory and Research. It’s focused on peacemaking among the Abrahamic faiths. After the first day of the meeting, I got into a rich conversation with Esalen’s co-founder, Michael Murphy, two rabbis, and a medical doctor with Talmudic [Read More…]

A Bible Study for Heretics: A Q&A with Christian Piatt

This spring, Patheos launched its first “premium content” blog – a weekly bible study from popular progressive Christian author Christian Piatt. The new subscription blog, A Heretic’s Guide to the Bible, offers a weekly guided tour through the Bible following the Church’s lectionary schedule, and is aimed at bible “pros” (preachers, teachers) as well as [Read More…]

Boston, Bombs, and the Scandal of God’s Criminal Justice

As many wonder where God was in the midst of such tragedy, and while others question why God did not (or could not) prevent such terror from taking place, I am personally tormented with my belief of where God’s love will be placed in its aftermath. [Read more…]

Of Gun Control, Presidents and the Reality on the Ground

The government is enacting law to contain societal violence; the church is grounding itself in incarnate Love to release the common good. It will take both ends of the spectrum, and all places in between, to achieve the ends. [Read more…]

Catch and Release

Every Wednesday at noon here at the University of Southern California, I lead a mindfulness meditation session in our University Religious Center. We have a group of “regulars” who are a mix of students, staff, and faculty, and we always have “newbies” who come to learn meditation practice.  I open the session with a short introduction [Read More…]

A Master’s Degree for our Times: CLU Launches Online Degree in Ethical Leadership

The trailblazers at Claremont Lincoln University (CLU) in southern California are at it again. After the Methodist-affiliated Claremont School of Theology co-founded the multi-religious university CLU in 2011, the school is now launching an online Master’s Degree in Ethical Leadership. “It’s a Master’s Degree for our times,” says Philip Clayton, Executive Vice President and Provost [Read More…]

Why I Am a Progressive Christian

This month, Patheos has invited its many, faith-diverse writers to contribute to a new series called “Why I Am A… in 200 words or less.” Here, columnist John Holbert shares why he’s a progressive Christian. (Read more responses to the question here.) Actually, I was no kind of Christian at all growing up. My family did not [Read More…]

Imperfect, First Seder Springs Hope

“We’re Reform Jews, so this is going to be quick,” the father of my hosting family says as I sit down for my first Seder. I’ve read stories about the Passover feasting tradition lasting throughout the night and into the next morning, and he confirms this with an aside. “I once sat through an Orthodox Seder, and we still had not eaten dinner by three in the morning.” [Read more…]

A Progressive Christian View of Marriage Equality

What is the Christian view of marriage? Of human sexuality generally? Today on the news, I heard one Christian (a Presbyterian minister) declare that God’s plan was for marriage to be between a man and a woman, and I heard another self-described Christian declare that “fags are lawless.” These were, literally, the only voices I [Read More…]

Why I Am a Christian

This month, Patheos has invited its many, faith-diverse writers to contribute to a new series called “Why I Am A… in 200 words or less.” Here, progressive Christian blogger Greg Garrett shares why he’s a Christian. (Read more responses to the question here.) I was raised in one branch of the Christian tradition that proved to [Read More…]

Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

Is it possible to push back against the atonement theory formulated by St. Anselm of Canterbury and imagine other meaningful reasons for Jesus to go to the Cross this week?
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