Religion, Politics and the Public Square

“I find good people of faith and conscience are reticent to speak up about controversial issues, whether in houses of worship or councils of government, because of the common misconception that expressing passionate views grounded in a religious or ethical belief system somehow violates the separation of religion and state.” Presbyterian minister and Director of the Marin Interfaith Council Carol Hovis appeals to people of faith to stand with Muslim Americans at this critical moment for all religions. [Read more...]

Ungrounding Ourselves into the Christ-Ethic

For Lacan, public law such as “No Photos” or “Do not go on the grass” implicitly attracts the subject of that law to commit the very thing it prohibits (exactly in the way that if we tell the child not to eat the freshly baked cakes, we are simultaneously pointing out the method with which [Read More...]

Is Morality Natural? Hitchens, God, and the Nature of Morality

Belief in God is not necessary for morality. But, I cannot disprove that an omniscient God created the universe in such a way that we would evolve oxytocin as the moral molecule. I have no way to test this so I must leave this in the “inconclusive” pile. Call it a matter of faith. [Read more...]

Guest of Honor? Lectionary Reflections for Aug. 29

Who was the guest of honor in the banquet Jesus attended? Who is the guest of honor in the banquets we attend? Who is the guest of honor in the banquets we are to host, a foretaste of the messianic banquet? Who is the guest of honor at the messianic banquet in the kingdom of God yet to come? [Read more...]

The Future Church: What does it mean to be an inclusive Church?

The condition of renewal means you cut your roots – Slavoj Zizek Once upon a time when we were peripatetic hunter-gatherers, all we knew was travel. Mobility was life. Life was mobility. We only took what we needed. We didn’t consume in excess. Then one day we discovered the art of farming and settling. This [Read More...]

Muslims, Ground Zero, Fear and Fairness

“I sympathize with all those who are afraid of Muslim terrorists. I do not join them in that fear–statistically speaking, Americans are as likely to die in their bathtubs as they are to be killed by terrorists–but I am cursed by empathy, the writer’s ability to see how other people think, live, and love. If I were a New Yorker, perhaps I would also be upset by the news that Sufi Muslims want to build a spiritual center in lower Manhattan, not far from the site of the World Trade Center attacks. Maybe. But I doubt it.” Guest blogger and Episcopal lay preacher Greg Garrett files a passionate response to the continuing debate over the proposed “Ground Zero Mosque.” [Read more...]

Eat, Pray, Love: An Invitation for Christians?

Does the film and book “Eat, Pray, Love” present an invitation to moderate and progressive Christians to take the spiritual journeys of people more seriously in preaching, program, and outreach? Guest blogger Bruce Epperly thinks so… [Read more...]

How I Rediscovered Christianity Through Islam

“The religious “other” is not the enemy; quite the contrary: it’s through her that one’s own religious identity and practice emerge more clearly.” Theology Professor Philip Clayton explores the emerging “third way” of deepening one’s own religious beliefs in a multi-faith world. [Read more...]

Belief is a Parasite: What Alice, Old Yeller and Broken Lights Can Teach Us About Dogma

Dogma imprisons us within freedom. It gives us the caged experience of liberty. It drives us to think when we are bound we are free. The illusions that dogma perpetuate empowers us with the sense of being in control of our own destiny, as if we have a choice to follow the Creator. But the fatal flaw of dogma is that the illusions aren’t real. They lie to us. They betray us by being faithful to themselves. [Read more...]

Standing Up Straight: Lectionary Reflection on Luke 13:10-17

I stayed in a convent once for a week while leading a seminar at a nearby seminary. Many of the nuns were elderly and suffered from acute osteoporosis. This is how I imagine the woman in this story. She is bent over at the waist and to be able to see where she is going, must crane her neck at an uncomfortable angle to see anything but the floor. And yet Jesus calls her to come to him. The very thing she is unable to do, stand up straight, is the thing she can immediately do, after Jesus lays hands upon her. [Read more...]

Place and Process: History, Geonarratives and Patriotism in Tension

The world as we know it has not always been so, and the world as it is will not always be as it is. The earth is a vast, complex – and beautiful – system of recycling and self-renewal. All of which gives rise to a powerful insight – there are no places, only processes. [Read more...]

Eat, Pray, Love: Spiritual Quest or Chick Flick?

Rereading parts of the book after I saw the movie, I was impressed with the depth of its insights. Gilbert is modest in the claims she makes- this is her experience, not meant to be generalized for everyone. And yet there is something in her experience that transcends one woman’s travelogue. [Read more...]


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