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Singing the Sacred

Power went out so I went outside and took some pictures

Tennessee living

Shot on a clear winter’s night with my Canon 6D.

The Church as a Group Think System

In the tradition that I serve, the PCUSA, our regimented system of church governance is both a blessing and a burden.  Our democratic and frankly “presbyterian” structure was created to allow for all voices to be heard and to minimize dissension because of that.  I’m grateful for this system.  In general this system is excellent at allowing for theological freedom and church-wide stability.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  But our unexamined execution of that process has left us without a creative vision for our future.

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Inclusivity in a Brave New World

Inclusivity and Authority In A Brave New World

Part 1: What is the bible and how does God continue to speak to use today?
I think that is the actually issue at hand.  How we answer that question will answer almost any other theological question we might have from women in ministry, GLBT issues, to whether or not a Christian can drink alcohol.  I minister in a church that comes from the Reformed tradition meaning that is traces it’s roots back to John Calvin, John Knox, and Karl Barth; along with folks like Martin Luther and John Wesley.  Their reformations all we a response to the Roman Catholic church’s inappropriate use of scripture.  The church taught that sins could be permitted if you could simply afford them.  Cheat on your wife that will cost you 30 pieces of silver to be forgiven.  It was called the selling of indulgences.  The Reformers response was to say that “God alone had the power to forgive sins” not the church, not any bishop.  That was the essence of Luther’s Thesis’ when he nailed them to the Wittenburg door.  They called for the church to get back to the sources of scripture and base their lives and church systems on the bible not on the whims of a bishop.

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