Christianity as Ultimate Concern

In my First Year Seminar class “Faith, Doubt, and Reason,” I shared the thought experiment “What Would It Take To Make You Lose Your Faith?” That’s something I shared here on the blog previously, and because of the scenario it has come up in connection in recent discussions of religion and science fiction in general, [Read More…]

Tillich on Liberal Faith

Even the faith of the liberal needs expression and some communal formulation, and it needs to be defended against authoritarian attacks. Even more: the ultimate concern of the liberal needs concrete contents, as does every ultimate concern. He also lives in institutions of a definite historical character. He, too, has a special language and uses [Read More…]

Beyond a Copernican Spiritual Revolution

David Hayward posted this cartoon, depicting the sea change in the direction of so many being “spiritual yet not religious”: Some will find the shift from the church at the center to the individual at the center offensive and problematic. But it isn't that different from what Jesus talked about when he said “the Sabbath [Read More…]

The Religion Scholars Song

Here’s a song written with the aim of using rhyme to help you remember key points about theologians and religion scholars of the 20th century. Of course, such aims often prove harder to fulfill than one had hoped. Enjoy the silliness! I expect that those who’ve studied religion or been to seminary will get the [Read More…]

Christian Faith is not Belief, nor Certainty

A young Christian wrote an e-mail expressing concern about doubt. I thought I would share what I wrote to them, in case it is helpful to others: I wonder whether you may not have understood the “faith” referred to in the New Testament primarily in terms of holding the right beliefs. If you consider Paul’s [Read More…]

Ultimate Concern

This is a recording of a song I wrote, giving musical expression to the view of faith advocated by theologian Paul Tillich. Let me know what you think! [Read more…]

Can You Lose a Faith You Never Had?

I find myself wondering how many people who defend their “faith,” and how many who say they have lost their “faith,” actually have or had faith. Let me immediately clarify that I am not referring here to the offensive and foolish suggestion sometimes made by some Christians that, if someone becomes an atheist, they must [Read More…]

Crazy Beliefs

Almost everyone finds the religious, political, and economic views of others “crazy,” and often the feeling is mutual! This post looks at how religious, political and economic types of “faith” resemble one another – for better or worse. [Read more…]

Chicken Little Credo?

Several posts around the blogosphere have converged on a single point, and I have wanted for some time to share some links and chime in myself. I think it first started for me with the convergence of two posts on the same day in my feed reader. The first was on the blog Brick by [Read More…]

Religion 2.0

Michael Dowd posted on what he calls the “New Theism” (as well as mentioning other terms). I’m not sure that I find that particular label “New Theism” helpful, since “theism” is often associated with precisely what Dowd rejects, the idea of a personal or anthropomorphic deity. I appreciate his comparison of the movement he is [Read More…]