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Tag: Interpreting scripture

Speaking to the Soul: Questions

We believe that study and debate and the use of reason can help us know God better. When we wrestle with language and ideas, when we are challenged by others, we believe it can lead us to truth. We believe it may help us know how to behave ethically, solve complex problems, and discern how to make our own good laws.

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Speaking to the Soul: The more things change …

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

We are more than 2000 years out from the life of Jesus and a  lot has changed in that time. The readings for today show us that a lot has remained the same too.

More than the other gospel books, the book of Matthew is concerned with linking Jesus to ancient prophecies. It’s as if the writer is saying, “Yes… it really is him.” In today’s short reading the writer offers us […]

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My problem with the Bible

Brian Zahnd notes that many of us in church are more like the Pharaohs, Romans, religious leaders and royal elite than “the poor, the oppressed, the enslaved, the conquered, the occupied, the defeated” who are given hope in the Bible. From his blog:

Here’s my problem…

I’m an ancient Egyptian. I’m a comfortable Babylonian. I’m a Roman in his villa.

That’s my problem. See, I’m trying to read the Bible for all it’s worth, but I’m not a Hebrew slave suffering in Egypt. I’m not […]

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Speaking to the Soul: Living Into the Possibilities

I wonder if we completely misunderstand the stories we hear during the seasons of Advent and Christmas if we set our focus on them as telling us anything about the “how” of God. A far more interesting question to me is the one my kids favored so much growing up: “Why?”

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Our problem with authority

by George Clifford

We Episcopalians frequently have problems with ecclesiastical authority. Here’s some anecdotal evidence:

• Clergy and laity do not want bishops (or, for that matter, any other person or group such as a Canon to the Ordinary or Executive Council) providing authoritative guidance. At every General Convention, diocesan convention, or clergy gathering that I attend, I detect an undercurrent of suspicion directed toward our bishops. Admittedly, a few bishops are inappropriately authoritarian. The suspicion, however, extends to all bishops.

• When I mention […]

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Singing the Lord’s song: justice and the church

The focus of the reign of God is primarily on public, communal, political, economic, and historical life rather than on private interior life. The traditional emphasis in Christian ascetical theology on interiority has led the Church in its mission to focus primarily on private, emotional, and family life to the exclusion of public, work, and political life. ~Owen Thomas

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Fred Phelps is dead

by Linda Ryan

Fred Phelps is dead. The founder and patriarch of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) died in Topeka, Kansas, Wednesday, March 19th, of an undisclosed illness. He was 84 at the time of his death. Fred Phelps and his church are highly recognizable names to much of America, and that was (and is) the way they want it.

Phelps and his followers are most known for their picketing of funerals of those with whom they vehemently disagree: those who […]

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Communities of resurrection

by Maria L. Evans

True confession time: When I am feeling pressured over people and situations where others want to turn their emergency into my problem, I like to sing R.E.M.’s a story from last summer has haunted me for months. Although I’m certainly not of the “end times theology” stripe, the story has made me think about how the attitude of “I’m taken care of , so I’ll just count my blessings and not think about everyone else,” […]

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Was the liturgy of the first five centuries in the East and the first eleven centuries in the West defective for not having its moment of reciting the answer? What does it tell us that the liturgical use of the creed began when Monophysites in the East introduced it as a protest against the Council of Chalcedon? Why did the West resist using it liturgically for half a millennium?

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The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

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