Jesus the Christ? – BRUNCHtalks 8

Jesus is not some sort of cosmic bargain with a demanding, jealous, elsewhere god, sacrificing himself so that we can live happily ever after! Jesus of Nazareth was fully human. The Christ is the experiece of Jesus his followers encountered after his death. The Cosmic Christ is neither human nor divine, but rather a gateway into the MYSTERY’s presence among us. Our BRUNCHtalks continue to explore what it means to be Progressive in approach: Christ-like in action. 

You can find the all the slides from the presentation (including the ones that were skipped in the interests time) for this BRUNCHtalk here

Audio only click here

Preparing to Preach or Not to Preach on Reign of Christ Sunday

cosmic christI usually have the presence of mind to book my vacation or some sort of continuing education event that takes me far away from the pulpit on Reign of Christ Sunday. Formerly known as “Christ the King Sunday” an attempt to move beyond exclusively male imagery for Christ (in whom there is no east nor west, male nor female) some church-folk have attempted to change the name of this festival to Reign of Christ Sunday. But merely changing the title fails to get  beyond the struggles I have with this festival of the church year!!!!

Born in an age that was birthing fascist regimes, this particular festival of the church clings to it’s christian imperialist past. Instituted in 1925, by Pope Pius XI,  (you can read the full proclamation here) the festival was designed to remind the world that Christ is the King of the World. The irony of proclaiming Christ as “King” when the life of Jesus of Nazareth positively denies “kingliness” seems lost on the church. The appropriateness of asserting Christ over the religions of the world lacks the kind of humility embodied by Jesus of Nazareth. So, this year I am not prepared to celebrate Christ the King or the Reign of Christ Sunday. Instead, we will take a leaf out of Matthew Fox’s book and craft our worship around the theme of the Quest for the Cosmic Christ.

Cosmic ChristYears ago, long before I ventured to seminary, Matthew Fox’s book Original Blessing opened me to the wonders of Creation Spirituality. So, I eagerly worked my way through his book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. I confess that my first reading of Fox’s tome left me in the dust of my own lack of understanding of traditional Christology. But even back then, without the benefit of theological training, I sensed something of the MYSTERY that I had always trust Christ to BE. I have returned to Fox’s work many times over the years and over and over again I have discovered a WISDOM that moves me beyond the limitations of the historical Jesus toward a more holistic vision of Christ, which like Fox I believe, has the potential to move us to a more wholistic relationship with Creation. I trust that the WISDOM of the Cosmic Christ will lead us into the Season of Advent so that we can be about the work of birthing the Cosmic Christ.

Preparing to Preach or Not to Preach on Reign of Christ Sunday

cosmic christI usually have the presence of mind to book my vacation or some sort of continuing education event that takes me far away from the pulpit on Reign of Christ Sunday. Formerly known as “Christ the King Sunday” an attempt to move beyond exclusively male imagery for Christ (in whom there is no east nor west, male nor female) some church-folk have attempted to change the name of this festival to Reign of Christ Sunday. But merely changing the title fails to get  beyond the struggles I have with this festival of the church year!!!!

Born in an age that was birthing fascist regimes, this particular festival of the church clings to it’s christian imperialist past. Instituted in 1925, by Pope Pius XI,  (you can read the full proclamation here) the festival was designed to remind the world that Christ is the King of the World. The irony of proclaiming Christ as “King” when the life of Jesus of Nazareth positively denies “kingliness” seems lost on the church. The appropriateness of asserting Christ over the religions of the world lacks the kind of humility embodied by Jesus of Nazareth. So, this year I am not prepared to celebrate Christ the King or the Reign of Christ Sunday. Last year, we took a leaf out of Matthew Fox’s book and crafted our worship around the theme of the Quest for the Cosmic Christ.

