NEWS: Religion as Sinful

Sara Miles has authored a new book titled Jesus Freak: Feeding, Healing, Raising the Dead. After a profound conversion to Christianity she continues to question human attempts at religion, viewing them as socially constructed, arguing that we can find the sacred everywhere—that when we find holiness in everyday life, we become something different, perhaps whole. In her interview, Miles discusses the practicality of social outreach measures such as her church’s food pantry, but argues that our actions do not gain us favor with God—they simply place us closer to the divine. Ideas are competitive, according to Miles, and tend to grow and change as humans add and subtract based on power. She states that there is a “desire for ‘pure’ religion, and then there’s actually how it’s made. And how it’s made is how all cultural stuff is made: people pile stuff on. And they sometimes fight over it, and they win by violence, and they win by persuasion. It’s a cultural artifact that’s made by people.” Miles’ account of religion depicts a system created and re-created by humans rather than God. She goes on to define her belief: “…it’s a religion of relationship. And you don’t get to pick what the edges of that are.” Although she is an Episcopalian, the rhetoric used by Miles is strikingly evangelical in tone as she speaks of a personal relationship with God. But make no mistake: she is certainly not your typical “born again” Christian. Read the full article here.

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Between the Traditional and the Innovative: Ezra-Nehemiah in Current Research By Gerald A. Klingbeil , Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (Vol. 4, March 2009) Religion Compass

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