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 Jesus said to his disciples: “It is inevitable that there should be snares; yet woe to you who is answerable for them! 2 It would be better for you to be flung into the sea with a mill-stone round your neck, than that you should prove a snare to even one of these lowly ones. 3 Be on your guard! If your brother...

Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there, known by the name of Zacchaeus, who was a commissioner of taxes and a rich man. 3 He tried to see what Jesus was like; but, being short, he was unable to do so because of the crowd. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed into...

Years ago in an interview with Vanity Fair, Johnny Depp aligned himself by association with the likes of Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, Hunter S. Thompson, and especially Marlon Brando, who (like Depp) once owned an island. One thing that celebrities share with regular folks is that we all like to associate ourselves with people whom we admire, and fancy the notion that we're...

The Catholic writer Graham Greene famously summed up his life as a search for "Ways of Escape." He said that his abundant writing and travels were simply a means to escape the panic fear, madness, and melancholia of contemporary life. Green's life summation goes a long way in helping to explain some events found in the canonical Gospels of Jesus the Christ. It often...

Whenever we at the Living Hour think about Russia and the Lord's Prayer, we can't help but also think about the work of Leo Tolstoy. You are likely familiar with Tolstoy's epic novel War & Peace, which many consider the best novel ever written. What you may not know is that Tolstoy is also a prominent figure in the history of progressive Christianity, having...

In our SBNR motivational about William Blake and seeing Heaven in a Wildflower, we talked about the transcendent personality of Jesus Christ and how that should be one of our goals as Progressive Christians (or as Sons and Daughters of God, regardless of our religious persuasion). Some readers have interpreted this motivational to imply that we advocate the building of personal legends ala...

In today's Living Hour post, we are going to share a translation of the Lord's Prayer into Portuguese. In Portugal, the Lord's Prayer is known as the "Pai Nosso" (Our Father) prayer. Among Catholics, Portugal is well-known as the country of "Our Lady of Fátima," which refers to apparitions of the Virgin Mary which appeared to three, poor shepherd children (Lúcia Santos and...

Originally published in 1989, The New Zealand Prayer Book (created by the Anglican Church in Aotearoa) was re-published in a new version by Harper Collins in 1997. This prayer book was celebrated by clergy and lay people alike for the way it combined the traditional Anglican prayers and forms of worship with the rich earth-based spirituality of the Maori and other Pacific Island...

Renowned architect and futurist Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983) was widely recognized for his unique blend of philosophical fringe-thinking, which combined a love for science with a mystical vision of life and the universe. Fuller once pointed out that legendary scientists like Galileo and Kepler had been excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church as “heretics” for abandoning the idea of an anthropomorphic God (i.e....

In the latest e-bulletin from The Center for Progressive Christianity, President Fred Plumer includes some letters sent by readers. One writer says that the members of his liberal community have "long ago opted out of the Christian cultural-linguistic game altogether and have become either Epicurean Gourmands, Secular Humanists, Process New Thought, Global Mystics, Unitarian Universalists, or else they define themselves as Unaffiliated...

Saint Thomas Aquinas can certainly be considered among the Progressive Christians of his era, and is admired for the manner in which he attempted to synthesize the philosophy and ideas of Aristotle with the principles of Christianity. Thomas Aquinas also wrote on a wide variety of subjects involving psychology and the human spirit, including the goal of the artist, stating that the test of...

C. S. Lewis (1898 – 1963) was a novelist, poet, and academic, who is well known for his work The Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis also wrote extensively on topics related Christianity, including miracles and the problem of pain---the most famous work in this genre being The Screwtape Letters. Baptized in the Church of Ireland, Lewis fell away from his faith in his teens. However,...

On reading that Broadway was reproducing the classic 1970s musical The Wiz, we were reminded of one of its most memorable songs, Ease on Down the Road, sung by a spirited Diana Ross (Dorothy) and Michael Jackson (Scarecrow) while on their way to see The Wiz (Richard Pryor). The song tells us don't you carry nothing that might be a load, come on,...

We have already shared the esoteric meaning of the Lord's Prayer by Rudolf Steiner, but there are other writers who also have written esoteric interpretations of the Lord's Prayer. One of the most notable is the metaphysical commentary written by P. D. Ouspensky in the early part of the 20th century. The following esoteric interpretation of the Lord's Prayer is from Ouspensky's work The...