Cosmic ChristYears ago, long before I ventured to seminary, Matthew Fox’s book Original Blessing opened me to the wonders of Creation Spirituality. So, I eagerly worked my way through his book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. I confess that my first reading of Fox’s tome left me in the dust of my own lack of understanding of traditional Christology. But even back then, without the benefit of theological training, I sensed something of the MYSTERY that I had always trust Christ to BE. I have returned to Fox’s work many times over the years and over and over again I have discovered a WISDOM that moves me beyond the limitations of the historical Jesus toward a more holistic vision of Christ which like Fox I believe has the potential  to move us to a more wholistic relationship with Creation. I trust that the WISDOM of the Cosmic Christ can lead us into the Season of Advent so that we can be about the work of birthing the Cosmic Christ. (you can check out last year’s sermon on the Cosmic Christ hereThis year, we at Holy Cross will begin our quest for the Cosmic Christ by looking back to remember our treasured relationships with Jesus as we explore the relationship of Jesus, both our own personal Jesus and the historical Jesus, to our visions of the Cosmic Christ.

Preparing to Preach or Not to Preach on Reign of Christ Sunday

cosmic christI usually have the presence of mind to book my vacation or some sort of continuing education event that takes me far away from the pulpit on Reign of Christ Sunday. Formerly known as “Christ the King Sunday” an attempt to move beyond exclusively male imagery for Christ (in whom there is no east nor west, male nor female) some church-folk have attempted to change the name of this festival to Reign of Christ Sunday. But merely changing the title fails to get  beyond the struggles I have with this festival of the church year!!!!

Born in an age that was birthing fascist regimes, this particular festival of the church clings to it’s christian imperialist past. Instituted in 1925, by Pope Pius XI,  (you can read the full proclamation here) the festival was designed to remind the world that Christ is the King of the World. The irony of proclaiming Christ as “King” when the life of Jesus of Nazareth positively denies “kingliness” seems lost on the church. The appropriateness of asserting Christ over the religions of the world lacks the kind of humility embodied by Jesus of Nazareth. So, this year I am not prepared to celebrate Christ the King or the Reign of Christ Sunday. Instead, we will take a leaf out of Matthew Fox’s book and craft our worship around the theme of the Quest for the Cosmic Christ.

Cosmic ChristYears ago, long before I ventured to seminary, Matthew Fox’s book Original Blessing opened me to the wonders of Creation Spirituality. So, I eagerly worked my way through his book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. I confess that my first reading of Fox’s tome left me in the dust of my own lack of understanding of traditional Christology. But even back then, without the benefit of theological training, I sensed something of the MYSTERY that I had always trust Christ to BE. I have returned to Fox’s work many times over the years and over and over again I have discovered a WISDOM that moves me beyond the limitations of the historical Jesus toward a more holistic vision of Christ which like Fox I believe has the potent ion to move us to a more wholistic relationship with Creation. I trust that the WISDOM of the Cosmic Christ will lead us into the Season of Advent so that we can be about the work of birthing the Cosmic Christ.

Reformation Postings: Luther, Spong, Fox, and Holy Cross – a Reformation Sunday Sermon

95This Reformation Sunday sermon looks at postings from Martin Luther, John Shelby Spong, Matthew Fox and Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Newmarket in the hope of string up the Spirit for Reformation today!  The written manuscript is a facsimile of the sermon that was preached on Reformation Sunday 2013, which you can listen to here

Semper Reformanda – Always Reforming: On October 31st 1522, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the door of the cathedral in Wittenburg and the church has been Semper Reformanda – ing ever since.

Luther’s 95 Theses famously itemized the wrongs and the abuses of the church of his day and insisted that change was long overdue. Luther’s list included many theses opposed to the churches selling of indulgences:

41 Papal indulgences must be preached with caution, lest people erroneously think that they are preferable to other good works of love.

42 Christians are to be taught that the pope does not intend that the buying of indulgences should in any way be compared with works of mercy.

43 Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences.

But even though Luther railed against the church’s selling of indulgences, he did approve of using threats of hell.

