Nearly three years ago, Alex McNeill was on Religion For Life to discuss two journeys. His ordination to the ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and his transition from female to male. Since then, Alex has become the executive director of More Light Presbyterians. He is the first openly transgender person to head a mainline Protestant organization. He talks about the steps he has taken on both journeys as well as next steps for justice for LGBTQ people in the church and society.
A sage once quipped: "Galileo put God out of a home and Darwin put God out of a job." In our modern understanding of the universe that requires no "supernatural shenanigans" to operate, is there "anything in the universe worthy of the name, God?" Nancy Ellen Abrams asks this question and suggests that there may be a way to speak of the reality of God. She returns to Religion For Life to discuss the concept of emergence and her latest book, A God That Could Be Real: Spirituality, Science and the Future of Our Planet.
Rachel Held Evans is from Dayton, Tennessee, home of the Scopes Monkey Trial. It is certainly the Bible Belt. What happens when you grow beyond the beliefs of your church? Many follow a similar path to New York Times best-selling author, Rachel Held Evans. With wit and grace Rachel chronicles her journey of faith and doubt, leaving church and finding it again in her latest book, Searching For Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church.
I finish my three-part series on the "good" book with Jennifer Grace Bird. She teaches at Portland Community College and the University of Portland and has written a fantastic guide to the Bible, Permission Granted: Take the Bible Into Your Own Hands. She doesn't flinch from challenging the "bad" texts in the good book. More than a critique of the Bible, she encourages her readers to read the texts for themselves with a critical eye and not just accept it because it's what "the Bible says." You can disagree with the Bible. Permission granted.
In my second in a series of three on the Bible, world-renowned scholar on the historical Jesus, John Dominic Crossan returns to Religion For Life, to address one of the most troubling aspects of the Bible, the violence of God. How do we read and trust a book whose main character, God, is less ethical than most humans? His latest book is How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Struggling With Divine Violence from Genesis through Revelation.
David Felten, co-creator of Living the Questions, is also pastor of The Fountains in Fountain Hills, Arizona. He found himself under attack by fellow clergy who do not approve of his brand of Christianity. These clergy have used the op ed page of the local paper, newspaper advertisements, and expensive banners to campaign against David and progressive Christianity. David spoke with me about it as well as the strange times we are in regarding religious faith.
I am doing a three part series on the Bible, what it is and how to read it. Three excellent scholars and teachers will be our guides, Harvey Cox, John Dominic Crossan, and Jennifer Grace Bird. Leading off is Harvard University professor, Harvey Cox, author of the famous Secular City in 1965. He was with me two years ago on Religion For Life to discuss his book, The Future of Faith. He returns to talk about his latest book How To Read the Bible.
Spend the apocalypse with someone you love. Carolyn Baker returns to Religion For Life to talk about her book, Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse: Cultivating the Relationships We Need to Thrive. The Long Descent is not a pretty picture. As industrial civilization hits its limits, resilience will be the primary characteristic of those who survive and thrive. Preparing emotionally and building relationships will be just as important if not more important than preparing materially for the future. Dr. Baker, a former psychotherapist and professor of psychology and history, offers life coaching for people who wish to live more resiliently. Catch her radio program, The Lifeboat Hour on Progressive Radio Network.
Doug Pagitt is the pastor of Solomon's Porch in Minneapolis and the author of Flipped: The Provocative Truth That Changes Everything We Know About God. We talk about many different emergent movements including emergent atheism as well as the progressive evangelical movement. We also talk about "God" and the problem of transactional" religion. It is an exciting time of change and creativity and Doug Pagitt is a forerunner.
Lloyd Geering is a Presbyterian minister and scholar from New Zealand. He has written over a dozen books. His latest book is a collection of essays that chronicle his intellectual and spiritual journey, Reimagining God: The Faith Journey of A Modern Heretic. He was tried for heresy in the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand in 1967 for an article he wrote about Resurrection. He was accused of disturbing the peace of the church to which he responded:
“I would like to suggest that what my accusers have been pleased to call the peace of the Church is more properly called the sleepiness of the Church and we should be thankful to God that it has been disturbed.”
A documentary was made about him called, The Last Western Heretic.