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Teaching Progressive Christianity
In This Issue
Featured Book
Myth-Busting the Christian Right
Review: Souls in the Hands of a Tender God
Review: You Don't Have to be Wrong for Me to be Right
Sermon: Jesus: The Way that is Open to Other Ways
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Forum on Religion and Ecology 2008 Events
Throughout the states
Near you!

CrossRoads in the Wilderness: A New Rite of Passage for Christian Men
Aug 13, 2008: James Park, Colorado
Boulder, CO

The Death of Jesus: Destiny or Disaster?
Sep 27, 2008: Silverside Church
North Wilmington, MA

National Forgiveness Day Power Of Forgiveness Rallies
Oct 12, 2008: Churches & Communities In The United States
Liberty Center, OH

Conference of Emerging and Experienced Leaders in The Progressive Christian Faith Movement
Nov 14, 2008: Dunrovin Retreat Center
Minneapolis, MN

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Featured Book


A secular look at Jesus' socio- political ideas and how they became the basis of Modern Liberalism

by: Dennis Martin Altman

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The Bible Belt states all rank unfavorably among the fifty states in terms of income, health, and education. However, they continually vote to keep things just the way they are. Illogical as it may seem, the BB regularly elects politicians who short-change them in terms of their greatest needs. What's wrong with this picture?

Republican politicians have learned the secret of convincing the poor, rural people of the Southern states to vote against their own best interests and keep conservative candidates in power. They court poor Southerners because they're easy. They vote emotionally. They respond to candidates who aggrandize the military, wave the flag, and belittle those who rely on welfare payments.
The possibility of raising social awareness is the stuff of life to Progressive Christians and humanists. And since every journey begins with a single step, such is the purpose of this book.
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In the next few eBulletins, we will be focusing on "Teaching Progressive Christianity."  This is an exciting time in the history of the progressive Christian movement.  It is no longer about deconstruction, it is about reconstructing.  It is one of an emerging culture.  It is a time of opening, sharing, and evolving.  Over the next few months we aim to provide you with many tools to understand, express and teach progressive your friends, to your children, to your church members.   So, take a look around, stay in touch, explore our website and pass the information along.  You can forward this email by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.  Share with us by going to the Affiliates Area and submitting articles, news, events, and reviews. 

Thanks and enjoy!
The Team at TCPC
Article: Myth-Busting the Christian Right
By: Terri Murray

The Christian right's pundits present this set of abstract concepts - moral "values," sanctity of life, and Christianity - as their core values. Over and over again they have successfully framed complex issues as oppositions between these core values and their opponent's position. This has worked partly because, instead of engaging in an analysis of these concepts, they equate them with a set of public policies that are assumed to meet the conditions that define them. Thus it would appear that if you do not support their policies, you cannot support moral values, the sanctity of life, or Christianity.  A closer examination of the fallacious reasoning underpinning each of the Christian right's core myths will follow.

Read this Article
President's Note:  Don't Go There
steeple sunsetBy: Fred Plumer,
TCPC President

Over the last couple of decades, I have given several dozen lectures, led even more workshops, and shared literally hundreds of sermons that all focus on one broad subject -the changes that are occurring in our understanding of the Christian faith. Sometimes I focus on the impact of changes in our world view, sometimes on modern science and religion, and other times on the newest research in biblical scholarship. I usually bring the dialogue back to the impact of these changes on the local church. I know I am frequently asking people to stretch their theological boundaries; and I know that I am almost always asking people to change their thinking. This all makes for some interesting commentaries and behavior from my audiences - sometimes angry outbursts, sometimes slamming doors, but most often, tearful hugs and quiet "thank you(s)." 

Therefore, I suppose I should not have been surprised by an incident with a woman who was obviously agitated by something that I had said during one of my talks. I was leading a workshop at the time on the subject of "spirituality" in the progressive Christian movement...

I realized that if we dig deep enough, most of us seem to have a "don't go there" spot in our beliefs and traditions - that place where we lose a little of our otherwise rational thinking. And I suspect that it is often our inability to get past those "don't go there(s)" that holds back our personal growth and change...

Read Don't Go There
Review:  Souls in the Hands of a Tender God: Stories of the Search for Home and Healing on the Streetshand holding seedling
by: Craig Rennebohm
review by: Dean G. Watt

Having come from a long career in both religion and the mental health field, I was surprised and delighted to discover a perspective new to me that melds the two in an inspiring and instructive way.  While this perspective is new to me, Rennebohm makes clear that there is a long history to the beliefs and methods he presents in this important book.  His approach of using stories of the people he meets in his work is very effective, leading the reader to look forward to the next and then the next story.  While each person's story is unique, there is a common thread throughout; that being the great gentleness and patience required to touch these persons lives and move with compassion past their fearful defenses.  I was awed by his ability to takes days, weeks, and even months of brief contacts, each time demonstrating a non-threatening compassion that eventually leads to their trust in him and willingness to be led to further help.

Read this Review
Review: You Don't Have to Be Wrong for Me to be Right, Finding Faith Without Fanaticismbook cover
By: Brad Hirschfield
review by: G. Richard Wheatcroft
The author is an orthodox rabbi who serves as president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. His book tells us how he found faith without fanaticism and "you don't have to be wrong for me to be right." He then explains what this means in areas of conflict in our lives and how we can take "concrete steps to successfully address the continuum of conflict."
Conflict between individuals and groups is a function of being related to one another. Understanding this reality, the author points to ways we can deepen and enrich our relationships, you and me, as well as our religious and political commitments, them and us. Every reader will be grateful.

Read this Review
Sermon: Jesus: The Way that is Open to Other Ways
by: Dr. Paul Knitter

Jesus Buddha statue I am one of those Christians whose faith has been uncomfortably challenged by a reality that has been with us since the dawning of humanity but has become even clearer and more pressing over the last century: that there are many ways to be religious. There are many religions; there always have been; and, despite two millennia of Christian missionary work, it sure seems like there always will be. The manyness, the diversity, of religions is here to stay.
This is the question that has perplexed and stimulated my religious life as a Christian and my academic life as a theologian: how to make sense of so many other religions and (perhaps even more difficult!) how to make sense of my Christian faith in the light of these other religions.

Read this sermon
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Thank you for taking this journey with us as we continue to encourage the growth and understanding of a Christianity that is open, inclusive, just, loving and compassionate.  As you delve deeper into the heart of this beautiful and authentic spiritual path, we hope you share it with those around you, educate those who desire to learn, and most importantly let it fill you with light and loving kindness.
Fred Plumer
and the Team at The Center For Progressive Christianity, (253) 303-0022

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