Wild Goose Festival Paves a Better Way

Ever feel religious alienation? There’s a better way.

I’m honored to be invited to be a speaker at this year’s Wild Goose Festival – the intersection of spirituality, art, music, and social justice. The open-minded, celebratory atmosphere of speakers, storytellers, musicians, artists, and wayfarers who embody the grand themes of inclusive love, welcome honesty, social equality, and responsible theology is infectious. The craft beer tent doesn’t hurt either.

I’ll have a talk on “Jesus, Justice, and Spirituality Outside Organized Religion,” where I’ll share how traditional modern religion, historically speaking, barks up the wrong tree. And how God’s dream of love, equality, justice, and peace transcends all religions and works outside all religion.

Jesus, Justice, and Spirituality Outside Organized Religion

What if Christians really learned their own history? What if that history showed us love trumps doctrine, Jesus’ teaching transcends all faiths, and social justice and community work best outside “church”?

Ex-evangelical author Michael Camp says most Christians fail Christian History 101. Contemporary Christianity’s sacred cows—traditional views of the Bible, church, salvation, missions, end times, the afterlife, etc.—are not derived from the original Jesus saga. Only by getting re-oriented to the ancient faith can modern believers abandon harmful fundamentalism and forge social change. Any progressive spiritual movement must know its origins, operate outside organized religion, and work with people of other faiths and no faith; or risk irrelevance in our post-modern world.

Join Michael in this lively conversation that takes you on an historical, transformative journey, liberating you to voice doubts, ask tough questions, share your evolution, and follow your own spiritual path where the historical evidence leads.

Join me and save 25% off weekend pass with the code BEMYGUEST – http://wildgoosefestival.org/tickets – Join the conversation in your comments. How has a good study of history helped you rethink the Bible, church, salvation, mission, justice, and the future?

11 Historical Facts Evangelicals Don’t Want You to Know (or Don’t Know Themselves)

evangelical church

First, two caveats. One, evangelicals are not a monolithic block. It’s possible (but rare) that some will want you to know some of these things. Second, most devoted evangelicals and their leaders sincerely believe that the historical, biblical, and linguistic facts listed below are… well, false. Not “truth.” Not “biblical.” False teaching.

I know. When I was an evangelical, I felt the same way. The few that I did believe or suspect might be true (or conversely, those traditional evangelical views I thought might be false), I kept secret, for fear of being “unevangelical.” But the truth is, aside from a few shady types who know them to be true but want to hide them from their flock, most people are clueless at best, and sadly, brainwashed at worst about these facts.

A fair, objective examination of the Greek of the New Testament and the history of Christianity, especially the first few decades and centuries of the faith, reveal these historical facts:

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What’s Wrong With the Modern Church?

CraftBrewedJesus_CoverNew book taps the answer:

What if the modern American church has its Christian history wrong? According to ex-evangelical Michael Camp, most American believers fail Christian History 101. Drawing on his own historical research and missionary experience, he discovers most popular Christian views of the Bible, church, sin, salvation, judgment, the kingdom of God, the “end times,” and the afterlife—pretty much all religious sacred cows—don’t align with the beliefs of the original Jesus Movement. Some of them not even close.

Camp’s Craft Brewed Jesus paves a fascinating journey of a group of disillusioned evangelicals and Catholics. When they decide to meet regularly over craft beers to study the historic foundations of their faith, their findings both rock their world and resolve ancient mysteries.

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What New Spiritual Path Will You Take in 2016?

DOWNLOAD AN EXCERPT OF “CRAFT BREWED JESUS”

Download excerpt of book Craft Brewed Jesus

Will you stay the course or take a new road? Will you finally address those pesky questions you have for which you’ve only gotten pat answers? Is this the year to research those unexamined doctrines and doubts? If you have been skeptical about any of the following, the forthcoming book “Craft Brewed Jesus” (Spring 2016) may help: 

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3 Big Ideas of New Book “Craft Brewed Jesus”

 3 Big Ideas of "Craft Brewed Jesus"

How History We Never Knew Taps a Spirituality We Really Need

My next book is in the hands of the publisher! Wipf and Stock Publishing in Eugene, Oregon is publishing it in April or May 2016. Besides the craft beer theme (just as small, independent craft breweries using historical recipes have rethought corporate-brewed beer, pub or cafe theologians outside the church are rethinking “corporate” religion), here are the book’s three big ideas:

1) The Modern American Church Has Failed Christian History 101
– With some notable exceptions, American Christianity does not understand the rich, fascinating, and complex-but-illuminating history of the early Jesus saga and how it later morphed into a warped man-made religion.

Wait, there’s more! »

3 Ways Atheists are Good for Christianity

3 Ways Atheists and Agnostics are Good for Christianity

To most people, the title of this blog seems contradictory. Aren’t atheists rebelling against God and leading people astray? Well, for the most part, no. One of our discoveries in our group’s research is that most atheists (or their cousins, agnostics) are good for people of faith because their honesty keeps us honest. They can help us learn to think for ourselves.  READ MORE >>

4 Ways History Solves the Puzzle of Faith

History Solves the Puzzle of Faith

Have you ever puzzled over things you hear/observe at church or read in the Bible? Like how can an all loving God allow anyone to suffer in hell forever? Or, if people go to hell, why is the door to repentance and forgiveness closed? Or, why do religious people and systems often seem so unloving?

Fifteen years ago, I started to investigate the answers to these and other perplexing questions. READ MORE >>

The Six Stages of a Christian Faith Shift

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar - Faith ShiftI owe the concept of “Faith Shift” to blogger and author, Kathy Escobar. I was amazed how she nailed the six stages of a spiritual evolution that I and many others have experienced. In this blog, she shares the concept in light of the recent Pew Study on declining church attendance and the rise of the “Nones” (no religious affiliation) and “Dones” (those who are done with church, but not necessarily their faith). Check out the six stages applied to Christianity and see if you can relate on a personal level.