We previously have shared some orthodox interpretations of the Lord's Prayer, such as those from John Wesley, Charles Kingsley, and Helmut Thielicke, so as to highlight the differences between their traditional commentary and the Living Hour's more metaphysical approach. While our book The Lord's Prayer for Daily Life is viewed by some as being a little esoteric, it is not so esoteric as the...

As we mentioned in our post on Benjamin Franklin's religious beliefs, the Living Hour considers Franklin to be among the early progressive Christians of the United States, along with other Founding Fathers such as Thomas Jefferson (who wrote the Jefferson Bible) and Thomas Paine. One of our favorite inspirational quotes from Franklin is: "Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement,...

How do I find God? If God does exist, what path should I take to his doorstep? What road less traveled should I shimmy down? We can look for answers in the Bible, the Gnostic Gospels, the Koran, the Tao Te Ching, and other religious texts. Or we can look toward symbols to discover the nature of God, our divinity, and life...

In this Living Hour post, we are going to share some of our favorite Native American prayers. We’ve chosen prayers and blessings that are short and easy to memorize—thus they can be used as prayers for children as well as adults. Considering the current state of the world, where we seem to be long on war and short on peace, we are going to...

In St. Pauls second Epistle to the Corinthians, he tells the community to remember that "the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." When this idea is delivered from the pulpit of Christian churches today, preachers usually discuss how it refers to God's grace, the Holy Spirit, or the kingdom of Heaven. The problem is...

Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of those authors we all read in school. “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string” is an exhortation that every student recognizes the verity of when read for the first time. What many of us don’t know is that Emerson was more than just a writer and leader of the American transcendental movement. He also was...

The old saying "there is nothing common about common sense" has never rung so true as it does today. We live in a course and relativist age where the noble drive for fairness and balance has been misdirected toward conflating opinions with facts, and where common sense lies buried beneath a rubble of "truthiness". That being the case, it might be a good...

The Gulistan (Rose Garden) is the masterwork of 13th century Persian writer Sa'di (Saadi), a celebrated poet who recently was quoted by President Barack Obama in his 2009 address to the people of Iran. In the Gulistan, Saadi tells a story that goes like this: A person with a harsh voice was reciting loudly the Koran. A good and holy man went up...

The writer and wandering traveler Isabelle Eberhardt was an extraordinary woman. The remains of her book Dans l'Ombre Chaude de l'Islam - In the Hot Shade of Islam (salvaged from a flash flood that killed the young author) was once called "one of the strangest human documents that a woman has given to the world." In her early twenties, Eberhardt wrote the following: Vagrancy...

In Fyodor Dostoevsky's parable of The Grand Inquisitor, Jesus reappears on Earth during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. Although the crowds adore him, he is promptly thrown in prison and sentenced to death. While in his cell, Jesus is visited by the Grand Inquisitor who says that he must kill him, even though he knows that he is truly Jesus Christ. The...

When Progressive Christians look toward their lineage, few find sympathy with the old Calvinists of 18th century New England. Jonathan Edwards' sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is one of the last things we equate with the tenants of Progressive Christianity. And yet Jonathan Edwards, like all of us, is a complicated individual. While going off the rails at times...

Jesus tells us we cannot enter the kingdom of God unless we are born of both water and spirit (("In truth I tell you," exclaimed Jesus, "unless you are reborn, you cannot see the kingdom of God." "How can someone," asked Nicodemus, "be born when they are old? Can we be born a second time?" "In truth I tell you," answered Jesus, "unless...

The 20th century Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a remarkable figure in that he was both a highly trained scientist and defender of the Christian faith---someone who realized that the entire structure of Christ's mythology had to be reworked to fit new scientific discoveries. Having forged that new structure through the crucible of his own experiences and knowledge, he not only...

To see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wildflower. Those are lovely sentiments from the brilliant 19th century poet William Blake---some folks may even take inspiration from them. But few of us actually are changed by such words. They simply strike our fancy for a moment, as we smile at their profundity. Then our thoughts eventually turn back...

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 It is said in the prophet Isaiah: 'Behold! I send my messenger before thy face; He shall prepare thy way.' 3 'The voice of one crying aloud in the wilderness: "Make ready the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.' 4 And in fulfillment of this, John the Baptist...