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Join us this month as we enter into the discussion "What Do We Do About God in Progressive Christianity?"
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So What Do We Do About God?

October 2012

The God Thing
Fred Plumer


I was giving a lecture last year, with about 200 people in the audience. Part of my talk was devoted to an overview of the scholarship that has knocked the foundation out of a belief in Jesus as the “only begotten Son of God” and the sacrifice for the sins of the world. The presentation was well received and the questions lively and thoughtful. Most of them were from people who wanted further clarification of what they saw as a demotion of Jesus. Others were more interested what my perception might be of the future of Christianity.

There seemed to be no rancor in the room and plenty of positive feedback and there seemed to be genuine excitement. I did notice one gentleman in the back of the room who started to raise his hand a couple of times but never held it up long enough for me to call on him. But when I left the podium he headed directly for me. He waited a minute for some of the others to move away and then he moved close and almost in a whisper said: “So what do progressives do about the God thing?"

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Stepping Out With the Sacred, Human Attempts to Engage the Divine

Val Webb

To engage the larger-than-description Sacred, we need all the stories we can find, even if only to remind us the distance still to go and the limitless (sometimes unsuccessful) journey. As a teacher of world religions and art, and an artist, this is not a string of anecdotes, but a woven together, reader-friendly, vividly painted, theologically reflective whole.

"Val Webb is one of the most exciting Christian voices in the 21st Century. Brilliantly she penetrates beneath the surface of traditional religious formulations and discovers the power and purpose of words as having the ability to point to a realm of truth that words cannot finally capture." ~Bishop John Shelby Spong

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We’re Never Alone;
 “God”* Is Within Us

*DiSSoLaL
(Divine Spirit, Source of Life and Love)

Re-Packaging Divinity: Becoming Divinely Human

Daniel Hatch

I am a quasi retired Spiritual Director and Church Consultant within the United Church of Christ (UCC).  I am deeply concerned with the fetters of 4th Century “packaging” of Divinity related to the religious challenges of the 21st Century... Despite being well marinated in the Church from a very young age, I came to know “God” not through church, but through nature. 

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Arbitrarily Close to God

Jim Burklo

In 1464, not long after Easter, the secretary to Nicolas of Cusa, a Catholic cardinal, noticed a marked change in the demeanor of his superior. Cusa’s health had been fragile for a while. But now his face was beaming with joy. After being absorbed in meditation for weeks around the time of Easter, Cusa was ready to reveal what he had just discovered. Peter of Erkelenz, his secretary, wondered what Cusa could add to his already impressive body of theological work. Cusa had come up with a new name for God: Can-Is (Posse-Est, or Possest, in Latin). Now, for him, God was both being and the potential for being. As one scholar summarizes Cusa’s thought, “God is the Posse, the Possibility, the “Can” before, behind, and present in all that “is”.”

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A God of Sensation

Chris Glaser

Most communication around God and the life of the spirit is visual or auditory. Cathedrals were built and artwork painted and sculpted to visually inspire awe and reverence. Biblical writers, preachers, theologians, teachers, and contemplatives have used words as bread crumbs leading to spiritual paths and insights.

But there is another way I believe God and spirit may be experienced: kinesthetically. It is primal and pre-rational, our first encounter with something beyond ourselves. It begins in our mother’s womb, immersed in embryonic fluids, nourished and protected by our mother’s flesh. We feel the pulsing of her heart. On a men’s retreat, I heard the Franciscan Richard Rohr speculate that men’s love of drumming may come from that early memory of our mother’s heartbeat.

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Who Is God and How Do We Know?

Howard Pepper

How do we dare say we know God? How can our knowing of God differ so much from someone else’s knowing?
 

The well known church leader and writer/blogger, Tony Jones, who identifies as a Christian progressive, has called for progressive “theo-bloggers” to post an article “of substance” on God.  His reasons sounded valid, so I’m taking up the challenge.…
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A Joyful Path Continues!

How are families just like chocolate chip cookies?

How can a set of puzzle pieces teach us about seeing past our differences?


We’ve been busy creating our second year of A Joyful Path, and children ages 6-10 are going to learn the answer to these and other important questions as we think about spiritual growth! In this second year of curriculum, we will be digging deeply into our eight points – creating a spiritual framework from which children can grow!


Would you consider giving a gift today to ensure that this project is completed by next spring?

I SUPPORT PROGRESSIVE CHILDREN'S CURRICULUM!

Further Reading!

Don't miss out on the rest of our spiritual resources! Here is a taste of what else is new on ProgressiveChristianity.org

Would You Vote For Jesus? Questions Christian Voters Must Ask
by Alex Iwashyna
My God, Your God, or Our God
by Jim High
Divine DNA
by Joe Kay

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