Response to Modern World-View Responses

I begin with a confession of electronic communication ignorance: I have not yet learned how to reply to “replies” to my blogs. I’m working on it. And so in this blog, I reply to a repeated theme in the replies.Namely, why do I not regard mystical experiences as divine interventions? I begin by recognizing that they feel like interventions. William James in his classic description of mystical experiences in his equally classic "The Varieties of Religious Experiences" lists as one of thei … [Read more...]

Christianity and the Modern World-View

“World-view” is a semi-technical term that names something we all have, whether we are conscious of it or not. It is a way of seeing reality – of what is real and what is possible. In German, where I think the notion was coined, the term is Weltanschauung – the way the world appears to us, how we think of it. Not just “world” in the sense of “the earth” or “the globe,” but the whole of reality.What is commonly called the modern world-view was born in the European Enlightenment of the 1 … [Read more...]

Continuing the Resurrection Conversation

I am pleased to see that my response to Tony Jones has generated a thoughtful response from him and many thought-filled replies from others. At the risk of continuing the conversation too long, I offer the following.I begin with a few additional and hopefully clarifying comments. Tony correctly reports what I said at an event that he attended. I am quite sure it was at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, a lecture event that also featured Brian McLaren and Diana Butler Bass. I did say … [Read more...]

Response to Tony Jones about the Resurrection

In his October 4 blog, “No, the Writers of the Bible Did Not Expect It to be Taken Literally,” Tony Jones briefly contrasts his view of the resurrection of Jesus with mine. I agree with the title of his blog, but strongly disagree with his characterization of how I see the resurrection.His own view of the resurrection is clear: he believes that Jesus “materially rose from death” in a “physical” and “bodily” form (from his April 21, 2011 blog; italics added). He describes my view as “Jesus’ … [Read more...]

Meeting Marcus Borg Again for the First Time


I am pleased to become a Patheos “blogger” (a word none of us knew until recently). I have visited the website frequently for a couple of years and consider it to be the best religious website that I know.Briefly to introduce myself, I am in today’s terminology a progressive Christian and, except for about a decade in my 30s, I have been deeply involved in the life of the church all of my seventy years.  I grew up as a Scandinavian Lutheran and in my 40s became an Episcopalian, attracted to t … [Read more...]

The Resurrection of Jesus: Physical/Bodily or Spiritual/Mystical?


This is an excerpt of an article written for Patheos on April 18, 2011.The choice between understanding the resurrection of Jesus as "physical/bodily" or as "spiritual/mystical" was included in the invitation to write this essay. The distinction is helpful; it makes clear that Christians have understood the meanings of Easter in different ways. But for more than one reason, including the common meanings of these words in modern English, I don't like either option.I begin with the … [Read more...]