Further Thoughts on a Letter about Jesus

My previous blog – “A Letter about Jesus” – drew a much larger response than I expected. In this blog, I continue that conversation with a clarification and some additional comments.Clarification - even as I think this was pretty clear in my previous blog. One of my major claims was that the New Testament does not simply identify and equate Jesus and God. It never says, “Jesus is God” or “God is Jesus.”Of course, it does affirm, in phrases from John’s gospel, that Jesus is “the Word … [Read more...]

A Letter About Jesus

A very few days ago, I received by e-mail a letter about Jesus from a person who is reading one of my books. His thoughts and questions struck me as being of interest to many people. I quote the letter at length and then share my response.The LetterYour book has persuaded me that much of the language of the Bible and theology is metaphorical and should not be taken literally. Granted that, at what point do you think one reaches a gray area as to whether Jesus was even divine?I … [Read more...]

Does the Bible Matter? Progressive Christians and Scripture

scripture

Progressive Christians are often better known for what we don’t believe than for what we do affirm. I say “we” because I am one of them.There is an obvious reason: we disagree with much of the most publicly visible form of contemporary Christianity. Commonly called “conservative” Christianity, its political form is “the Christian right.” Thus we tend to define ourselves with a series of negations that differentiate “us” from “them.” We don’t believe what they do.  We’re not like them.At t … [Read more...]

Easter Again

I sympathize with clergy who preach about Easter to the same congregation for several years. Of course, you say what you think is most important the first time.So what do you say the second time and the third time and more? Do you avoid saying what you said the first time so that you don’t repeat yourself? But wouldn’t that mean leaving out what you think is most important because you’ve already said it? Or do you proclaim it again, even if in somewhat different words?I am in a similar si … [Read more...]

“Holy Monday”: Public Protest in the Temple

On Monday in Holy Week, Jesus performed the second of two provocative public protests in Jerusalem. The first, as described in my previous blog, occurred on what has come to be called “Palm Sunday.”Two processions entered Jerusalem for the Festival of Passover that year. One happened every year while Judea was ruled by Roman governors, the most famous of whom was Pontius Pilate. Imperial cavalry and troops, displaying the pomp and power of empire, entered the city to reinforce the garrison pe … [Read more...]

Holy Week: Palm Sunday

I wish that all Christians knew the story of Holy Week. Indeed, I wish everybody, Christian or not, did. But Christians especially. It is the story that should shape our understanding of Jesus and thus our understanding of what it means to be Christian – of what it means to follow him, to follow “the way” that he revealed and embodied.What most Christians know about Holy Week centers on Good Friday and Easter, Jesus’s death and resurrection. The former is commonly understood as payment … [Read more...]

Lent and the Cross

A few blogs ago, I wrote about a persistent theme of my thinking in my middle and late adult life: memories, conversions, and convictions. Memories of what I absorbed as I grew up Christian more than half a century ago; major changes in my understanding since then; and the convictions that have emerged from those changes.And as I wrote many blogs ago, those changes include a different understanding of Lent with its climax in Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter. If this blog repeats some … [Read more...]


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