Generalizing about Religion

Sabio Lantz has shared some insightful comments about the problem of generalization in discussion of religion. There’s an extensive quotation below, but click through to read the entire post. Religions around the world nurture conflict and are used as tools for great suffering and nonsense. But religion can also be used in wonderful ways. It is [Read More...]

Christians and our Critics

The quote is something that Arni Zachariassen said on Facebook, and which I have quoted here with his permission. Very often I come across atheist critiques of Christianity that are shallow, uninformed and pretty much not thought through at all. Especially, it seems, in reference to the Bible. I often feel the exacerbated need to [Read More...]

The Outsider’s Test and the Golden Rule

Jerry Coyne shared the cartoon below, which illustrates the tendency we have to consider that the culture, religion, species, and everything else we are brought up with is the best, rather than the more likely scenario which is that we think they are the best because they are what we were brought up with. Ironically, some [Read More...]

Come As You Are

David Hayward shared the above cartoon he created, which depicts a rather literal cookie-cutter type of entrance to the kingdom. The fact that the kingdom’s inhabitants are thus low-budget robots is not without symbolic significance. Once they get in, they sing “Just as I am” – but obviously they have only been accepted “just as [Read More...]

One Church Fits All?

In response to an insightful comment on my post “Church Cocoon” I wrote the following: It may be that we are being unfair to individual churches when we expect them to be everything Christians need throughout their lives. Maternity wards are great places to be born, but may not be the best places to grow up. [Read More...]

If Religion Were The Key To Morality

The above t-shirt came to my attention via Facebook. I certainly do want to acknowledge that there are some “mega-churches” which do in fact look like charities and not like businesses. Sometimes precisely for that reason, they won’t look like or be characterized as “mega-churches.” But are they the exception, or the rule? One can’t judge [Read More...]

Scripture is Not Alone

 The fact is that “scriptura” by its very nature is a book that people read, so it cannot stand “sola” — alone and isolated from the humans who read it.  Every time we read the Bible, we are seeing it through the windows of our own experience, and understanding it according to our own reasoning. And [Read More...]

Wisdom from Desmond Tutu

A couple of images which together articulate the approach to nonviolent activism and reconciliation that has characterized Desmond Tutu's career. I am looking forward to seeing what the Desmond Tutu Center created at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary will do to further those aims.   [Read more...]

Michael Dowd in Indianapolis

A colleague sent me the following information about an upcoming event, a talk by Michael Dowd at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis: FREE Program: “The Future Is Calling Us to Greatness: Coming Home to Reality“, (alt title: “Evidential Inspiration and Realistic Hope”) with Rev. Michael Dowd: Monday, Sept 8, 7:00pm – 8:45pm, Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis, 615 W. 43rd St., Indianapolis, IN 46208 [Read More...]

Bringing the Gospel to SBL

Under the heading of this post’s title, I will share one example of what it can mean that is appropriate, and one example of what it could mean that is not. Matthew Malcolm has suggested that it would be interesting to have a program unit or other session at the Society of Biblical Literature conference about [Read More...]

Human Nature in Recent Movies

I got caught up on some movie viewing during my transatlantic flights this summer. I got to see Noah, Divergent, and the remake of Robocop. I was struck by a theme that linked all three very closely: their treatment of human nature. The movie Noah is a confusing mess, which does some creative things with [Read More...]


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