Curing and healing

“Ten lepers,” image from page 94 of "In His footsteps : a record of travel to and in the land of Christ : with an attempt to mark the Lord's journeyings in chronological order from His birth to His Ascension" by William Etridge McLennan (1896)

American culture has been fixated from the start on two principles inherited from the 17th century English society that established the colonies: the mandate to cure physical, social, and moral ills, and the primacy of ownership.

Whether Puritan, Catholic, or Dissenter, those first immigrants and refugees all thought that they could do better out from under the ruling hierarchy of their home island. Either that or they were hired or indentured by those same higher-ups, who claimed to own the

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BTW, if you want an antidote to my “Jesus stuff”….

The name “Jesus” scares people off, since our sound bite- and meme-driven culture automatically ties that name with what I call the “Christianists,” those abusive people who misuse the sacred tradition of Jesus’ friends as a political ideology, the way Islamists do the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (“Peace be upon him”).

I’ll say more about this in a future post, but meanwhile….

Post Street II

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Christian Universalisms

Just as there are many “Christianities,” there are many forms of “Christian Universalism.”

I seek to follow the faith and practice of the historical Jesus, regardless of how later belief systems and their enforcers may have reinterpreted his ministry to suit their own theological or political notions.

In addition, I just finished Stephen Finlan’s 2008 book, The Apostle Paul and the Pauline Tradition, which describes how Paul’s ministry was also reinterpreted,1 first by his own

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“Do not be afraid” – Stephen Finlan (excerpt)

Originally published on Quaker Universalist Conversations, 6/13/2014.

Stephan Finlan is pastor of Mathewson Street United Methodist Church, Providence, Rhode Island. He has taught theology at Fordham, Drew, Seton Hall, and Durham Universities. He is author of The Apostle Paul and the Pauline Tradition (2008), Options on Atonement (2007), and Problems with Atonement (2005).

The follow is an excerpt from The Family Metaphor in Jesus’ Teaching

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Géza Vermès’ Dream

Géza Vermès was a prolific Hungarian Jewish “historical Jesus” scholar and translator of the Dead Sea Scrolls who died on May 8th (see this 1994 interview, Escape and Rescue—An Interview with Géza Vermès, and this eulogy by Hershel Shanks). Vermès’ 1973 Jesus the Jew: A Historian’s Reading of the Gospels was powerfully influential in reintroducing us to Jesus as the greatest in a tradition of charismatic Galilean holy men. The

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Frederick Buechner: “The Sign by the Highway”

Earlier this week, I started excerpting Frederick Buechner’s challenging book, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, by Frederick Buechner (New York, N.Y.: Harper Collins Publishers, 2007, pp.28-31).

My mother Lois gave me the book for my birthday in 2006, and I read through it slowly and thoughtfully over the next two years as a morning devotion. Knowing her so well, I can only imagine that she had found Buechner to be a

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Don’t know why I like this…

…but I do.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAIqk5KUBRQ?rel=0]

 

Chocolate Jesus

by Tom Waits
from the album Mule Variations (1999)
photograph by Richard Kalvar

I Dont go to church on Sunday
I Dont get down on my knees to pray
I Dont memorize the books of the bible
I got my own special way
Bit I know Jesus loves me
Maybe just a little bit more

I fall on my knees every Sunday

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Austin: 1922-2013

Dad's birthday

My relationship with my father has always been more complexly private than the one with my mother.

To some extent this is sadly true for many men and their fathers, at least in patriarchal cultures. There are societal and biological pressures on men—almost from

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