Time Magazine, “The Hell You Say?”

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Time Magazine recently reprinted an article from Patheos Progressive Christian Channel blogger, John Shore, titled What Christianity without Hell Looks Like.Here's the money quote from the article, "A Christianity without Hell would have nothing to recommend it but the constant and unending love of God."   I don't know what the author of the quote thinks Hell is, but unwittingly, in that one line,  Shore actually describes the classic Christian vision of Hell.St Augustine was once ask … [Read more...]

What Stage is Your Faith?

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We have a tendency to think that faith is faith.  But we all recognize that faith grows and changes with time.  What if faith evolved over specifically definable stages? What stage of faith would you be in?  What stage of faith are you called to be moving toward?Universal Stages of FaithIn his classic book, Stages of Faith:  The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning, Dr. James Fowler looks at how faith evolves over time. He identifies 6 Stages of Faith Development.   I … [Read more...]

Faith, Spirituality, Belief, Religion…What’s the Difference?

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Conventionally, we tend to use words like, "faith", "spirituality", "belief" and "religion" interchangeably and, generally speaking, there isn't anything wrong with that. But it may interest you to know that for those who study the psychology of religion, these words do have different meanings.  More than just an academic distinction, these differences can actually be quite enlightening and helpful for you in making clearer sense out of the different aspects of your own faith journey.  Let's l … [Read more...]

Religion & Spirituality Affect Health in Different Ways

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Are people who say they are "spiritual but not religious people" not as healthy as people who are both spiritual and religious?  That could well be the case.Religion and spirituality have distinct but complementary influences on health, new research from Oregon State University indicates.  "Religion helps regulate behavior and health habits, while spirituality regulates your emotions, how you feel," said Carolyn Aldwin, a gerontology professor in the College of Public Health and Human S … [Read more...]

This is Your Brain on Religion

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Researchers from the National Institute on Aging and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, analyzed data collected from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies to evaluate the flow of brain activity when religious and non-religious individuals discussed their religious beliefs.Dimitrios Kapogiannis, M.D., and colleagues determined causal pathways link brain networks related to “supernatural agents,” fear regulation, imagery and affect, all of which may be involved in cogni … [Read more...]

Is Atheism A Mental Illness?

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Sean Thomas at the London Telegraph seems to think so....Thanks to a couple of surveys, it’s being put about in certain circles that atheists have higher IQs than believers. That may or may not be the case, but...Let’s dispense with the crude metric of IQ and look at the actual lives led by atheists, and believers, and see how they measure up. In other words: let’s see who is living more intelligently.And guess what: it’s the believers. A vast body of research, amassed over recent decades … [Read more...]

Blessed Are You When WLW Drive Time Hosts Persecute You?

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Yesterday, I had an interview--actually, it was more like nuclear warfare--with Eddie Fingers and Tracy Jones, hosts of the #1 afternoon drive time show in Cincinnati.  They had me on to discuss my book, Holy Sex, in light of the NY Times article on the Hook-Up Culture .  It turns out I wrote the book that shocked the shock jocks.A couple of weeks ago, in light of the US News and World Report article on how devout Catholics have the best and most frequent sex, my publisher hired a publicist t … [Read more...]

The Marriage Debate: What NOT to Do (and What TO do instead)

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There is really no way to put a smiley face on it.  Yesterday's SCOTUS decisions dealt a serious blow to the marriage movement.  The decision was not as catastrophic as it could have been.  One scenario had SCOTUS pulling a "Roe" and, by judicial fiat, granting a federal right to gay marriage in all 50 states.  As  I noted on the air yesterday, the decisions on DOMA and Prop 8 are the equivalent of having one's legs cut off instead of one's head.  Yes, one's better than the other, but neither is … [Read more...]


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