Tag: Christianity

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A Long Pursuit of the Real Jesus

For Christians, the search for the real Jesus can be a challenging pursuit, given the two millennia of doctrine, dogma and distortion that have built up around his teachings. For some followers, the key has been to strip away those traditions…

The Demise of Mainline Christianity

The failure of many mainstream Christian churches to embrace social movements of recent decades from gay rights to women’s equality to peace activism has alienated young people who see the contradictions with Jesus’s teachings of tolerance. Is it too late for established churches,…

Jesus’s Provocative Political Protest

Christians celebrate Jesus’s birth and the immediate events around his crucifixion, but less attention is given to the clearest sign of his political activism, his overturning of the money-changing tables at the Temple in Jerusalem, the likeliest reason for his…

The History of the Advent Season

Some Christian churches observe a near-month-long preparation for Christmas known as the Advent season, but its origins are not Bible-based and not well understood. Advent traces back to the Middle Ages when some Christians thought Jesus’s return was imminent, explains…

The Backlash against Women’s Rights

Religious fundamentalism Islamic, Judaic and Christian is pushing back against progress toward equal rights for women. The fundamentalists want to restore patriarchal dominance and are gaining ground in the Muslim world, Israel and the United States inside the Republican Party,…

Narrowing ‘Love Thy Neighbor’

Many Christians claim a personal relationship with Jesus but show little regard for his commandments to serve the poor and love thy neighbor. Some conceal these contradictions by narrowing the definition of “neighbor,” as Rev. Howard Bess explains.

Why Jesus Died

Recent historical discoveries about northern Palestine of two millennia ago reveal how radical Jesus’s message was, what risks he was asking his followers to take, and why he was arrested and crucified as an insurrectionist when he ventured south to Jerusalem,…

Steering from the Abyss

Exclusive: The world seems on a headlong rush toward the abyss, with American neocons eager to escalate their “clash of civilizations” and religious fundamentalists of various stripes insisting their own ancient texts must be accepted as political prescriptions for the modern era,…

Rejecting War-Crime Rationales

Since the Fourth Century A.D., Christian churches have sanctified nationalism and wars rather than insist on the non-violent teachings of Jesus, leaving many misguided Christians to explain later why they became implicated in war crimes, a predicament that Gary G.…

Hunt for the Historical Jesus

Image of Jesus bearing his cross, from a 14th Century fresco at the Visoki Dečani monastery in Kosovo.

For years there has been a debate over not only who Jesus was but whether he existed. Historians remain split on many Jesus-related questions and the issue is fraught with religious overtones but Rev. Howard Bess believes enough is now known…