4  Christians should be exhorted to be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, death and hell.

5  And thus be confident of entering into heaven through many tribulations rather than through the false security of peace

Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Cathedral, and the newfangled invention of the Printing Press ensured that his protests were reproduced for all of Europe to read. Just before the turn of the last century, in 1998 to be exact, the Right Reverend John Shelby Spong, the Bishop of Newark published his own protestations. Bishop Spong, looked around at the state of the church and decided that it was time for a new reformation. Using the newfangled invention of our time, Jack posted his Twelve Theses with these words:

“Martin Luther ignited the Reformation of the 16th century by nailing to the door of the church in Wittenberg in 1517 the 95 Theses that he wished to debate. I will publish this challenge to Christianity in The Voice. I will post my theses on the Internet and send copies with invitations to debate them to the recognized Christian leaders of the world. My theses are far smaller in number than were those of Martin Luther, but they are far more threatening theologically. Continue reading

Recovering the Sacredness of the Earth: Matthew Fox

Creation“We are the first species on this planet that can choose not to become extinct. Of course we haven’t made that decision yet.”

For those of us following the lectionary readings for The Season of Creation, this Sunday is “Land Sunday.” Matthew Fox’s challenge for to us to “wake up” provides much inspiration to develop worship that shakes us from our sleep and empowers us to work together to develop harmonious relationships with creation that will foster healing of the Earth.

 

Divine Feminine and the Sacred Masculine: Calming Our Reptilian Brains – Matthew Fox

Divine Feminine Sacred MasculineI am currently enjoying Matthew Fox’s new book, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times in which Fox puts Eckhart in conversation with an engaging collection of mystic-wariors. So, it is not surprising that in this short video, I hear echoes of Eckhart.

 

 

Wisdom from Our Spiritual Ancestors: Matthew Fox

Julian of Norwich Between pastordawn

I was introduced to the work of Matthew Fox long before I ever entertained the idea of becoming a student of religion. Fox’s groundbreaking book, “Original Blessing” introduced me to the work of the Christian mystics and helped me to see beyond the institutional theology of those who won the long forgotten theological battles of our past. His exploration of the work of those whose theology threatened the agendas of the powers that be and development of “creation spirituality” opened me to a new way of understanding and articulating Christianity.

Tell Us About God. We Have Almost Forgotten: Christmas Eve sermon 2013

nativity bListen to the Christmas Eve sermon  

Christmas Eve sermons are a challenge for any preacher who takes the gathering of folk on a dark and holy night seriously. I am indebted to Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, Parker Palmer, Michael Morwood, Matthew Fox, and Michael Dowd for much of the inspiration for this sermon. 

Theology From Exile Volume II – The Year of Matthew

Theology from Exile IIAttention progressive christians who despair over the lectionary!!!

A new Church Year brings a new lectionary resource for progressive christians. This coming Sunday, the church begins a new year. Which for preachers and those who partake of our sermons means the beginning of lectionary readings for “Year A”. For those of you who have been spared the need to know, many of the so-call “mainline” churches follow a three year cycle of readings call the Revised Common Lectionary which include four prescribed readings for each Sunday. During “Year B” the gospel readings are largely drawn from the Gospel According to Matthew.

Theology From Exile is written by Sea Raven, D.Min., an Associate of the Westar Institute (that’s right the home of the Jesus Seminar). In the Introduction Raven declares, “This project is grounded in the paradigm-shifting biblical scholarship of Karen Armstrong, Marcus J. Borg, John Dominic Crossan, Robert Funk, and Amy-Jill Levine, as well as the transformative work of Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox, whose theology of Creation Spirituality has reclaimed Catholic mysticism for post-modern cosmology.” Yippie!!! Yippie only begins to capture my delight at having found this resource!!! In addition to providing a lectionary commentary Raven puts her considerable  skills as a worship leader and planner to good use by providing suggestions for liturgical innovations.   I only wish I’d discovered Raven’s excellent work last year’s Volume I – The Year of Luke. 

For colleagues who have the daunting task of preaching in this the 21st century this resource is a must. For those who listen to sermons, you will find Raven’s work to be an excellent resource for Bible Study!!! Raven in her introduction accurately accesses the current conundrum of christianity which she hopes this provocative series will address: “The continued existence of a Christian “faith” as a religious system of belief is clearly under siege by twenty-first century Biblical scholarship as well as the continuing evolution of scientific knowledge. The question addressed by this series of commentaries is whether and how ancestral scriptures remain relevant and revelatory to twenty-first century cosmology.” Amen! Amen! Amen!

