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


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.


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...]

What Does Spiritual Progress Really Mean?

What is “spiritual progress?” The dictionary tells us the word progress means moving forward, advancing, creating better conditions or new policies or ideals. So how would a person move forward spiritually? What better conditions or new policies or new ideals would a spiritually advanced person promote?Forward movement—or progress—in spirituality has been pretty well defined through a generally known, but rarely articulated process that should one day come to be called spiritual development t … [Read more...]

Planned Parenthood Urges a More Spiritually Mature Conversation

Planned Parenthood has a new campaign called <a href="http://www.ppaction.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pp_ppol_notinhershoes#.UQkwteihBuW" target="_hplink">"Not in Her Shoes."</a> In it they are trying to move away from the divisive labels "Pro-choice" versus "Pro-life," and the black-and-white thinking those labels engender."Not in Her Shoes" begs us to broaden our conversation about abortion, and to realize the issue is far more complex than being "for" or "against" the … [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


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...]

Religious Certainty versus Certitude

Candle Flame

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

my laptop

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...]

Why – Spirituality?

Many people are intuitively attracted to the idea of spirituality - and probably just as many are repelled by it. Why is that? Some of the connotations of spirituality can be quite negative for rational-minded people, which can explain the latter situation. Communing with the dead, seeing past lives, and accessing other non-local realities is not appealing to those who pride themselves on their focus on the here and the now. To the strictly rational mind, anything that is not about the about our … [Read more...]

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


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...]