Is Scientific Evidence Modern-Day Scripture?

The following is cross-posted from my HuffPost blog (where it has received 200+ comments). It is also posted on Connie's and my Metanexus blog, here.We are in the early stages of what I think historians will one day call religion's Evidential Reformation. Increasingly, most of us (the devout included) relate to scientific, historic and cross-cultural evidence as more authoritative than the dictates of an all-male ecclesiastical body or a literalist reading of Scripture.A good example of … [Read more...]

The Prayers of Lent

PATHEOS – March 2012Just a few days before Lent began this year and in anticipation of it, Doug Pagitt--who somehow always manages to pastor us all, thank God-- set a date for the two of us to engage in a Skyped conversation about Lent. But not about Lent in general, he said. Rather, he wanted us to talk about Lent from my perspective as a liturgical Christian. Since almost nobody ever asks me to speak as a liturgical, I was as much charmed as pleased. [In the South, those are two entirely d … [Read more...]

Phantom Deity Disorder


The other day while having dinner with friends I subconsciously reached my hand toward the attractive woman seated next to me. It was an effort to steal a private moment of affection with my wife by a brief grasp of her hand. Everything was perfect except for the fact that the woman sitting next to me was not my wife nor was she of any romantic interest at all. To her, my flaccid and foreign gesture would have seemed like an invitation to bow our heads and say grace.  Fortunately, just as I was … [Read more...]

Conversation with John Shelby Spong on Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World

Here is my conversation with Bishop John Shelby Spong on his book "Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World" from my Radio Show.In the conversation I ask John why people are not hearing from him the point he is trying to make, that the Bible is important to our lives and we should fully engage with it, and rather they hear him and others saying they want to get rid of the Bible?In the second video I ask him what we should do as an alternative to a simplistic literal reading of … [Read more...]

Wisdom From Kierkegaard

This Quote by Kierkegaard is rocking my world the last few weeks. The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we as Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my life will be ruined. How would I ever … [Read more...]

A Tapestry of Belief and Experience

Diana Butler Bass’ Christianity after Religion explores the tension between spirituality and religion, and experience andbelief.  Her work is more descriptivethan constructive, but it sets the agenda for Christians who wish to addresstwenty-first century spiritual challenges and not the issues of a bygone era.  Bass notes that belief has oftenbeen a deterrent to taking Christianity seriously among the self-described “nones”and “spiritual but not religious.”  She reflects on her experience of a … [Read more...]

Physicality of Lent

In the third installment of my conversation with Phyllis Tickle about Lent we talk about the physical nature of spirituality.You can follow the entire lent conversation on the Lent Blog here.You can watch all the videos in our conversation here. … [Read more...]

Is Lent Holding Us Back? Phyllis Tickle and Doug Pagitt Discussion is hosting a lent conversation and Phyllis Tickle and I offered the first few postings. Here is the second.I asked Phyllis if there is something about the yearly pattern of Lent where we are pulled back into the church story, given church language that doesn't sit well with many of us who don't want the theology of the church from the time of the invent of these practices.(In spite of the thumbnail of the video, Phyllis is not yelling at me).  … [Read more...]

Emergent Peeps on Lent – Doug Pagitt and Phyllis Tickle first

Patheos is launching a 40 day Lent Reflection Blog today.Phyllis Tickle and I are on for the first 5 installments. We recorded a conversation we had over Skype about Lent.Here is the first one - you can follow the 40 days at  … [Read more...]

Strange Christianity Made in America: Part I by Randy Woodley


What has been particularly harmful about American Christianity has not necessarily been the beliefs professed by American Christians but rather the worldview that makes professions of belief more real than living them out. Within this schism of reality exists classic American dualism.With just a reference to our nation’s fondness for war, our crime statistics, our rising poverty rates and an apparent increasing lack of concern for the most disenfranchised of society, we simply do not measure … [Read more...]