95 Theses for the Twenty-first Century

Delighted that so many of you after reading yesterday’s post have expressed interest in learning more of Matthew Fox’s 95 Theses for the 21st Century.  The best place to find out more is in Fox’s little book “A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality and the Transformation of Christianity” published in 2006 by Inner Traditions press.

Click Here where you will find a complete list of Fox’s  95 Theses for the Twenty-first Century

Enough with “A Mighty Fortress” Already! Sing a New Song!

In the spirit of the Reformation motto: semper reformanda – always reforming, what say we abandon the fortresses of our traditions.  This Sunday, Lutheran churches all over the world will begin their Reformation Sunday worship services vigorously singing “A Mighty Fortress” and I for one wish they wouldn’t.  I suspect that the hymn’s author Martin Luther might just agree with me. After all didn’t Luther write a Mighty Fortress in an attempt to bring the popular music of the day into the church? I am convinced that this particular Reformation Sunday tradition has dear old Martin spinning in his grave at the thought that the church that bears his name is still singing a tired old chestnut like A Mighty Fortress to celebrate the Reformation. The very idea of 21st century Lutheran’s celebrating the Reformation by clinging to the events of the 16th century is an affront to the memory of Martin Luther. Continue reading

“Isness is God” – Meister Eckhart

Isness IS God Eckhart Fox Pastor Dawn

Back in the 19th century, Rudolf Otto described the Holy One that we encounter as: “mysterium, tremendum et fascinans.” “Mysterium” captures the indescribable nature of the Holy. “Tremendum” …we get our word tremble from this; and in the presence of the Holy we tremble because the Holy is so far beyond our abilities to cope with. And yet we are “facinans,” fascinated to the point where we long to return over and over again into the presence of the Holy. Sadly, the image of God that has been created for us by religion can’t possibly contain all that the Holy IS.  images

In his book  “Insurrection” Peter Rollins insists that, for a multitude of reasons we are all too willing to settle for what Bonheoffer called the God of Religion. For Bonheoffer, the Church approached God as a “deus ex machina.” God was merely an idea clumsily dropped into our world in order to fulfill a task. God was introduced into the world on our terms in order to resolve a problem rather than expressing a lived reality. The result is a God who simply justifies our beliefs and helps us sleep comfortable at night. God is brought into the picture only when we face a problem of some kind that doesn’t lend itself to solution by other means. This “deus ex machina” falls far short of the God we meet in the Thin Places of our lives; those places or events in which we encounter the Divine. Only by letting go of the god we have created for ourselves can we begin to describe the encounter with the ONE who IS. 

 

The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity – Adult Ed. Class

living the questions bkSession TWO:  Creation Myths – Myth Making

Myths are created in the context of a culture – shaped by the characteristics of the culture in which they are born. Over time myths have the power to shape culture. However, as our cultural context changes we must continue the process of making meaning and creating new myths.

Here are the video clips we used to explore the process.

Cosmic Mass

Matthew Fox is working to invigorate worship. Silenced by the Vatican and expelled from the Dominican Order, Fox continues to be the most read catholic theologian of our time. For several years Fox has been developing worship for a post-modern world. Taking the cyberspace revolution into sacred space. Quoting African spiritual teacher Malidoma Some who insists that there is no community without ritual, Fox has infused what he learned about rave masses in the United Kingdom with his own Creation Spirituality to create worship for 21st century Americans and dubbed this new form the “cosmic mass.”

“Our first 18 minute dance is during the Via Positiva, the last at the Via Transformativa wherein we receive the energy to be the spiritual warriors we need to be to transform society after we leave worship.  In between there is a deep experience of shared grief (via negativa) often including wailing and lamentation and the sharing of communion (via creativa). At the close of the service is a “via transformativa” dance or warrior dance which prepares us to go into the world and back to our communities as healers and strong defenders of compassion.  A variety of ages is always represented as well as many kinds of artists and people from diverse religious backgrounds ranging from Christian to Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Pagan.  The worship is so pre-modern in many respects that many find home there.  Beauty is everywhere present.  And one might say, magic.”

I can’t help wondering what form a cosmic mass might take among Canadian middle-class Christians???

