What does God Really Look Like? – Time for A New Vision

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I am a bit tired of literal, anthropomorphic interpretations of God. Could there really be a bearded, gray-haired male deity in the sky judging our every move? Why would this guy even want to spawn offspring, and mystify people centuries later trying to figure out how that could have happened without the usual means for transmitting sperm? Was eating that apple in the Garden of Eden truly such a serious offense? Would God actually need to have his own “son” executed to redeem humankind for this e … [Read more...]

My Defining Moment Led to this Patheos Blog – and My Book.

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Patheos is asking bloggers to write about a defining moment. Here is one of mine, excerpted and abridged from my book.Begrudging WisdomThe fearsome, yet somehow oddly thrilling words jumped right off the page, crept stealthily past the obviously snoozing hogwash detector in my brain, and spoke directly to my heart: “Stage IV men and women will enter into religion in order to approach mystery…” I grasped the book a bit more tightly, reread the words, then threw it down. A prickly se … [Read more...]

IS there an afterlife?

Today this question came through to me from AllExperts.com. I put a lot of thought into my response, so I thought I'd share it here.QUESTION: Dear Margaret, 5 years ago my wife passed away. Christian mythology, which has lasted 2000 years and been supported by some very wise people, promises if I only believe Jesus was God and rose from the grave I will be able to join my beloved in the afterlife and be with her forever. What does atheism have to offer that is even close to that? … [Read more...]

Were the New Atheists Right?

Were the New Atheists Right? In the last decade, many people were impressed with the work of the New Atheist writers. These three authors each wrote a highly reasoned treatise against religion or God that hit the best-seller list around the middle of the last decade.  A few words about them from my book, Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind:[1] In God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens claimed that…religion has mi … [Read more...]

This Above All: to Thine Own Self Be True…

In keeping with the idea of posting more real life stories sent in by readers, I invited former pastor Tim Hoehn to write up his own story (seeing it was more involved than I could adequately express) I believe it shows movement from the Faithful stage, through a period of questioning, and to a Mystic stance. Read on and see if you agree. Springtime, 1974. All the festivities that accompany a college graduation unfolded around me — a full auditorium, proud parents, classmates weary f … [Read more...]

Introducing Readers’ Stories

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From time to time on this site, I will be posting stories real people have sent in that somehow resonate with the topic of my book, Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind.  The book  describes a process of moving toward what may be called post-critical faith. This is a more fluid, and more personal type of faith, that can arise after a period of questioning the religious beliefs dictated by outer religious authorities, or in a holy book.  If the spiritual de … [Read more...]

Reexamining the Definition of Religion

Did you know that words like f-bomb, sexting, brain cramp, and earworm have now earned an official place in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary? Each year hundreds of new words are added to the dictionary in order to account for our ever-changing vocabulary. New words, such as copernicium, are introduced to account for scientific advancements. Other words, like e-reader, are included in the dictionary due to technological advancements. And some words, such as man cave and gastropub, are added due to … [Read more...]


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