Universal Family

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A spiritual, religious, and philosophical podcast . . . presenting a philosophy of living in truth, beauty, and goodness . . . centered on the concept that we are all brothers and sisters in the universal family of God.


  • Why is loving the neighbor like loving God?

    Why is loving the neighbor like loving God?

    24/04/2020 Duración: 09min

    An amoeba, a book on public speaking, and a question that has long awaited being raised. 

  • A Christian reads Lao Tzu

    A Christian reads Lao Tzu

    11/04/2020 Duración: 09min

    Lao Tzu: A noble man steeps himself in the Way, because he wishes to find himself in it. When he finds himself in it, he is at ease in it. When he is at ease in it, he can draw deeply upon it. When he draws deeply upon it, he finds its source wherever he turns. These phrases resonate with themes of Christian spirituality.  

  • If its not liberating, its not truth

    If it's not liberating, it's not truth

    24/03/2020 Duración: 07min

    If we believe some spiritual truth that we know is supremely important, but we're not getting the transformation, we're still on the level of ideas.  Here are some paths that lead from the idea-level of belief to the liberation level of faith.

  • Health, sanity, and happiness

    Health, sanity, and happiness

    15/03/2020 Duración: 06min

    The human personality system: body, mind, soul, spirit.  When they are integrated and unified, the benefits are health, sanity, and happiness. Sanity means mental efficiency--so that we can use knowledge and wisdom to treat others as we want others to treat us; overcome the tendency to be invaded by fear and anxiety; cooperate responsibly with public health professionals and government authorities.  This is a time when we have a golden opportunity to realize and practice the truths of the universal family--the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man (however you express it). 

  • Is truth more a what or a who?

    Is truth more a what or a who?

    28/02/2020 Duración: 09min

    Divine truth is like the light on a miner's helmet, illuminating the ever-changing scene, step by step. This is truth like a who. Those who know Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life will understand this, but the experience is not limited to Christians. The truths of science, philosophy, and spiritual experience are all contained in divine truth, and we can use these various levels of truth as stepping stones on our way to a peak experience.

  • Mary Magdalene finds herself after rough times

    Mary Magdalene finds herself after rough times

    22/02/2020 Duración: 12min

    What would have happened to Mary Magdalene after she met Jesus? How would her transformation affected her self-respect, her confidence in her capacities for intuition, and her soul?

  • Lets be Jesus sibs

    Let's be Jesus' sibs

    15/02/2020 Duración: 15min

    A Woman Jesus Can Teach by Alice Mathews takes us powerfully into the episode when Mary and her sons and daughters try to bring Jesus back home when they have heard that he is out of his mind. Jesus says, "Who are my mother and my brothers and sisters? Those who do the will of God are my mother and my brother and my sister." This episode introduces you to the book and to this episode in the manner of sequenced activities for a retreat. 

  • From Judge not to the golden rule

    From "Judge not" to the golden rule

    07/02/2020 Duración: 08min

    Lots of us find ourselves being judgmental at times. How can Jesus and his teachings help? First of all, there seems to be an inconsistency between Jesus' teaching, "Judge not," and his instruction not to "cast pearls before swine." once we clarify that seeming tension, we are are operating with both spiritual idealism and factual realism. Then we are ready for the next teaching: "Ask and you will receive, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you." That teaching opens the door to the transformation that comes from the Spirit of Truth, which enables us to live the golden rule in the highest sense: Love one another as I have loved you."

  • The modern phase of the gospel movement

    The modern phase of the gospel movement

    24/01/2020 Duración: 08min

    German theologian Adoph Harnack (1851-1930) broke through to the recognition of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man as the core of Jesus' gospel.  But he rejected the truth of Jesus' divine Sonship and John's gospel generally. So German theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968), criticized the concept of the brotherhood of man in favor of another side of Jesus' gospel--that we become children of God by faith. Then in the 1960s, as feminism was doing important work standing up for the equality of women with men, Mary Daly and other theologians made a very influential critique against the father concept of God as sexist. Now the followers of Jesus--Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant varieties, and none of the above--can break through to find Jesus in all these truths, leave one-sidedness behind, and learn to communicate the truth effectively to this person and that group, so that the emerging gospel of the universal family comes increasingly into fruition.

  • How do we prepare to lay down our lives as Jesus did?

    How do we prepare to lay down our lives as Jesus did?