95 Theses for the Twenty-first Century

Delighted that so many of you after reading this morning’s post have expressed interest in Learning more of Matthew Fox’s 95 Theses for the 21st Century.  The best place to find out more is in Fox’s little book “A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality and the Transformation of Christianity” published in 2006 by Inner Traditions press.

Click Here where you will find a complete list of Fox’s  95 Theses for the Twenty-first Century

Enough with “A Mighty Fortress” Already! Sing a New Song!

In the spirit of the Reformation motto: semper reformanda – always reforming, what say we abandon the fortresses of our traditions.  Tomorrow, Lutheran churches all over the world will begin their Reformation Sunday worship services vigorously singing “A Mighty Fortress” and I for one wish they wouldn’t.  I suspect that the hymn’s author Martin Luther might just agree with me. After all didn’t Luther write a Mighty Fortress in an attempt to bring the popular music of the day into the church? I am convinced that this particular Reformation Sunday tradition has dear old Martin spinning in his grave at the thought that the church that bears his name is still singing a tired old chestnut like A Mighty Fortress to celebrate the Reformation. The very idea of 21st century Lutheran’s celebrating the Reformation by clinging to the events of the 16th century is an affront to the memory of Martin Luther.

We should be singing this centuries music and rather than smugly resting on the laurels of the past, we should be plotting were the reformation goes from here.  Perhaps in this the 21st century, when so many of the church’s traditions have seen the institution fall into the malaise of irrelevancy, we need to echo the cry: “Semper Reformanda”  —  “Always Reforming” the cry of the reformers who insisted that the church in every age stands in need of reformation.

Legend has it that on October 31st 1517, after taking a long hard look at the Roman Catholic Church and having fixed his sights on what he saw as the source of the rot that threatened to destroy the church’s ability to proclaim the Good News of God’s grace that is revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Martin Luther took his 95 Theses on the abuses of the doctrine of indulgences into the streets of Wittenburg and nailed them on the doors of the church. Within a few short weeks, with the aid of the newest technology, copies of Luther’s 95 Theses spread throughout the Holy Roman Empire and sparked a Reformation the likes of which the church hadn’t seen since the Apostle Paul did away with the need to snip the male anatomy to gain entrance to the church. Luther’s words threatened the status quo of centuries of abuse. And the church as is her way, struck back with force so as to ensure that tradition might prevail. The rest, as they say, is history.

 Ah history, safely ensconced in the past with its hoards of devils. Let the people rejoice because Martin Luther did it all and we can relax safe in the knowledge that we are justified by grace, through faith. Ain’t it great to be a Lutheran!  “A mighty fortress is our God, who himself fights by our side with weapons of the spirit. Were they to take our house, goods, honour, child, or spouse, though life be wrenched away, they cannot win the day. The Kingdom’s ours forever!”

So tell me, if they fought the good fight in the sixteenth century and handed us everything we need, and God is on our side and wins salvation glorious:    Where are the children? Where are the young people? Where are the neighbours?  Where is everybody? How and why did the church of our ancestors manage to fall into such disrepair? How did we become so irrelevant?

Most of us, can look around and see for ourselves how broken the church is. If we are honest, we all have our own particular theories as to why and how this happened. Yet we continue to go about our business, hoping against hope that someone will notice and finally fix it.  Year by year the church slips farther and farther into the morass of it’s own making and more and more people forget the wisdom of the ages and Christ seems to slip further and further from our grasp.  We, who go by the name Lutheran, we can’t do much more than point to our glorious past as if we could only turn the clocks back the work of the reformers of old would save us. But time waits for no one and year after year, people drift away and churches close their doors, and those who are left react with fear.

Despite the fact that we’ve tried to immortalize him, it’s as if Martin Luther never lived at all. Back in the dim recess of memory Luther stands, frozen and impotent. And I can’t help but ask the question:  “What would Martin do?”

Well in good old Lutheran style, a song comes to mind, a song of the people, a song from the streets, a drinking song…

             “If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning, I’d hammer in the evening, all over this land, I’d hammer out danger, I’d hammer out warning…

It’s time to stop celebrating the Reformation as if it is somehow over. The work of reformation continues precisely because the church is always in need of Reformation.

