Archive for the ‘livingthequestions’ Tag

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag   Leave a comment

Don’t miss John Shuck’s “Religion for Life”  interview with David Felten, one of the co-creators of Living the Questions:

religionforlife podcast graphic

Click HERE or on the graphic above to listen to the podcast

Among a variety of topics in this podcast, Felten and Shuck discuss how clergy have not been honest with laity about what is being taught in seminary and academia and how hesitant many clergy are at letting the cat out of the bag about the Jesus of history. This is part of Shuck’s current series on The Future of Faith featuring interviews with Marcus Borg, Val Webb, Lloyd Geering, Matthew Fox, and many others.

If you’ve ever been in conversation and had to fumble to try and describe exactly what “Progressive” Christianity is, then you’ll find some succinct answers in this wide-ranging conversation.

David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy

Felten & Procter-Murphy

David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy are the creators of the DVD series, Living the Questions and authors of the Amazon best-selling  Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity.

John Shuck

John Shuck

Religion For Life is an educational program that explores the intersection of religion, social justice and public life. It features interviews with local and national figures from a variety of religious traditions and from a variety of perspectives, and  addresses the effects of religion – both positive and negative — on public life.

The host of the program is the Reverend John Shuck, a Presbyterian minister for 21 years and currently the minister at the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, Tennessee. Prior to entering the ministry, Shuck was a radio broadcaster at stations in Boise, Idaho and Seattle, Washington. Shuck’s website is HERE and podcasts are available by heading over to PODOMATIC.

Living the Questions: How the Wisdom of Progressive Christianity is energizing a 21st Century Approach to Following Jesus.   Leave a comment

Carlsbad Flyer ver2
In Southern California at the end of July? Then join author, pastor, and co-creator of Living the Questions, Rev. David Felten on Monday, July 29th and Tuesday, July 30th at Pilgrim UCC in Carlsbad for practical insights on a Progressive approach to 21st century Christianity.

Ever struggled with questions about how Christianity is going to survive in an increasingly secular world – or whether it should survive? How do we justify the expense of maintaining brick and mortar churches when Jesus’ call to peace and justice are struggling to get any traction in our communities? For some surprising insights and practical tools to help tease out some possibilities, we’ll be spring-boarding off of four Biblical stories you thought you knew, but probably don’t!

PBJ 6The Rev. David Felten is a United Methodist pastor in Fountain Hills, Arizona and co-creator of the “Living the Questions” DVD curriculum for progressive Christians.  His book, Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity was co-authored by Rev. Jeff Procter-Murphy and published by HarperOne in 2012. David is one of the founders of the pro-LGBT clergy group, No Longer Silent/Clergy for Justice and a director of the Arizona Foundation for Contemporary Theology. You can find his blog posts at www.livingthequestionsonline.com and www.huffingtonpost.com

LtQ on “Culture Shocks” with Barry Lynn   Leave a comment

Felten Culture Shocks

Co-creator of Living the Questions,  Rev. David Felten, was interviewed this week for the nationally syndicated radio show, “Culture Shocks” with Rev. Barry Lynn. Lynn is an ordained UCC pastor, constitutional lawyer, noted activist, and longstanding civil libertarian. For over twenty years, he has served as the executive director for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans. David serves on the board of his local chapter of AU in Phoenix, Arizona. The interview was aired on Monday, June 10th and will be available streaming online by clicking on the graphic above or HERE, the Culture Shocks website. 

Personal God or People?   Leave a comment

Bernard Brandon Scott doesn’t need a personal God — he needs people…

“I get people who say, ‘Well, don’t you need a personal God?’ I don’t have a problem with God language; I have a problem with the reification of God language. God language is the way we talk about these ultimate values, for me. I don’t need a personal God. I DO need other people to relate to — and it’s that relationship with other people that is God. Now, that won’t pass the creedal test, but I’m not worried.”

Vocabulary note:

“Reification” = from Latin res “thing” + facere “to make.” Reification can be loosely translated as “thing-making;” the turning of something abstract into a concrete thing or object.

Also known as concretism (or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness), reification is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real event, or physical entity. In other words, it is the error of treating as a concrete thing something which is not concrete, but merely an idea. For example: if the phrase “fighting for justice” is taken literally, justice would be reified.

 — adapted from Wikipedia

Brandon ScottBernard Brandon Scott is Darbeth Distinguished Professor of New Testament at the Phillips Theological Seminary in Oklahoma. He is a charter member of The Jesus Seminar, co-chair of the Bible in Ancient and Modern Media Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, and a consultant to the American Bible Society experimental film translations. He is the author of a number of books, including Re-Imagine the WorldHear Then the Parable, and The Trouble with Resurrection. 

Unbound from Yesterday’s Fears…   1 comment

Spong Ground of Being

“If God is the ground of being, as I believe God is, then the only way you and I can worship God is by having the courage to be all that we can be — in the infinite variety of our humanity. Whether we are male or female, gay or straight, transgender or bisexual, white or black or yellow or brown, left-handed or right-handed, brilliant or not quite so brilliant.

No matter what the human difference is, you have something to offer in your own being.  Nobody else can offer what you have to offer.  And, the only way you can worship God is by daring to be all that you can be and not be bound by the fears of yesterday.”

Want to share the poster above on Facebook? Click here to go to our Facebook page and click “share.” 

NLS_Spong6_Jan27_03

The retired Bishop of Newark, New Jersey, John Shelby Spong is one of the featured contributors in several Living the Questions series. He is a columnist and author of over sixteen books including Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism and Why Christianity Must Change or Die. Lecturer at Harvard, Humanist of the Year, and a guest on numerous national television broadcasts including The Today Show, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, and Larry King Live, Bishop Spong continues to write and lecture around the world. His newest book is The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic. 

