#SKEPTIMERGENT: an atheist’s prayer

I’ve spent the last few days revisiting some old friends in Oklahoma City, the city where I grew up and where, when I moved away, I was a pastor. I haven’t been back in a few years, partially because I had been in a difficult place, personally. The last time I visited, I was pretty bitter about some things that had happened to me, and I wasn’t able to fully accept and embrace where or who I was. So, I mostly avoided the people who once saw me as a friend and a mentor.But, this time was diffe … [Read more...]

SKEPTIMERGENT

Welcome to the beginning of a collaboration between various people called “SKEPTIMERGENT.”  This dialogue began as a chat between myself, Rob Davis (who coined the title), Jeff Straka, Doug Pagitt, Victoria Peterson-Hilleque, and Chris Hill, and ended up as a Patheos blog.  I have long been interested in building bridges between those in the unbelieving community (atheists, agnostics, humanists, skeptics, naturalists, etc.) and liberal religious persons, and as such, I jumped at the chance to be … [Read more...]

I AM A TAKER

Hands Applauding

In AA’s big book on page 61, a question is asked, “What is his basic trouble? Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be kind? Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well? Is it not evident to all the rest of the players that these are the things he wants? Is he not even in his best moments a producer of confusion rather than harmony? Our actor is self-centered---ego-centric…”In my life, there has been in … [Read more...]

The Image of Holiness

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I come from a Christian culture that defined “holiness” (being like God) as the ability to follow imperatives or rules. These were affirmed by the Christian story I was formed in, which of course was said to be BIBLICAL. I think the church is badly in need of (or perhaps it’s the church experience I came from), is badly in need of a re-definition of what constitutes “holiness”; but to get to this re-definition we need to begin at the beginning. To be human is to be created in the image of God.  … [Read more...]

Invited to Your Story

ancient doors

As we begin 2013, I thought it appropriate to invite you into your story. Sounds a little silly to say, but I truly believe that for those of us hungry to discover God in our lives, we need only look as far as the story we have, and particularly its expression today. If it is true that the friend of God and the presence of God is always found in the moment, and if God is always present with us, then we need only look as far as us to discover where God is initiating and inviting us into the … [Read more...]

Grab some popcorn,the crucifixion was for entertainment

It is in the crucifixion of the desert rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth that we come to discover the pleasure and pain of the spectacle. In psychoanalysis, the term to denote the experience of pleasure and pain is embodied in the French word, jouissance. A better direct translation would be: orgasm.Why do I make this distinction? Because, today, especially in the West we are drawn to anything that is centered around the spectacle. The pleasure of entertainment but the discounted pain of knowing it is … [Read more...]

Chaos + Earth = Love

Monreale Creation of Earth Mosaic 12th c. CE

Hesiod's Theogony suggests a rather insightful equation that informs the Genesis accounts of creation in chapters 1-3. Rhoda A. Hendricks translates it thus:First of all Chaos came into being, and then Gaea, the broad Earth, the ever certain support of all the deathless gods who dwell on the summit of snowy Olympus, and also dark Tartarus in the innermost part of the broad-pathed earth, and also Eros, the fairest of the immortal gods who relaxes the limbs and overpowers the resolution and … [Read more...]

the fatality of truth…letting go of the wobbly bits

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Yesterday I had this thought in my mind tumbling around like laundry stuck in the spin cycle. I just couldn't seem to open the door and get it out. It was this thought ; the " fatality " of truth. It 's truth that is in the quality or state of causing death or destruction, or truth that is in the condition of being destined for disaster.A lot of so called religious truth is like that, truth that has been carved out in stone, that has become indelible that we some how determine is eternal. Or … [Read more...]

Bible meditation versus The Ear Worm

“Find a quiet place and a comfortable chair. Sit down, don't cross your legs, rest your hands palms upward and close your eyes. Invite Father to presence Himself with you. Concentrate on your breathing. Centre yourself. Still your mind, focus on Jesus, listen to the rhythm of your breathing”…The roar of an early morning snore nearly makes me fall off my chair. Am I doing this right? Am I sticking to what I learnt on the Soul Spark course? Why did I fall asleep? Are eight hours' sleep no longe … [Read more...]

In the end, it’s all about love… nothing else.

oldhug

Ever notice how good theology is found in life and not the bible. This week, Fred’s wife died suddenly. He tried his best to be with her, but somewhere between Sidney and Victoria on a Handy Dart Bus she drifted out of this world across the threshold into what I can only imagine as infinite mystery.Fred is ninety-four and in this past year has been like that wobbly toy you had as a kid, no matter how hard you tried to stand it up, it would fall over. An old war wound, years of hard work and w … [Read more...]


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