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...]

Why I am a Freelance Spiritual Seeker

Patheos has recently challenged bloggers to respond to the question, in 200 words or less, "Why I am a......" (whatever religion they are) Ok, so I sort of went over the word limit, and I am not sure I got my response in on time, but here it is:Why I am a Freelance Spiritual SeekerI have never been a detail person. I like the “big picture” story about everything from the daily news to the stock market.The individual religions each carry a story that is too small for me to buy. “If … [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...]

The Problem of Knowing God

There is a big problem in our society and it is God. No, God is not inherently a bad thing—but people’s interpretation of God causes a lot of trouble. When people insist that their own particular view of God is the only correct one, the only real one, they alienate everyone else. Huge amounts of controversy exist over this—and for no good reason.People who have studied faith development have claimed that the less developed believers hold more literally to the God description put forth by thei … [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...]

Religious Certainty versus Certitude

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Some of the biggest problems today are caused by religious certainty. People who are very certain that their religion is better than all the others tend to want to impose the rules laid out in their Holy Book on everyone. They have little respect for the fact that some people are guided by other Holy Books, and other equally valid types of ideals based on values instead of beliefs. Unfortunately this concept has spread into the political arena where religious literalists often try … [Read more...]

Religion vs Reasoning Skills

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Have you ever wondered what part human reasoning might play in religious belief and/or spiritual growth and maturity? It turns out a Swiss researcher in cognitive and religious development has studied this in depth. K. Helmut Reich, holding doctoral degrees in Electrical Engineering, Physics, and Theology, has determined that human reasoning skills continue to develop throughout adulthood, and that different people reach a higher final reasoning level than others. He has gone so far as to … [Read more...]

Where Do Atheists Get Their Morality?

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Some atheists, to be sure, are without morals.  But many/most who have actually thought through their beliefs sufficiently to call themselves atheist have moved beyond the need for moral rules supplied by the church.  Such people are principled and self-regulating and their morality comes from something deep inside themselves.To such people, the rules of a Church, or even the Ten Commandments seem superficial and too black and white. For example “Thou Shalt Not Steal.”  Well, there are cases … [Read more...]

Are You Ready for Faith Beyond Belief? Take the Challenge!

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Are you ready to consider what a faith that is not grounded in religious belief might consist of? I am taking this opportunity to announce that my book, Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind, was published by Quest Books in October, 2012, and is now available.Despite its title, Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind is not a book against religion. Instead it challenges readers to consider a broader, more sophisticated … [Read more...]

Beyond the Corrupt Parts of Religion

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French philosopher Paul Ricoeur pointed out how many people are attracted to traditional religion out of a need for the rules it imposes and the comforts it can provide.  He called these two elements, (taboo and refuge) the “corrupt” parts of religion, and opined that in mature faith we must grow beyond these “baser needs.”Many of us are attracted to religion (probably at the subconscious level) because we need its rules to keep our behavior in line, or because we find such harsh realities in … [Read more...]


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