The Pharisee and the Tax Collector: Reflections on Sunday’s Scriptures

This week’s parable is about two men who each offer prayers, with surprisingly different results. I would rather identify with the tax collector, not, of course, because he is hated by his community due to his exploitative profession, but because God liked his prayer better. [Read more...]

We Really Ought To Name Something “Bob”

“No matter how hard I try, the moment I mention the word, church, people pretty much run in the other direction. Which would be OK with me if I didn’t think that some active engagement with the mystery we call God might be useful for people who would like to develop and grow. So I tell them what church is not, and still they run. Now I’m thinking, maybe we ought to just call it “Bob.” Presbyterian Pastor Sam Alexander considers re-naming Church. [Read more...]

“God Is Not One:” A Helpful Tool for Genuine Interfaith Conversation?

“I had five roommates my freshman year of college. Three of them were Jewish. And one was more involved in Jewish student life than the rest. So one night, I asked her if she’d be interested in a conversation to compare our religious beliefs. I was cross-legged on the bed. She pulled the chair out from my desk and turned to face me. “Let’s start with the basics,” I said. “What do you believe about God?” Amy Julia Becker on why the book God Is Not One may have aided her ensuing conversation. [Read more...]

Monday Morning Meditation: Twists and Turns of the Labyrinth

The twists and turns of the labyrinth, at one moment walking straight towards the centre and then suddenly turning towards the perimeter, reminded me that there are times well into our Christian journey when we feel we are back to our starting point. [Read more...]

Post-Capitalism Christianity: Something Worth Fighting For

“Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for a private profit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments are made by private actors in the market rather than by central planning by the government; profit is distributed to owners who invest in businesses, and wages [Read More...]

Atheism for Theists

There are few places as good as seminary to lose one’s faith, or at the least to have it pushed, twisted and forced past any place you had safely stacked out in advance. I had already considered myself a theologically liberal guy and had chosen my seminary carefully – a school with historically left-leaning theological [Read More...]

Becoming The Things We Hate: Deconstituting The Poor

“Status is important sociologically because it comes with a set of rights, obligations, behaviors, and duties that people occupying a certain position are expected or encouraged to perform” Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if [Read More...]

On Being a Faithful Citizen: A New Weekly Column by Greg Garrett

This week, we’re excited to launch a new column on Religion and Politics, by Baylor University Professor, author and Episcopal Lay Leader Greg Garrett. Each Thursday, Garrett will be raising questions and offering his insights on what it is to be a faithful citizen in this time. Read an excerpt from his first post here and join the conversation. [Read more...]

God In America Live Chat at Patheos

Join us this week at Patheos for a live chat on PBS’ 3-part series “God in America.” Along with the opportunity to chat with the producers of the series, you’ll also see interviews with three of the show’s producers and a new review of the series. [Read more...]

October’s Promise

Now that I’m older and maybe wiser, May and October have switched places in my favorites list. October is golden glow. May is buttery yellow. October is realistic. May is false hopes that spring will last forever. October is closer to death and so, it is a spiritual opportunity for us to be more in touch with life. [Read more...]

Hope in the Midst of Despair: God is Digging a Tunnel

On Saturday afternoon, I was almost in tears after hearing on NPR that the long awaited breakthrough to the Chilean miners trapped since August has been made.  Their rescue is still some days away, but the hope this breakthrough represents is huge.  There is so much bad news reported in the press that I think [Read More...]

The Sermon We’re Not Going to Preach: Lectionary Reflection on Luke 18:1-8

In general, individuals and groups don’t admit to themselves that the reason they act or don’t act the way they do is because “I have no fear of God or respect for anyone…” That would be like saying: “I am an irreverent, disrespectful jerk who thinks only of my own convenience and comfort. Don’t expect any justice from me.” Real people and institutions protect themselves (ourselves) with layers of rationalizations, ways we can continue to pursue our lifestyles and sleep well at night while ignoring or downplaying the needs of those beyond our families and friends. [Read more...]


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