Worse Than Losing Your Faith?

The vigor with which some people defend their beliefs online – refusing to do basic research, offering completely unpersuasive off-the-cuff arguments, and denigrating their opponents – has long puzzled me. Losing your faith (or, if you are an atheist, losing your lack of faith) can seem like a terrifying prospect, to be avoided at all [Read More...]

Creed

Below is a song I wrote a while back, but haven’t shared publicly until now. I wrote it after a discussion in my Sunday school class about creeds, in which I asked whether a list of beliefs ought to be what characterizes us, or something else. Here are the lyrics, which are also in the [Read More...]

Appropriately Skeptical Thomas

The above cartoon depicts the caricature of a doubter, and specifically of Thomas who became known as “Doubting Thomas.” But is skepticism in the face of seemingly incredible claims really inappropriate? Was Thomas the fool depicted in the cartoon above, or wiser than far too many gullible Christians today, whose unwillingness or inability to doubt [Read More...]

Amen! vs. Aha!

In some segments of Christianity, shouting “Amen!” is encouraged, and at times even requested with a phrase like “Can I hear an 'Amen'?” This isn't a Biblical way of using the word. But even if it were, it would still be problematic. It is asking for immediate assent to what is said, based on enthusiasm [Read More...]

Christian Faith is not Belief, nor Certainty

A young Christian wrote an e-mail expressing concern about doubt. I thought I would share what I wrote to them, in case it is helpful to others: I wonder whether you may not have understood the “faith” referred to in the New Testament primarily in terms of holding the right beliefs. If you consider Paul’s [Read More...]

Ultimate Concern

This is a recording of a song I wrote, giving musical expression to the view of faith advocated by theologian Paul Tillich. Let me know what you think! [Read more...]

Intelligence on Ice vs. Ignorance on Fire

The saying “Why is it that the choice among churches always seems to be the choice between intelligence on ice and ignorance on fire?” is attributed in Diana Butler Bass’ book Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening to an unnamed Facebook poster. I think that this [Read More...]

Belief and Practice

My entire time at church today seemed to bring together thoughts and discussions related to this theme of belief and practice and the relationship between them for Christians. In my Sunday school class, having had a guest talk about the views of the Latter Day Saints last week, we planned to talk this week about [Read More...]

Is it OK to Doubt the Bible?

An interesting conversation between Tom Thatcher, professor at Cincinnati Christian University, and Tyler McKenzie, teaching pastor at Northeast Christian Church. Whatever you think of some of the details of the conversation, it reflects a dialectic approach that progressive Christians can embrace: On the one hand, recognizing that doubting and even disbelieving the Bible is not only [Read More...]

Quote of the Day

If your faith can move mountains, it should be able to withstand a little criticism. – Source unknown, via Robert Cargill on Facebook [Read more...]

On The Burial of Jesus

On Facebook, Kristi Outler Byrd mentioned that she was trying to have read 81 books this year, and that #79, which she had just finished at that point, was my book The Burial of Jesus: What Does History Have to Do with Faith? (published by Patheos Press, and available as an ebook for only $2.99). [Read More...]


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