This week I re-read a little book by Matthew Fox. Fox was a Roman Catholic theologian until Mr Ratzinger silenced him. The Roman Catholic church’s loss was the Episcopal church’s gain.   Shortly after Mr Ratzinger made himself pope, Matthew Fox took a long hard look at the church he’d served for so many years and became demoralized. Fox noticed the similarities between the sex-abuse scandals that continue to rock the church and the abuses wrought by indulgences, and asked himself what Martin Luther would do. That’s when Matthew Fox decided to write a few Theses of his own. Except where Luther wrote his 95 Theses to object to the practice of indulgences, Fox wrote 95 Theses to object to the many and various abuses of the church. It wasn’t difficult, over the course of a particularly dark night, Matthew Fox found that 95 Theses came flooding out of him. In the morning, he resolved to take his 95 Theses to Wittenburg and nail them to the very same doors where Martin Luther instigated the Reformation.

Well, things have changed a little over the course of nearly 500 years since that fateful day in Wittenburg. You can’t just waltz up to the doors at Wittenburg and nail things there.  The doors are no longer made of wood and the city councilors require that you obtain a permit to protest at Wittenburg.

Fox was told that he would need to stay at least 500 feet from the doors, lest he interfere with the tourists who flock to visit the very spot were the church of the protester’s was born. Thus proving one of Fox’s thesis that the church has become for many nothing more than a museum for tourists.

Eventually the town council relented and after some careful construction, on October 31st 2005, Matthew Fox nailed his 95 Thesis to the doors of the church in Wittenburg. Rome took no notice.  But the churches in Germany did.  Just as Martin Luther’s action was aided by the invention of the printing press, Matthew Fox’s action was aided by the invention of the internet and thus began a conversation that led to the publication of Fox’s little book: A New Reformation:  Creation Spirituality and the Transformation of Christianity.  I return to Fox’s tome annually as part of my preparation to preach on Reformation Sunday.

Here’s a sample of Fox’s theses:

1) God is both Mother and Father.

3) God is always new, always young, and always “in the beginning.

4) God the Punitive Father is not a God worth honouring, but a false god and an idol that serves empire builders. The notion of a punitive, all-male God, is contrary to the full nature of the Godhead, who is as much female and motherly as masculine and fatherly.

5) “All the names we give to God come from an understanding of ourselves” (Meister Eckhart). thus people who worship a Punitive Father are themselves punitive.

6) Theism (the idea that God is “out there” or above and beyond the universe) is false. All things are in God and God is in all things (panentheism).

10) God loves all of creation, and science can help us more deeply penetrate and appreciate the mysteries and wisdom of God in creation. Science is no enemy of true religion.

15) Christians must distinguish between Jesus (a historical figure) and Christ (the experience of God-in-all-things).

16) Christians must distinguish between Jesus and Paul.

18) Eco-justice is a necessity for planetary survival and human ethics; without it we are crucifying the Christ all over again in the form of destruction of forests, waters, species, air, and soil.

20) A preferential option for the poor, as found in the base community movement, is far closer to the teaching and spirit of Jesus than is a preferential option for the rich and powerful, as found, for example, in Opus Dei.

23) Sexuality is a sacred act and a spiritual experience, a theophany (revelation of the Divine), a mystical experience. It is holy and deserves to be honoured as such.

24) Creativity is both humanity’s greatest gift and its most powerful weapon for evil, and so it ought to be both encouraged and steered to humanity’s most God-like activity, which all religions agree is compassion.

32) Original Sin is an ultimate expression of a punitive father God and is not a biblical teaching. Bit Original Blessing (goodness and grace) is biblical.

33) The term original wound better describes the separation humans experience on leaving the womb and entering the world–a world that is often unjust and unwelcoming–than does the term Original Sin.

59) Fourteen billion years of evolution and unfolding of the universe bespeak the intimate sacredness of all that is.

60) Jesus said nothing about condoms, birth control, or homosexuality.

71) A church that is more preoccupied with sexual wrongs than with wrongs of injustice is itself sick.

75) Poverty for the many and luxury for the few are not right or sustainable.

