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Showing posts from April, 2012

Jewish Views About the Afterlife

Rabbi Laurie Rice discusses how Judaism has viewed the afterlife over the centuries. Death causes many of us to ask about a life after this one. What happens after I die? Is there an afterlife? Do Jews believe in reincarnation? Resurrection? Immortality? Is this life all? Often when we meet with people who ask about a Jewish view of the afterlife, we comment that when it comes to death, Judaism requires that one be comfortable living with “the gray.” Our ancient sages knew what they did not know.
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Can There Be “Good” Corporations?

Our economic system is profoundly broken. To anyone paying attention, that much is clear. But what’s less clear is this: Our approach to fixing the economy is broken as well. The whole notion of “fighting corporate power” arises from an underlying belief that there is no alternative to capitalism as we know it. Starting from the insight that capitalism has become virtually a universal economy, we conclude that our best hope is to regulate corporations and work for countervailing powers like unions. But then we’ve lost before we begin. We’ve defined ourselves as marginal and powerless.
There is another approach. It’s bubbling up all around us in the form of economic alternatives like cooperatives, employee-owned firms, social enterprises, and community land trusts.  . . In the generative economy, ownership is rooted instead in the hands of stakeholders connected to the life of the enterprise. In some cases, these are employees. They can also be community members, as with municipally own…

Holocaust Remembrance Day

A strong man came to power in Germany whose ideas were that Germany has to create a national community, which would include only the Aryan race, which he considered superior, and all the people who did not belong to the Aryan race could be eliminated. With planning and propaganda, he was able to convince most of the German people to go along with him, insensitive to what happened to the Jews who had basically been their former neighbors. And he managed to build concentration camps and killing centers and finally gas chambers to annihilate six million Jews and at the same time also millions of others, murdered in a systematic, government-sponsored way.
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Please take a moment to watch this short 9 minute video and listen carefully to the words of several survivors. To see the video click on

When religion and spirituality collide

For centuries, faith was top-down: Spiritual power flowed from pope to the faithful, archbishop to Anglicans, priest to the pious, pastor to congregation. This has changed as regular people confidently assert that spirituality is a grass-roots adventure of seeking God, a journey of insight and inspiration involving authenticity and purpose that might or might not happen in a church, synagogue or mosque. Spirituality is an expression of bottom-up faith and does not always fit into accepted patterns of theology or practice.
Fearing this change, however, many religious bodies, such as the Anglican Communion, increasingly fixate on order and control, leading them to reassert hierarchical authority and be less responsive to the longings of those they supposedly serve. And that will push religion further into its spiral of irrelevance and decline. . . The gap between spirit and institution is not only problematic for religious organizations. The gap exists in business, where work and craft h…

Luke’s Eyewitnesses

We have no idea who Theophilus is, but based on what Luke wrote we know he had a problem – he didn’t know who was telling him the truth about Yeshua (Jesus).
Many have undertaken to draw up a narrative of the events that have been accomplished among us,just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word.With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,so that you may know the truth about the things you have been taught.[1]
Theophilus contacted the man we call Luke to investigate this matter for him and Luke’s final report was published in two volumes – The Gospel of Luke & The Acts of the Apostles. For some reason, over a century later, when the first attempts to create the New Testament canon began, some of the men decided to insert the Gospel of John between part one and part two parts of Luke’s report. M…

Why People are Confused about the earliest Christian View of Resurrection of the Dead?

Dr. James Tabor provides a very informative and interesting overview of the resurrection of the dead.
“There is a lot of confusion among Christians today, as well as among Jews and secularists for that matter, as to what the term resurrection of the dead means, whether as applied to Jesus and the Easter event, or more generally to humankind at the end of days. Most often the notion of resurrection of the dead is confused with a somewhat different Greek idea, the immortality of the soul–but these two ideas are quite distinct from one another as we will see below. . . Resurrection of the dead is affirmed in our Western religious creeds. Jews recite the Thirteen Principles of Maimonides (the last of which says, “I believe in the resurrection of the dead.”) Christians affirm the “resurrection of the body” in the Apostles’ Creed, the oldest confession of its type. Muslims affirm that God will raise the dead for judgment on the Last Day—also called the “Day of Standing Up” (Surah 2:79). The…

Ancient ossuary hints at earliest reference to Jesus

The tiny stone markings fill a space of no more than half an inch. But what they say – and could mean – may speak volumes for our understanding of early Christianity. Etched into a 2,000-year-old limestone ossuary (bone box) in a tomb in the Jerusalem suburb of Talpiyot, the markings are part of a larger image that has already ignited a war of words among archaeologists, historians and religious thinkers. Now, a new element seems certain to rekindle the furor: tiny markings encrypted in the head of the “fish” that, according to some epigraphers, spell the name Yonah, the Hebrew version of Jonah.
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Be sure to watch -- The Resurrection Tomb Mystery – on Discovery Channel on April 12th
On April 12 Discovery Channel will take a trip into the world of theology with the world premiere specialThe Resurrection Tomb Mystery.In a thrilling CSI-style archeologica…

Two Ancient Accounts of a Great Flood

The Bible isn’t the only ancient text to contain an account about a Great Flood. The Epic of Gilgamesh also contains a very similar account, but with some important differences. ELOHIYM (Creator in the Bible) informed Noah in advance of the impending disaster and gave him exact instructions for how to build the vessel that would be required for him to survive. The god EA revealed the divine decision of the gods to Utanapishtim (a man) and advised him to “build a boat.” In both accounts the heroes were given exact specifications about how to build their vessels. Both required the use of “pitch” to seal them, and in both accounts, the heroes are told to take animals aboard the vessel.
An important lesson we can learn from this biblical account is that, even though the society is actively engaged in evil, ELOHIYM searched for individual righteousness. The message of the biblical text is that an individual cannot undermine the moral basis of society without endangering the very existence…

A Man, Woman & Talking Snake

I know the name of this study sounds like the beginning of a good joke, but it is really a study of the introduction to one of the most important stories in our Bible -- the man, woman and snake in the Garden in Eden. The lives of over two billion Christians living today are still affected by how this account is interpreted. Many believe it is the record of a cosmic battle between God and Satan over the eternal destinies of the lives of all mankind. Is that what the ancient author of this famous account had in mind?  Let’s allow our Bibles to tell its own story and see what it says. Read the complete article at --

Christianity & the Easter Bunny

What do Jesus and an egg-laying Easter bunny have to do with each other? The answer is, “Nothing!” There's no story in the Bible about a long-eared, cotton-tailed creature known as the Easter Bunny that lays eggs. And, in case you didn’t known, real rabbits certainly do not lay colored eggs in nests. Jesus did not create a new holiday called “Easter.”The Early Church Fathers never participated in a festival called “Easter.” The word “Easter” does not appear in the Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament) nor is it found in any of the ancient Greek or Latin manuscripts of any of the books found in the New Testament. So, where did all of these things come from? Read complete article at --