    17/01/2020 Duración: 10min

    Here are stories of a student ethics project, a heroic flight attendant, and more.

  • What does it mean that Jesus is the good shepherd

    What does it mean that Jesus is the good shepherd

    10/01/2020 Duración: 17min

    I have recently realized that there is tremendous leverage for the spiritual renaissance in understanding the figure of the shepherd in the Bible and in the life and teachings of Jesus. In particular, this inquiry enables to answer an extremely important question: How did Jesus interpret the meaning of his death on the cross? And a further question arises: How can we use the image of the good shepherd as a searchlight to explore for truth in other interpretations? 

  • The historical Jesus according to Crossan

    The historical Jesus according to Crossan

    27/12/2019 Duración: 22min

    John Dominic Crossan's book, The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant, has been one of the most influential books on this widely discussed and controversial topic. This podcast episode introduces that book.

  • Peacemaking in the gender debate

    Peacemaking in the gender debate

    20/12/2019 Duración: 07min

    Confusion divides those who differ on how to respond to a teenager who wants to change to the other gender. If religious people can show how to love one another despite deep ethical disagreements, it could help the society a lot.  We need a philosophical distinction between (1) the spiritual affirmation of each person as an equally and infinitely loved child of God and (2) the ongoing scientific and ethical inquiry about treatments and responses for persons of different ages. To fail to make that distinction risks seeing an opponent as betraying fundamental spiritual truth.  

  • Anxiety dissolved

    Anxiety dissolved

    16/12/2019 Duración: 09min

    After reading articles by writers who described their anxiety, anger, depression, and grief over the country and the planet, I found myself wandering into anxiety, identified it frankly as ANXIETY . . . and then came a spiritual experience. I was just beginning to follow the steps of a method that I typically use when temptation arises . . . a method that is related here that is helpful during the normal times--the only justification for sharing an experience like this. 

  • The fact, law, and love of God unfolding

    The fact, law, and love of God unfolding

    13/12/2019 Duración: 07min

    The family of God is like a man who had horses and would train the each young one to carry a rider by taking it out on his large fields. Whenever the horse would be frightened by anything, he would stop, get off the horse, and lead it back to the place where it could calmly look at, and become comfortable with whatever had caused it to spook and jump away from its path. The law of God is like a friendly policeman who comes to the primary school to explain to the children some of the safety rules that they need to know. The love of God may be seen by reflecting on the previous two parables. In every case there is an unfolding, a learning process, in which we have the opportunity for us to explore, understand, and be comfortable with, the dimension of reality in question.  

  • Saved by a childs faith

    Saved by a child's faith

    06/12/2019 Duración: 09min

    Prophets often speak truth to those who refuse to hear. When they endure the consequences of their unrighteous personal lives and foolish conduct as nations, the resulting desolation gives occasion to grieve, to lament. But God is always waiting on the other side to bless and restore. What we could have realized so much earlier is: the faith of a little child. 

  • Feeling: Mozart, Jesus, and evolution

    Feeling: Mozart, Jesus, and evolution

    22/11/2019 Duración: 09min

    We often express feeling with words like wow, cool, amazing, awesome, it feels so good. But imagine a school of feeling with courses in the arts, beauties of nature, and spiritual experience to cultivate your sensitive response to the full spectrum of varieties of beauty. Such an education would give us a much larger vocabulary to describe aesthetic experience. This episode deals significantly also with Jesus and with life in our world, intensely struggling with evolution's ups and downs.

  • What a way to start the day!

    What a way to start the day!

    15/11/2019 Duración: 03min

    A couple thoughts about getting started with personal worship, imagining worshiping the Trinity on Paradise.

  • Atonement


    08/11/2019 Duración: 08min

    What a great hope, if all the professed followers of Jesus could unite in love and service! For this to happen, it will help to make spiritual peace (not intellectual agreement) regarding the doctrine of atonement. Here's how.

  • I will give you rest

    I will give you rest

    25/10/2019 Duración: 03min

    Jesus said, "Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."     Have you ever tried this when you are having trouble sleeping?     Have you ever tried worshipping as you wait for the promised rest to arrive?     Have you ever partaken in one of life's pleasures as you rest in him who is the way, the truth, and the life?     Artistic living in general is, in its fullness, a fruit of the spirit. (See Living in Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, chapter 5, for a fuller account.)     Happy resting in Jesus!

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