This World vs. The Otherworld

I’m a semi-regular commenter on the Dallas Morning News Religion Blog, and one of the things I frequently criticize about orthodox religion is its lack of this-world relevancy. Baptists make a big deal about biblical inerrancy, Catholics make a big deal about being the one true church and none of that matters much to the average person in the pew who’s looking for something to help him or her get through a difficult week and live a better life.But when it comes to my own beliefs and practices, I … [Read more...]

trudging along

I can’t say I’ve made any great spiritual progress this week, but a leaky roof and squirrels in the attic have kept me out of bed. Sometimes focusing on putting one mundane foot in front of the other is all I can do… but sometimes it’s enough.I need to re-read my own blog entries. I’m upset because I’m not having the religious experiences I want to have and because my beliefs aren’t strong enough to answer all my internal second-guessing. So the answer is what’s shown on my nice little diagram … [Read more...]

physician, heal thyself

I said I didn’t want this blog to turn into a place for personal venting, but right now I am so frustrated I could scream, or throw something, or go back to bed. Unfortunately, I have a full calendar at work, so I’ll be choosing “none of the above.” Which just makes me that much more frustrated.I’m making what feels like zero progress toward becoming the spiritual person I want to be, I’m buried in mundane life, and I’m set off by trivial annoyances. And I don’t know what to do, other than to … [Read more...]

Experience, Belief, and Practice

Over the past few years, I’ve done a fair amount of reading on history, anthropology, and psychology – all with the goal of trying to understand how religion began. I suppose that’s the universalist in me: I do think the many varied religions of our world began through the same process, although obviously their details were very different.The exact origins of religion are lost in pre-history, but much can be deduced. For me, what’s important is that every religion began with a religious experie … [Read more...]

the service after

The service at Denton UU was led by Scottie McIntyre Johnson, who's beginning her third year of seminary at Perkins at SMU. It was perfect - appropriate and reassuring. You can read her sermon here: in Knoxville, Tennessee Valley UU held a rededication service. A local TV station broadcast it live, and archived it on their website. I couldn't find a direct link, but if you go to the video page at … [Read more...]