About Me

Who is this blog for?

faith-and-reasonIf you have ever wondered whether intelligence and faith can talk to each other, this blog is for you.

If you agree with Shakespeare when he writes that “there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamed of in your philosophy,” this blog is for you.

If you suspect that God has a sense of humor, this blog is for you.

If you believe that learning and growing is a life-long process and that we are never “all set” (as they say in Rhode Island), this blog is for you.

If you agree with me that irreverence is an important virtue, this blog is for you.

In January of 2009, I headed to the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research in Collegeville, Minnesota to spend my four month sabbatical as a Resident Scholar. The title of my book project was SEEING THE INVISIBLE: Creative Faith and the Absence of God, in which I intended to investigate the question of whether it is possible to live a meaningful life of faith in a world in which God is apparently absent. The project was an academic reflection of something much deeper. For most of my fifty plus years, I had struggled with the conservative, fundamentalist Protestant Christianity in which I was raised. What became clear to me in Minnesota was that what I thought was a long-term, low-grade spiritual dissatisfaction had become, without my being aware of it, a full blown spiritual crisis. Beneath my introverted, overly cerebral surface my soul was asking John the Baptist’s question—“Are you the one, or is it time to look for another?”

That book never got written. Read my blog to find out why.

My religious pedigree begins with my fundamentalist Baptist upbringing (I’m a preacher’s kid), and includes encounters with the charismatic movement, attempted atheism, resonance with the Episcopal church, playing the organ in any Christian church that would pay me, and twenty-five years of teaching as a non-Catholic professor of philosophy in Catholic institutions of higher learning. I have found over the past several years that essay writing is often an effective vehicle for exploring matters both of the heart and mind, of the human and divine. I hope to continue these first-person forays in this blog. Calling myself a “free-lance Christian” is a nod to my discovery that whatever the Christian life is, it cannot be contained within any human made dogmas, doctrines or limitations. The wind blows where it will, and these blog posts are occasional instances of my sticking a finger in the air to see where what the divine breeze might be up to on a given day.