I’m sure that we all have thesis or two that you would like to nail to the door. I know that if I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning, I’d hammer in the evening all over this land, right up to the doors of churches everywhere, and I would nail a few theses to the more than a few church doors. I’d begin with a thesis about the need to move beyond the destructive theories of atonement that have only served to pervert the meaning of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and separate people from the sure and certain knowledge that neither death, nor life nor anything in all of creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ.

I’d include a theses or two about the dumbing down of our best theology and our acceptance of easy answers that have turned most people’s vision of God into a sadomasochistic father who insists on the death of his own son in order to satisfy our definition of justice.

I’d go on and on about the wonders and beauty of creation, and insist that we confess that we are wonderfully made.

I’d confess our obsession with self that lies behind the sin of avarice that permeates our consumer culture and turns our energies toward violence.

I’d call for a return to the Jewish tradition of Sabbath that called upon believers to read the Song of Songs and make love on the Sabbath.

I’d call the church to its responsibility to instill a love of creation in all people so that we can walk upon the earth lightly.

I’d remind the powers that be that all people are created equally and that sexuality is a gift from God to be celebrated and not used to segregate some believers from the priesthood that belongs to all believers.

On this Reformation Sunday, lovers of the church everywhere need to free ourselves from the shackles of tradition and about our 95 theses.

What wisdom do you have to share with the church?  What needs reforming?           What needs preserving? What needs tossing out? What needs holding up and celebration? When should we cry out in solidarity?  When should we sing out with joy and wonder? What should we do? What should we stop doing?  Semper Reformanda!    Always reforming!

This Reformation Sunday at Holy Cross Lutheran, we will sing new words by Miriam Therese Putzer to Luther’s traditional tune:  EIN FESTE BURG  which you can find  here

You can watch the video of Matthew Fox talking about his book here

A Church for the Future – Matthew Fox

“We are here to grow a soul. Not just to sit on one and cash it in at the end of our life.” Matthew Fox explores the undiscovered territories that lie within us.  Developing a sense of the sacred that lives in all of us is vital as we engage in the expansion of our consciousness. But has the church, like humanity itself,  forgotten the sense of the sacred? Matthew Fox explores a vision of the church that is the place, the space, the happening, where mystics and prophets are birthed, nurtured, championed, supported, and challenged.  Fox encourages the church to embrace her prophetic calling to interfere with education, economics, and the environment. 

Reinventing Christianity – Matthew Fox

Back in 1989, before I ever began entertaining the idea of returning to school to prepare for a life in ministry, a fortuitous Christmas gift in the guise of a copy of Matthew Fox’s newly published The Coming of the Cosmic Christ sent me on a journey that continues to shape my understanding of what it means to aspire to follow Christ.
Barely two chapters into Fox’s challenging tome and I knew that if I was ever to begin to understand Fox’s visions of reality, I would need to begin nearer the beginning. In those days, searching for a book involved more than a web search and so I began travelling from book store to book store to scour the shelves for a copy of Original Blessing.


Original Blessing’
s Introduction begins with two questions: “1. In our quest for wisdom and survival, does the human race require a new religious paradigm? 2. Does the creation-centered spiritual tradition offer such a paradigm?” Having absolutely no idea what the word “paradigm” means, I knew I was about to be challenged. So, I got my dictionary off the shelf and prepared to wade into unknown waters.  

Lead by Fox, I explored the ancient wisdom of Creation Spirituality and began a love affair with the wonders of mysticism and the marvels of science that continue to reveal ecstasies that intrigue and excite my body, mind and spirit! 

Matthew Fox’s work continues to nourish my desire to approach they Mystery we call divinity. In the videos below Fox delivers (in 2 parts) the Jarvis Lecture in which he calls for the Reinventing of Christianity. Fox believes that “if we cannot reinvent our religious then we are doomed, the human species is doomed.” Fox insists that Christianity needs to reset its focus; away from a preoccupation with redemption toward a focus upon creation. 

Chanting with Mathew Fox

Matthew Fox’s Creation Spirituality has provided a pathway beyond the constrictive confines of Christian doctrine  into the Wisdom tradition of the Mystics. Here he plays with the “ah” sounds of the various names for the divine. The exercise which he demonstrates is a wonderful way to open or awaken one’s self to the playfulness of the Spirit.