The Great Fear Conflation

The headlines last week said that 30% of Republicans believe that Obama is a Muslim. An actual increase since 2008. And this has been followed by various surveys (always publicized by self-proclaimed liberals) that conservatives are simply less intellectual, less smart, than liberals. I doubt it. Read down in an article on the recent PEW [Read More...]

Farewell to Jerusalem

Israel for 10 days. Reflections: Its early morning in the hotel, the last morning of this trip. We have seen angry hope, sad hope, resigned hope, cynical hope, confused hope, na├»ve hope, and possibly even hopeless hope. And we’ve see the parallel forms of hopelessness. In Tel Aviv we met, as I have met before, [Read More...]

Just Who are You?

Jerusalem, my home for about 10 days, can look like some kind of costume drama, especially down in the old city. Muslim women in headscarves, or for that matter more conservative Jewish women in headscarves, are just a part. Military uniforms of various sorts are present – albeit discreetly for the most part. And various [Read More...]

Filling the Gaps in God – A Shared Language of Religious Difference

In my last blog I suggested that God doesn’t fill the gaps in human knowledge. To the contrary, we humans are the gaps in God, the places where God is alienated from God’s own full love and participation in creation. The gaps are created by human conflict and a failure to work together for the [Read More...]

The God Particle . . and the Gaps in God

There is only magazine or journal I read cover to cover every month, and that is Scientific American. Nor is this a new obsession. My first job out of high school was as a research assistant in a computer lab, programming in Fortran to solve complex integral equations in order to analyze satellite data. My [Read More...]

Divine Mandate, Dialogue Disaster?

How do we enter into respectful dialogue with another religious viewpoint when that religious viewpoint won’t let us speak for ourselves? When it insists that it comprehensively understands our reality without reference to us? What do I mean? Let’s start with something interesting: “After the banned ‘Holy Islamic Sex’ (Seks Suci Islam) guide’s sizzling debut, [Read More...]

The Sub-Dom Complex in Religion

The logic of hegemony arises in part from the claim that a particular culture, worldview, and language have the privilege of being chosen by God to express God’s truth to humanity. In Malaysia two pieces of news. First came the circulation of a forged letter saying that if an opposition party won the next election [Read More...]

Lost in Translation?

Sunday morning. Christians gather for worship: meaningful fragments of hymns are offered, praise choruses are repeated to create a mood, Jesus songs inculcate pious devotion and warm affection,thematic preaching that tells people what they want to know, and prayers beseech God for help. The house is packed. Is the gospel in all its power finally [Read More...]

Translation, not just Interpretation

The crisis of the mainline Christian denominations has come about in large part because they hang on to a model of engagement with contemporary people that is no longer adequate. Pastors and church leaders who were taught to interpret the gospel so that it is relevant to the contemporary situation are finding this isn’t adequate [Read More...]

The Secular Attack on Religion

This past week two citizens of the UK took their claims to the European Court of Human Rights after losing their appeals in Britain. What? Perhaps Muslims facing discrimination? Sikhs or Hindus suffering racist epithets? No. Christians. One a counselor whose employer dismissed him for questioning whether he could council gay couples, the other a [Read More...]


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