Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved? A Response to Ross Douthat

As a progressive Christian, I want to thank Ross Douthat for his reflective piece on the future of liberal Protestantism in this past weekend’s New York Times. Those of us who are committed to a robust, open-spirited, spiritually lively Christianity view with dismay the statistics about our movement’s future. We realize that the religious landscape in North [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Reflections for July 22, 2012 2 Samuel 7:1-14a; Psalm 89:20-37; Ephesians 2;11-22; Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 Is election partial, predetermined, or universal?  Is it ultimately dependent on God’s choices, divine persistence, human decision-making, or a dynamic divine-human call and response? A recent Christian Century review of conservative Christian responses to Rob Bell’s Love Wins revealed the stake that [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Reflections for Sunday July 15, 2012 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19; Psalm 24; Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:14-29 One of my favorite John Bell hymns is “Glory and Gratitude and Praise.”  The words and tune are simple: Glory and gratitude and praise Now let earth to heaven raise Glory and gratitude and praise: These we offer to God. Today’s [Read More...]

God and the God Particle: A Non-scientific, Joyfully Theological Reflection

A friend of mine posted the following quip from the Global Secular Humanist on her Facebook Wall: “The Higgs Boson walks into church.  The priest says we don’t allow Higgs Boson in here. The Higgs Boson says, ‘But without me how can you have mass?’” The Higgs Boson, described as the “God Particle” (although author [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Reflections for Sunday, July 8, 2012 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10; Psalm 123; 2 Corinthians 12:2-10; Mark 6:1-3 Today’s New Testament readings inspire a theme such as “living abundantly with limitations.”  Both Jesus and Paul persist despite limitations of health and belief.  God’s vision for each moment is the best possibility for the concrete world in which we [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – July 1, 2012 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27; Psalm 130; 2 Corinthians 8:7-15; Mark 5:21-43 The focus of today’s primary reading (Mark 5:21-43) is on the interplay of faith, community, and healing.  We will all eventually be in search of healing: whether it is David grieving for his intimate friend (2 Samuel: 1:1-27), dealing [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Reflections: The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Sunday June 24, 2012 1 Samuel 17:32-49; 17: 57-18:5, 10-16; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Mark 4:35-41 I recall hearing a definition of courage as “fear that has said its prayers.”  Today’s passages speak of the interplay of courage and faith.  Those who experience the nearness of God are able to face [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: The Third Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Reflections for the Third Sunday after Pentecost (June 17, 2012) I Samuel 15:34-16:13; Psalm 20; I Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17; Mark 4:26-34 This Sunday’s lectionary readings describe the surprising and unexpected revelations of God.  God is not a homogenous force, evenly distributing revelation across the universe.  Rather, divine revelation and inspiration are contextual, historical, and [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Second Sunday After Pentecost

Lectionary Reflections: Second Sunday After Pentecost June 10, 2012 I Samuel 8:4-15; 11:14-15; Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35 Today’s lectionary readings integrate concerns for just leadership, alignment with divine law, and the extent of grace in transforming our lives.  Despite the reality of human freedom, creativity, and God forgetfulness, God’s power is all-embracing [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Trinity Sunday

Lectionary Reflections for Trinity Sunday, June 3, 2012 Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 29; Romans 8:12-17; John 3:1-17 For the third Sunday in a row, we are reflecting on some of the most challenging and provocative themes in Christian experience – the Ascension of Jesus, Pentecost, and now the Holy Trinity.  The Trinity is only an occasional theme in progressive [Read More...]


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