Jesus Needs Saving   Leave a comment

SJR HE Easter Poster

Ever feel like Jesus has been kidnapped by the Christian Right and discarded by the Secular Left?  Then you need Saving Jesus, a 12-session DVD-based  exploration of a credible Jesus for the third millennium — now available for home use!  This remarkable series features nearly 30 thought leaders at the forefront of Progressive Christianity, including Marcus Borg, Diana Butler Bass, John Dominic Crossan, Yvette Flunder, Matthew Fox, Amy-Jill Levine, Brian McLaren, Stephen Patterson, Helen Prejean, John Shelby Spong, & more!

Now thru Easter 2013, the Home Edition of “Saving Jesus” is 50% off!

Simply create an account at http://www.livingthequestions.com, put Saving Jesus Home Edition in your shopping cart, and enter coupon code sjhe50fb.

Jesus never heard of “Original Sin”   4 comments

Not only is Original Sin NOT in the Bible, Elie Wiesel says that Original Sin is alien to Jewish thinking (and therefore alien to Jesus’ way of thinking). Let’s ditch the whole thing, shall we?

Fox Original Sin

Matthew Fox says, “Jesus never heard of ‘Original Sin’.” The term wasn’t even used until the 4th century, so it’s “strange to run a church, a gathering, an ekklesia — supposedly on behalf of Jesus — when one of its main dogmatic tenets, Original Sin, never occurred to Jesus.” Sadly, Western Christianity is dependent on and chronically “attached to Original Sin — but what they’re really attached to is St. Augustine. The fact is that most Westerners believe more in Augustine (and his preoccupation with sex) than they do in Jesus.”

Matthew Fox Matthew Fox is an author, educator, activist, and Episcopal priest. His books include Original Blessing, Creation Spirituality and The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. He appears in a number of Living the Questions DVD series including Living the Questions 2.0 and Saving Jesus Redux 

The Journey of Liberation   Leave a comment

Townes Liberation

Liberation is about “being on a journey, being in a movement.” It’s “the process of coming into an awareness that there is definitely a better life for people to be had. Not just for myself but for all of us. The Church should be part of that. And where it is not, it is not the Church.”

And whether it’s the Church or each of us as individuals, it’s about “doing the right thing day after day after day and moment after moment. It really is doing it every day. I cannot say it often enough: treating people fairly, decently – respecting them for who they are – knowing that none of us is perfect.”

Emilie TownesRev. Dr. Emilie Townes is an an ordained American Baptist clergywoman and scholar whose areas of expertise include Christian ethics and womanist theology. She appears in a number of Living the Questions DVD programs. In 2013, Townes is moving from Yale University to become dean of Vanderbilt University Divinity School.

From Violence to Forgiveness?   Leave a comment

Electric chair_McKenzieWhen it comes right down to it, Lent is all about preparing for an unjust execution. All these years later, is it possible to cross the breach from state-sponsored violence to a radical forgiveness?  Is it possible to heal our culture of the notion that the solution to violence is more violence? Sr. Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking and The Death of Innocents, thinks a change of heart is possible. Join her in exploring the consequences of capital punishment in the DVD series, “Questioning Capital Punishment.”

Perfect for small group study, let Sr. Helen guide your discussion on this life and death issue.

Questioning Capital Punishment is a five session DVD study. Each video session is approximately 15 – 20 minutes and discussion questions are provided as downloadable files from the product page.

  • Session 1: Crossing the Breach
  • Session 2: What in God’s Name?
  • Session 3: A Change of Heart
  • Session 4: Radical Forgiveness
  • Session 5: Next Steps

Purchase Questioning Capital Punishment at 50% off
for LENT.

Special Lenten Offer: $39.95 plus s/h, now through Feb 28th.

No coupon needed – order will automatically be processed at discounted price. (Regular Price = $79.95 plus s/h)

All proceeds go to the Death Penalty Discourse Network.

“People are worth more than the worst act of their life…” — Sr. Helen Prejean

To place an order, please click here, enter your login on the left side of the page, and click on “purchase now.” If you do not have a member account set up with LtQ, please start by setting up a member account at create an account and once your account is set up, please visit the Questioning Capital Punishment page to place your order.

Attention International Customers: This product is only available in NTSC format.

“Electric Chair” copyright © 2007 Janet McKenzie, JanetMcKenzie.com. Used with permission.

A Christianity That’s Not Stuck   1 comment

 

Stephen Patterson thinks that Progressive Christianity is about “being willing to think critically about one’s faith and about the traditions of one’s faith and the resources like the Bible — to think critically about these things and not simply assume that it all has to make sense. Progressive Christianity means you’re free to explore and to question and to develop new expressions of faith that are more appropriate or true to what you think you’re discovering about Christianity. So, Progressive Christianity, I guess you could say, is Christianity that’s not stuck in some present stasis — let alone stuck in the past. We have to move forward.”

Progressive Christianity:

  • thinks critically about faith, traditions, and resources

  • doesn’t assume it all has to make sense

  • frees one to explore and question

  • develops new expressions of faith more appropriate to contemporary understandings

  • isn’t stuck in the past

 

PattersonStephen J. Patterson specializes in the study of the historical Jesus, Christian origins, and the Gospel of Thomas (an early Christian gospel not found in the New Testament). He is currently the George H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University. He is the author of numerous books including Beyond the Passion: Rethinking the Death and Life of Jesus and The God of Jesus: The Historical Jesus and the Search for God. He is featured in the DVD series Living the Questions 2.0 and  Saving Jesus Redux. 

“Thinking Critically with Stephen Patterson” is an excerpt from a DVD series on the origin of the Bible currently in development by Living the Questions.

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